Barack Obama calls out ‘woke’ social media warriors – VIDEO
Always being judgemental on social media does not make you an activist. These are the words of former US President Barack Obama directed to young people who use the internet as a platform to call out the wrongs done by others just to appear “woke”.
Mr Obama was speaking during the Obama Foundation third annual Summit in Chicago on Wednesday telling the young woke generation to “get over themselves”.
“This idea of purity and you are never compromised and you are always politically “woke” and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly. The world is messy, there are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids and you know share certain things with you. And I think one danger I see among young people, particularly on college campuses Malia and I talk about this,” said Mr Obama.
He adds: “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 judgemental as possible about other people. And that enough. Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. Cause men did you see how woke I was I called you out. That is not activism. That is not bringing about change. If all you are doing is casting stones, youre probably not going to get that far.”
Mr Obama’s statement elicited mixed reaction from the online community, who were divided on their opinions. Below are some of them:
“It’s pathetic how the more feeble-witted media jumped on this to limply insinuate that we should call nothing out, say nothing, be silent – we should challenge @BarackObama on what he means by his comments,” said @NorthcoteWalker.
“I spent 14 odd years working collectively to convince an electorate to support Labor. That tends to make me keen on encouraging progressives to think about better ways to engage. Hence I share this man’s view,” tweeted @KosSamaras.
“We need more of this conversation. “This idea of purity & you’re never compromised & you’re politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws,” wrote @Kon_K.
“Do read this whole article, not just the header and first one or two pars. The whole thing. It might sound like @BarackObama calling out the woke set, but really, I reckon he’s asking us all to be more compassionate and action-oriented to each other,” commented @MelanieTait.
“Thanks @BarackObama for mocking/ minimizing the brave efforts of young activists fighting 4 social, economic & criminal justice, and brilliantly using social media to do it! We see you your rich friends VERY clearly! I’ll stick with our progressive warriors,” said @5secondsmedia.