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Obama warns of ‘dangers of cancel culture’ going ‘overboard’

Former President Obama in an interview that aired Monday warned against what he characterized as “the dangers of cancel culture” going too far in American society. 

“A lot of the dangers of cancel culture and ‘we’re just going to be condemning people all the time,’ at least among my daughters, they’ll acknowledge that among their peer group or in college campuses, you’ll see people going overboard,” Obama said during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. 

Obama said his daughters, Malia and Sasha, have a “pretty good sense of: look we don’t expect everybody to be perfect we don’t expect everybody to politically correct all the time.” 

“But we are gonna call out institutions or individuals if they are being cruel, if they are, ya know, discriminating against people,” Obama said. “We do want to raise awareness.” 

Obama has in the past criticized what he in 2019 called “woke” culture that leaves little room for forgiveness for misdeeds of people in public life. 

“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,” he said at an event for his foundation Summit in Chicago that year. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”

He said people calling others out on social media is “not activism”  

“Like, 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, I called you out,’ ” he added. 

During the interview with CNN this week, Obama separately discussed his legacy and the current state of American politics, including former President Trump’s insistence he won the 2020 presidential election and the Republican response to it. 

“We have to worry,” Obama told Cooper, “when one of our major political parties is willing to embrace a way of thinking about our democracy that would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago.”
Tags Barack Obama Barack Obama Cancel culture Donald Trump Family of Barack Obama woke

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