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Obama's 'Woke' Warning Goes Viral

President thinks cancel culture is a bad trend
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2019 8:25 AM CDT
Former President 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)

(Newser) – Barack Obama's name has been back in the headlines this week, but not over the drama on Capitol Hill or the Democratic primary. Instead, it's over a warning he issued to young people about the dangers of ideological "purity" and "woke" culture. The details:

  • What he said: While speaking during a forum at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Tuesday, Obama declared: “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," per the Hill. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."
  • Cancel culture: Obama said he is seeing a troubling trend on college campuses in particular. "There is this sense sometimes of, 'The way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people,'" he said. "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?" But that's "not activism," he added. "If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far."

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