Former President Barack Obama lamented the “dangers” of cancel culture and how “condemning people all the time” detracts from creating real change.
During a CNN special with Anderson Cooper Monday night, Mr. Obama spoke about how his daughters, 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha, have a “good sense of what’s right and wrong” and also recognize when their college peers go overboard in expecting people to be politically correct around the clock.
“They’re not just interested in making noise. They’re interested in what works,” he said, referring to younger generations. “And at least in conversations with my daughter, I think that 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, sometimes, among their peer group or in college campuses, you will see folks going overboard.
“But they have a pretty good sense of, ‘Look, we don’t expect everybody to be perfect. We don’t expect everybody to be politically correct all the time. But we are going to call out institutions or individuals if they are being cruel, if they’re discriminating against people. We do want to raise awareness,’” he continued.
“There’s this sense of, well, of course, it’s not acceptable for a criminal justice system to be tainted by racism,” he said. “Of course, you can’t discriminate against somebody because of their sexual orientation, right? There are things they take for granted that I want them to take for granted. But what I find interesting is, they’re also starting to be very strategic about how to engage the system and change it.
“A great source of my optimism is the kids who were raised during the eight years that I was president,” he said. “There are bunch of basic assumptions they make about what the country can and should be that I think are still sticking. They still believe it. And they’re willing to work for it.”