I’m Woke And Proud Of It

Okay, folks … I’ve had about enough of the bandying about of the word “woke”.  Technically, ‘woke’ means eyes open and functional, not sleeping.  Um … correct me if I’m wrong, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless it’s 4:00 a.m. and you’re ‘woke’ because you’re in pain, or because your mind won’t shut down.  But a certain group of people in this country have given the word ‘woke’ new connotations … in their view, the word ‘woke’ is synonymous with the word ‘liberal’ … which again, is not a bad thing, is not the evil it is being portrayed as.  Frankly, I’ve had enough of this crappola, enough of humanitarianism being vilified!

By any definition, yes, I am ‘woke’.  I believe in helping people in need.  I believe in doing everything in our power to preserve life on this planet, even if it means sacrificing convenience and comfort sometimes.  I believe in equality for all, not just people with white skin, not just people who call themselves ‘Christians’, not just people who, by luck of the draw were born male, and not just people who fall in love with a person of the opposite gender.  I believe those of us who can, have an obligation to others who need help.  I do not value wealth, but place far greater value on true philanthropy.  I also open my eyes, climb out of bed, and manage to somehow function each day.  So, yes, I am woke.

More and more I hear those of us with consciences referred to as ‘woke’ in derogatory terms, as if it were a condition to be overcome.  One recent example …

  • “These ‘woke’ members need to be defeated in detail this upcoming election. Our children’s lives and futures are at risk when our school boards here in Florida and around the nation shove (critical race theory) and transgender nonsense down their throats. ‘WOKE’ SOBs operating in many counties and on many school boards across the country have to be voted out or censured and some just need to be arrested.” – Michael Flynn, Former three-star general who once led the U.S. military’s intelligence agency.

Be arrested simply for being a humanitarian.  Remember when President John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  I guess Flynn missed that speech.

Merriam-Webster, in a nod to the pop cultural redefinition of the word as “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues,” like “race and social justice.”  So … why is that a bad thing?  Why is it wrong to believe that white and Black and Asian and Hispanic people should all have the same opportunities?  Why is it wrong to teach children that this country has not always been fair?  Why is it wrong to show young people that remnants of our racist past still exist today, especially in the area of law, employment, and housing?  If we teach them, then perhaps their generation can accomplish what ours could not and eradicate racism.  If we fail to teach them, if we cover up the truth, the reality, then … they don’t stand a chance of doing any better than we have to date, and that’s a pretty piss-poor job if you ask me.

It seems to me that many of those who are followers of the people who have weaponized and demonized a seemingly innocuous word are simply on a trip, along for the ride, they haven’t given any particular thought to what it means to be ‘woke’, but rather are content to believe, as their favourite politicians have said, that it is a bad thing … a very, very bad thing to be ‘woke’.

So … what, then, is the opposite of ‘woke’?  Well, in the real world, it is simple … ‘sleeping’.  Those who demonize ‘woke’ must be asleep at the wheel, yes?  Some of the antonyms (opposites) are:  hypnotized, mesmerized, and lulled.  Hmmmm … seems like that pretty well fits most of those who think they are criticizing us by calling us ‘woke’, doesn’t it?  So, which would you rather be?  “Aware and attentive”, or “mesmerized and lulled”?

Yes, I am ‘woke’ by any definition of the word, and I’m glad I am, for the opposite would be unacceptable to me.  Now if only those who are falling for the attempted denigration by spitting that word as if it were something distasteful, nasty, would wake up and smell the coffee, would see that they are being led like sheeple …

Being ‘woke’ is not an insult, it is a compliment.  Back a few years ago, the word these same people used in their attempt to denigrate humanitarians was one that I was called: ‘snowflake’. Each time, I would thank the person who said it, telling them I felt honoured, for snowflakes are beautiful and each one is unique.  The same is true with ‘woke’ … it is a compliment and only the most ignorant can be convinced that it is wrong to care about people, to care about the future of the planet, to care about leaving the world just a little bit better than we found it.

40 thoughts on “I’m Woke And Proud Of It

  1. I am not woke. I am a conservative, one of the ones you label controlling, racist, extremist, homophobic, mysognistic, theocratic, etc. Conservative is just a word too, no better or worse than woke.

    However, we do agree on much. I also want to help people in need. I want to preserve life on the planet and will give up comfort and convenience to achieve that. I believe in equality for all people, not just whites, Christians, males, straight people. I too place greater value on philanthropy than wealth. I wake up with eyes open too. I believe Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics should have the same opportunities as everyone else. I believe we should teach the whole truth about history, the good and the bad. I have little disagreement with the principles you espouse.

    Here is the real problem though: a lack of critical thinking. A large portion of today’s education system indoctrinates, it does not teach children to think for themselves. We must challenge every idea: woke or conservative, whatever origin. Political dialogue today comes down to the boxes you’ve checked. Check the right boxes you are a friendly; check the wrong boxes you must be attacked, no matter your reasoning for arriving at your positions. Challenging certain ideas is criticized today, especially in academic environments, the place you would least expect this narrow-minded view. Logic, reason, facts, data are not used for some many arguments today. AOC said: “Facts don’t matter when you are morally right”. Today, arguments are won by emoting, you must make an appeal to the emotional side of the brain, not the other side. So, we believe things without ever testing or challenging those ideas (try testing the notion that abortion is truly a good thing. Find out all you can as to why the other side objects to it. Truly test your belief and commitment if you dare). This reliance on emotion rather than logic leads us to bizarre positions that cannot be adequately defended; they must simply be affirmed so we can all unite behind them.

