CHICAGO, Ill (WFLA/CNN) — Former President Barrack Obama discussed political purity during his third annual Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago Tuesday.
Among the the items Obama addressed at the summit was today’s ‘cancel culture’ and the ‘political woke’ that he accuses of trying to bring change by casting unnecessary stones.
“You know, this this idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke, all that stuff. You should get over that quickly,” he said. “The world- the world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”
Obama didn’t specify any examples of cancel culture, but there have been a few headlining instances this year.
Very recently Ellen Degeneres had to defend her decision of sitting next to and laughing with former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game.
Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars following backlash over homophobic tweets he posted in 2009.
After seeing this @benfraserlee tweet, I did a search for every time Kevin Hart tweeted "fag," "homo," or "gay." It was…a lot. And he seems to have basically stopped tweeting those words after 2011 — i.e. the year his first stand-up movie became a hit. https://t.co/P8nTOilFgx pic.twitter.com/6uzPhnvt4F— Adam B. Vary Scary (@adambvary) December 5, 2018
Another example from this year comes from when Anheuser-Busch cut off their charity partnership with 24-year-old Carson King after people dug up offensive tweets from 2012 when he was a 16-year-old high school student.
In August, King raised more than $1 million for an Iowa children’s hospital after going viral with his ESPN College Gameday sign asking for beer money. The resurfaced tweets ended his relationship with Anheuser-Busch who had promised to match his fundraising.
“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,” Obama added during the summit. “And that’s enough. Like 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 because man, you see how woke I was, I called you out.”
Obama says that’s not how activism works and not the appropriate way to bring about change.
“If all you’re doing is casting stones, you know, you’re not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.”