'You’re politically woke and all that': Barack Obama cancels the cancel culture

America's 44th leader has again become an internet sensation, this time for cancelling "cancel culture".

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Former US president Barack Obama has delivered some mic-drop worthy insight, calling out keyboard warriors at his annual third Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois. 

When America’s 44th leader was questioned about the state of politics in the country and growing "woke" culture, he responded implying "cancel culture" was not an appropriate form of activism. 

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Mr Obama told the crowd it was dangerous being too judgmental of others on social media. 

Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Source: Chicago Sun-Times


“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,” he said.

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff - you should get over that quickly.

Former President Barack Obama speaks with actress, model, and activist Yara Shahidi during the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Former President Barack Obama speaks with actress, model, and activist Yara Shahidi during the Obama Foundation Summit. Source: Chicago Sun-Times


“The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting with may love their kids and share certain things with you.”

Mr Obama added that calling people out online didn't necessarily have a positive change. 

“That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change,” he said.

“If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.”

The former president has been hailed on social media for cancelling "cancel culture".

A term which describes when online users boycott someone - typically a celebrity - who shared a questionable or unpopular opinion.


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2 min read
Published 31 October 2019 at 12:48pm
By Charlotte Lam

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