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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Monday, November 4, 2019
Obama’s Latest Advice Applies All Across The Spectrum
Getty Images Post Editorial Board
For all our gripes with his policies, we’ve always appreciated the fact that former President Barack Obama is willing to talk some sense to folks on his own side — as he did last week in warning about “woke” culture.
Speaking about youth activism at the Obama Foundation summit, Obama had a word of advice for young people who want to change the world: “The idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly,” he said.
“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 share certain things with you.”
He got more specific, too, noting that public shaming on social media isn’t “activism” — indeed, it’s “dangerous.”
“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,” he said.
Today’s youth think, “ ‘If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong word or verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself, because, man, you see how woke I was, I called you out?’ That’s not activism.”
And it’s no way to make positive change: “If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.”
Even if Obama was mainly focused on the ills of the modern left, his words are worth taking to heart all across the spectrum: Your opponent on one issue — even on most issues — isn’t automatically your enemy, let alone evil.
Let’s just hope his wisdom doesn’t get him “canceled.”