Millennials love to call people out. It is how they show the world, especially in this “social media” age, how “woke” they are.
But is that real activism? Does it actually cause any change whatsoever? Barack Obama says no.
Obama pointed out to a crowd in Chicago that “being as judgmental as possible” is something young people would be wise to “get over quickly.”
“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.”
“I do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media, that the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that’s enough.
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, did you see how woke I was? I called you out.'”
Obama went on to remind us that things are not always so cut and dry and good people who do good things have flaws in the real world.
“The world is messy,” the 44th US president said. “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.”
Obama also pointed out that just “calling someone out” on social media is hardly a substitute for real activism.
“That is not activism,” he concluded. “That is not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far.”
Barack Obama is correct. Real change happens when people actually do things, instead of just disparage people for a gaffe or an opinion held or mistake made 30 years ago — especially when they have shown over the years that they have evolved and/or learned from such mistakes.
Millennials, and the rest of us who actually want to change the world for the better would be wise to heed Obama’s sage advice. Advice from someone who actually has done much to make the world a better place. Not perfect, but better.
Check out Barack Obama at the Chicago “Obama Foundation Summit” below:
Watch President @BarackObama make an excellent point about call-out culture. pic.twitter.com/P6mw9aLWTQ
— ATTN: (@attn) October 30, 2019
Featured image via screen capture from video above