President Obama Condemns Cancel Culture, Probably About to Get Cancelled

Every few weeks, someone famous will do an interview where they say it’s kind of ridiculous how much time people spend getting mad about inconsequential bullshit, or as it’s known on the internet, cancel culture. Usually it’s comics, like when Jerry Seinfeld said that college students “just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice. They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”

Seinfeld got a lot of blowback, as did Dave Chapelle when his new special came out. Basically comics now fall into two camps: those who are afraid of their audience and pretend these people aren’t just whiny babies and those who intentionally antagonize the people who want to cancel them, with basically only Sarah Silverman and David Cross falling in the middle.

This conversation got a major shake-up today, though, when former President and current Netflix producer Barack Obama came out and said cancel culture “isn’t activism” during a speech at the Obama Foundation Summit.

Via Rolling Stone:

“I do get a sense sometimes now among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media — 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. 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. Did you see how woke I was, I called you out. Then I’m going to get on my TV and watch my show … That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.”

The really amazing thing about Obama’s comments, to me, was the absolute radio silence from all the people who spill endless ink in blogs and social media about how good cancel culture is. If Jerry Seinfeld had said this, the top story on The Mary Sue would be about why we should cancel him for it. Instead, because it’s Barack Obama, the top story on The Mary Sue is about how we should cancel Jerry Seinfeld because he dated a teenager when he was in his 30s. I’m not making that up. And the premise of the article is wrong anyway, it’s based on the idea that his girlfriend was underage when they met (she was 17), but the age of consent in New York, where they live, is 17.

As any regular readers of The Blemish will know, I largely agree with the point Obama is making here, and I invite you to please call me a right-wing reactionary in the comment section for agreeing with President Obama.

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