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Obama: ‘Get Over’ Being ‘Woke,’ Stop Online Outrage Cancel Culture
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 29: Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the opening of the Bits & Pretzels meetup on September 29, 2019 in Munich, Germany. The annual event brings together founders and startups from across the globe for three days of networking, talks and inspiration. during the "Bits & Pretzels Founders Festival" at ICM Munich on September 29, 2019 in Munich, Germany. Bits & Pretzels is an application-only, three-day festival that connects 5,000 founders, investors, startup enthusiasts,taking place from September 29 to October 1, 2019.
Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama warned young people in Chicago on Tuesday that they should “quickly” get over trying to be “woke” because the world is a complex place and that young people need to stop engaging in online outrage mobs and cancel culture.

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly,” Obama told an audience at the Obama Foundation Summit.

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

“One danger I see among young people particularly on college campuses — Malia and I talk about this — 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 and that’s enough,” Obama continued. “Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right, or use the wrong verb then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself, ‘Cuz man, did you see how woke I was? I called you out! Let me get on TV, watch my show, watch Grown-ish.'”

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


Obama’s comments come amid a growing pushback against “cancel culture” from some high-profile figures, including comedians Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr

“This is the worst time ever to be a celebrity,” Chappelle says in reference to cancel culture in his new Netflix comedy special. “You’re gonna be finished. Everyone’s doomed.”

Chappelle also laments the treatment of fellow comedian Kevin Hart, who was forced to step down as host of the Oscars after old comments deemed “homophobic” resurfaced. It’s “celebrity hunting season,” said Chappelle. Hart was “damn near perfect,” or, at least “four tweets shy of being perfect,” said Chappelle.

As The Daily Wire reported, Chappelle’s “Sticks & Stones” was savaged by critics but loved by viewers.

“The critics’ reviews of comedian Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix standup special ‘Sticks & Stones’ are rolling into review site Rotten Tomatoes, and they’re exactly what you’d expect in the Year of the Wokescolds. But while the critics gnash their teeth over Chappelle’s unapologetic and purposefully offensive hour special, the general audience cheers,” The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported. “As of Wednesday morning, ‘Sticks & Stones’ showed a 38% score from critics, with a near-perfect 99% audience score.”

Comedian Bill Burr’s politically incorrect Netflix special, released shortly after Chappelle’s, likewise hammers perpetual outrage culture. Like Chappelle’s show, Burr’s “Paper Tiger” was condemned by left-wing critics but widely praised by viewers.

Related: SHAPIRO: The Commanding Heights Of Hollywood Now Hate Dave Chappelle

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