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Barack Obama Speaks on “Cancel Culture” in the Age of Social Media Activism

Photo Credit: Guardian Courtesy of YouTube

The former president also expanded on being politically “woke.”

Barack Obama recently shared his thoughts on “cancel culture” while speaking at an Obama Foundation Summit event in Chicago.

While speaking candidly with Yara Shahidi the former president also broke down his thoughts on being politically “woke” in the age of social media activism. In conversation he even touched on the idea of change in the Internet age by sharing, “This idea of purity and that you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke — you should get over that quickly. The world is messy.” He then went on to say, “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 later spoke about social media and activism directly:

“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.”

Take a look at the clip below.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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