Barack Obama isn’t a huge fan of online call-out culture.
While speaking at an Obama Foundation event in Chicago on Tuesday, the former president sounded off over what he perceives to be a desire among young people to prove how “woke” they are by judging others online. “This idea of purity and that you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke — you should get over that quickly,” Obama said, to laughs. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids, and share certain things with you.”
He continued to tie the issue to activism:
“I do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media — there is this sense sometimes of the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people, and that’s enough. If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. Did you see how woke I was, I called you out. Then I’m going to get on my TV and watch my show … That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.”
WATCH: President Obama slams online cancel culture: "This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke, and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly." pic.twitter.com/lWnE9Zk7Na
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 30, 2019