Obama: Don’t Tell White Males They Lack Standing to Speak on Certain Matters

Barack Obama Nelson Mandela (Marco Longari / AFP / Getty)
Marco Longari / AFP / Getty

Speaking in South Africa this week, Barack Obama said that no one should tell white males that they lack standing to speak on certain matters.

Former President Barack Obama addressed a very crucial issue in the social justice community during a speech in South Africa this week.

“Democracy demands that we are able to get inside the reality of people that are different than us so we can understand their point of view. Maybe we can change their minds but maybe they’ll change ours,” he began.

“You can’t do this if you disregard what your opponents have to say from the start. You can’t do it if you insist that those who aren’t like you because they’re white, or because they’re male that somehow there is no way they can understand what I’m feeling, that somehow they lack standing to speak on certain matters,” he continued.

Barack Obama has a history of speaking out against certain strains of social justice politics. During a town hall event in 2015, then President Obama attacked safe spaces and coddling culture on college campuses.

“It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side. And that’s a problem, too,” he said.

“I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women,” he added.

“Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, you can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say. That’s not the way we learn, either,” he finished.

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