Cancel culture has been weaponized by some people to enforce an ever-changing code of conduct. Several public figures have spoken out against the dangers of this concept, but it often falls on deaf ears. But now, one of the most important people in American history has come forward to explain the difference between online activism and orchestrating a tangible impact.
On Tuesday, former President Barack Obama spoke on a panel at the third annual Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. During his conversation with actress Yara Shahidi, Obama touched on the evils of social media justice. "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," Obama told the audience. "I do get this sense sometimes among young people—and this is accelerated by social media—there is this sense sometimes of the way for me to make change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that's enough... That's not activism."
Obama feels once people accept that no one is without flaws, the outrage and backlash coming from social media will cease to exist, helping people realize how similar they are to their fellow human beings. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities," Obama continued. "People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids."
In addition to Obama's conversation with Shahidi, the event was packed with other informative panels. Former First Lady Michelle Obama was featured during the summit along with director Ava DuVernay, Billy Porter, and more.