Obama calls out woke culture, Twitter outrage: 'That's not activism'

Former President Barack Obama says “compromise” shouldn’t be frowned upon and described Twitter outrage as “not activism.” 

Speaking at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on Tuesday, the former president called on Americans to abandon ideological purity tests in politics. 

“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. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.” 

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Trump, Clinton, Obama and Carter at former President George H.W. Bush's funeral
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Trump, Clinton, Obama and Carter at former President George H.W. Bush's funeral
From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter participate in the State Funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter participate in the State Funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter participate in the State Funeral at the National Cathedral for former President George H.W. Bush, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter participate in a State Funeral at the National Cathedral for former President George H.W. Bush, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
De izquierda a derecha, el presidente Donald Trump, la primera dama Melania Trump, el exmandatario Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, el exmandatario Bill Clinton, la ex secretaria de estado Hillary Clinton, y el exmandatario Jimmy Carter, escuchan las palabras del ex primer ministro canadiense Brian Mulroney, durante el funeral de estado del expresidente George H.W. Bush, en la Catedral Nacional en Washington, el miércoles 5 de diciembre de 2018. (AP Foto/Alex Brandon, Pool)
From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, listen as former President George W. Bush speaks during a State Funeral at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington, for former President George H.W. Bush. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
U.S. President Donald Trump, first row from left, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, former U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, sit during a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump, first row from left, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, former U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and and former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter bow their heads during a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: (AFP OUT) From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on December 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Bush will be buried at his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. A WWII combat veteran, Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president and 41st president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: (AFP OUT) From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on December 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Bush will be buried at his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. A WWII combat veteran, Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president and 41st president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump, from left, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, former U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, listen as Brian Mulroney, Canada's former prime minister, speaks during a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Alex Brandon/Pool via Bloomberg
Former Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican from Wyoming, right, speaks during a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: (2nd Row) Vice President Mike Pence, Karen Pence, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Marilyn Quayle, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Lynne Chaney, (1st Row) President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and former Jimmy Carter applaud for former President George W. Bush after he made remarks about his father, former President George H.W. Bush, during his state funeral at the National Cathedral December 05, 2018 in Washington, DC. A WWII combat veteran, Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president and 41st president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President George W. Bush, second left, and former First Lady Laura Bush, from left, greet U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, former U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, and former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter during a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump, shakes hands with former US President Barack Obama,as former First Lady Michelle Obama, former US President Bill Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former US President Jimmy Carter, and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral of former US president George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, former president Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter, former first lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral of former US president George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) US President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump; former US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; former US president Bill Clinton and former US Secreatry of State Hillary Clinton; former US President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral of former US president George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, December 5, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President George W. Bush, from right, greets former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, former U.S. President Bill Clinton while former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, from right, speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, former U.S. President Barack Obama, and former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama during a state funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried through the National Cathedral as U.S. President Donald Trump, first row from left, U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, former U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter stand during a state funeral service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bush, the longest-living president in U.S. history at age 94, died at his home in Houston on November 30. In his one term in the White House he fashioned a restrained response to the Soviet Union's collapse and assembled the multinational coalition that liberated Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Vice President Mike Pence (L), President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, with former president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and former president Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter pay their last respects as pall bearers bring in the casket of former US president George H.W. Bush during his state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Former president George W. Bush (C), flanked by his wife Laura (bottom L) reaches past (from L-R) US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania and former president Barack Obama to greet former first Lady Michelle Obama as US president Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and former president Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter look on during the funeral service former president George H.W.Bush at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC December 5, 2018. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Obama also called out what he perceived as a “danger” among younger people.

“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,’” he said, then offered an example: 

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.’ I’m gonna get on TV. Watch my show. Watch ‘Grown-ish.’ You know, 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.

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