If there’s one truism that you can always count on, it’s that the left eats their own. Only a couple of years after Barack Obama was universally heralded as a liberal icon and one of the greatest presidents who ever lived (if you’re a Democrat), the 44th president is already on the outs with the nu-progressives who are now taking over the party. Obama bought himself some trouble last week when he told a Chicago audience that he wasn’t crazy about the holier-than-thou “woke” activists who spend all their time trying to destroy careers on social media.
“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. 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,” Obama said.
Pretty reasonable sentiment. A lot more reasonable than much of the nonsense he spouted when he was in office.
But “reasonable” isn’t the modern left’s stock-in-trade, and they were highly offended at Obama’s take on cancel culture. Indeed, journalist Ernest Owens was so infuriated he wrote a whole New York Times op-ed about how wrong the former president was about the new generation of social justice warriors.
From the column:
It’s telling that it’s the powerful and privileged people in society who are most agitated by this form of online activism, and most convinced that it represents unnecessary evil that is tearing away at our civil discourse. The group that Mr. Obama joins in his scolding of outspoken young people is dominated by white straight men, far-right conservative talking heads, and celebrities who feel entitled to audiences who appreciate their art and dutifully ignore their missteps. It’s no surprise that Fox News fretted that his comments were “snubbed” and didn’t receive sufficient coverage from broadcast television networks.
What people of Obama’s generation don’t understand — or don’t want to understand — about the ways in which younger people use the internet to make our values known, is that we’re not bullies going after people with “different opinions” for sport. Rather, we’re trying to push back against the bullies — influential people who have real potential to cause harm, or have already caused it. At the very least, we can speak up to send a message to vulnerable people that the bullies’ bigoted or backward views aren’t the only ones out there.
Yes, yes, it’s very, very important to stand up to powerful “bullies” like Ben Shapiro, professor Bret Weinstein, comedian Kevin Hart, and Saturday Night Live newbie Shane Gillis. What would the world come to if it weren’t for these brave Twitter warriors and their willingness to dig through every person’s entire history looking for a crumb of offensiveness?
Owens is either mistaken or lying, because it is very much a “sport” to take these people down. That’s the entire point. Leftists are getting off on how much power they have in a cultural landscape where “being offended” is the worst thing in the world. To try and make it into some noble Millennial mission is both hilarious and absurd. Obama’s not buying it, and for once, we agree with #44.