Kindness Journey – Day 57 – What is “Woke?”

I saw an article on CNN about an upcoming special by W. Kamau Bell about “Woke” and how that term has, like so much else, become heavily politicized. I believe that most things are political, but conservatives have really go-opted the English language and weaponized any word that they can to turn it into a label or a catch-phrase.

I can use another example of conservatives manipulating and twisting the meaning of words with “Antifa”, or anti-Fascist. I consider being called “Antifa” a badge of honor because my father fought the Nazis and Fascists in World War 2.

“Woke” entered our mainstream political discourse about a decade ago. I can only give my own interpretation of the term. I believe that to be “ Woke” implies that one is no longer simply accepting the status quo, instead one questions injustice, why it exists, and what needs to be done to resolve the problem.

I consider myself “Woke” and have all my life because my parents taught me to try to understand the perspective of other people, and not to be selfish. “Woke” means that one isn’t afraid to question things that are taken for granted. Because I’m White, I could theoretically just join the conservatives and oppose the idea of “Woke” because the color of my skin gives me a certain perspective, a “Privilege” if you will. Why should I want to question that which benefits me? Unless I apply the concepts of Humanity and Kindness, I could exist in the same insulated cocoon as conservatives and oppose anything that questions the status quo.

Notice that I use the term “questions” rather than the more ominous “threatens”, that is because “Woke” is not a violent or radical point of view. My parents taught me that the world exists the way it is because people have traditions and customs that become ingrained. The original or free thinkers are those who question those things. To be answered with “ That’s the way things have always been” is the first sign that things aren’t as good as they can be.

I have always resisted what I call “canned culture”, that is things that are seemingly packaged for mass consumption in terms of popular culture. My examples include things like everyone talking about “Stranger Things, Downton Abbey, Critical Race Theory, or “Woke”. The last veto are simply political talking points that are not defined and are only used to instill fear into people. The “canned culture” is the fact that people readily consume those things without knowing what they are.

I consider myself “Woke”. I’m proud of it in the terms that I understand it.