Former US President Barack Obama has challenged “woke” culture telling young people: “The world is messy.”
He made the comments at the Obama Foundation’s annual summit in Chicago on Tuesday.
Mr Obama said that calling people out on social media did not bring about change, and that change was complex.
“Woke” is described as being alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice, along with being aware of what’s going on in the community.
Mr Obama told the audience: “I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people.
“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 did you see how woke I was? I called you out!'”
“That’s enough,” he said. “If all you’re doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far.”
Mr Obama added that “people who do really good stuff have flaws”.
His comments come as Democrats prepare for the 2020 presidential nomination race. So far, there has been a focus on how “woke” candidates are, with a number apologising for past incidents.
Before withdrawing from the race, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand went on television to apologise for using the term “illegal alien” in the past. Elizabeth Warren has apologised for identifying as Native American, while Pete Buttigieg has apologised for his use of the phrase “all lives matter”.