    That’s the problem with “woke”, the emotional rather than the reasoned arguments. I know you care. You care a great deal. You believe strongly. Yet, so do I. Too many fail to test or examine their beliefs; they can’t articulate why they believe them, but so many others do, so they must be true. Too many criticize others positions without ever taking time to understand their reasoning. Science has been advanced in the past because a few radicals like Copernicus, Gallileo, Einstein, etc. challenged conventional wisdom. We’ve made this same mistake repeatedly in the past.

    Be a skeptic of your own ideas as well as your opponents. Test your beliefs regularly; update them as needed. Do not hold on to your beliefs long after they have been disproven or failed miserably in the public arena.


  2. ‘They are being so Woke’
    Translation into actually english stripped of deflection.
    ‘I am a narrow minded person privileged by income, race or gender, and I don’t want anyone suggesting we have equality for all’
    C’mon you users of Woke as a derogatory term, at least have some spine to admit what you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You can be for social justice & not be “woke”. If being “woke” means being for putting kids on puberty blockers, I will NEVER be “woke”.

    I have ALWAYS been for social justice, ever since I was a very young child. But there’s some things I can’t get behind, like putting kids on drugs & mutilating healthy children because of ideology. If that’s woke, then there’s something wrong with the whole idea of being awake & I’d rather be dreaming of a better world.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I agree with you regarding mutilating and drugging healthy kids. Yet, the people who do this say they care about the kids. Those opposed to these practices are criticized by advocates repeatedly; we are labeled as homophobic or transphobic. Yet we too care about the kids. We are not trying to control people or just put another notch another in our belts; we just want what is best for our children and our nation’s future.


  4. “Technically, ‘woke’ means eyes open and functional, not sleeping” …. No, that’s not what “woke” means. That’s what “awake” means. “Woke” is a political term which means something else & now it means that you ignore reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is used exactly the same over here, as an insult. And the glory of it is, it was weaponised by the right because they had no legitimate way to counter the values we believe in, and so they are reduced to attempting to give it a pejorative meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re exactly right, Mick. But it shows that their purpose is not better governance, not to do their jobs well to help the nation and its people, but rather to garner votes. Nothing more. And to do so, since they have no strong values that would win them votes, they have to try to tear the rest of us down. It is so counter-productive, and meanwhile … we continue to pay them!!!

      Liked by 1 person

          • ALL but a select few do that. A politician, Left/Right/Center, has as the first goal being re-elected. It matters more than governing. In fact, holding on to the issue, not resolving the issue that wins a campaign for you, is done repeatedly–by ALL sides, not just the side you are beholden to. Why do you think abortion and climate change have been issues for the last fifty years? They win votes for their advocates, so they would rather they not be resolved, but kept alive to produce a never-ending supply a votes. They talk about them but when they have an opportunity to resolve them, they often pass. Solve the issue and your voters may be forced to look at other issues and switch allegiance to the other party. The overwhelming majority of these folks running our country are awful, on ALL sides. Return to term limits so we can rid of these bums and return governance to a true public service.


  6. Here’s an article from the BBC:
    Let’s talk about it: What does ‘woke’ actually mean?

    The premise is simple: San Diegans ask us the questions they have about race and other equity issues and we try to answer it by talking with a local expert. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we think this is a good first step and a way to keep the conversation going.

    Our first question comes from Mike Milton. He’s recently retired from the U.S. Navy and is now studying historic preservation. He identifies as white and politically liberal or center-left.

    His question: “What is it about woke or wokeness? What’s the definition of that?”

    Milton says he mostly hears the word being used on conservative media outlets like Fox News, but he’s not really sure what it means.

    To answer Milton’s question, we reached out to Damariyé L. Smith, Ph.D. He’s an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Black/African American Rhetoric and Media Studies at San Diego State University who studies the power of words and persuasive speaking.

    In other words, he’s the person to talk to when it comes to understanding how a word like “woke,” which originated in Black American vernacular, has changed over the years. He says “woke” is just another way to say critical thinking. It means having consciousness about the systems we live in and how they can produce unequal outcomes.

    The following conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

    KPBS: What’s the origin of the word “woke?” When did it first start getting used?

    Damariyé L. Smith: So there’s a lot of things in language that have the same meaning, but just have a different terminology. I would argue that woke really starts around the early 1960s and ’70s with the Black Power movement and civil rights issues of the time. It wasn’t just called woke, it was called consciousness. And so consciousness or this idea of staying woke was about Black people, in particular, thinking about and questioning what are the ways in which our government is not necessarily protecting us as citizens, not just in the South, but everywhere.

    How does the term “woke” go from being a term that really refers to consciousness and systemic thinking in Black activist circles in the 1960s, when do we start to hear the term more again in the 21st century?

    Somewhere around 2012 and 2014 we started seeing stuff about “staying woke” because again, at this time, you have cell phone videos of people capturing police brutality. I would say around 2013 is when you kind of really start seeing that term being used more especially under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter. When social media becomes bigger and bigger and bigger, people start to pay more attention to it.


    I believe this (derogatory) term “woke” has devolved to express dissatisfaction with ppl who identify ideologically with the establishment (both on the left & right) but brainwashed into thinking they know “the truth”, are easily manipulated and becoming sock-puppets for the power elite. Identity politics, race baiting, bs culture wars are used as tools to divide and conquer the gullible masses under the guise of “wokeness”. I can give examples if u like 🙂


    • I’m pretty sure, from having read a few of your posts and from your comments here, that you are definitely ‘woke’! Glad I could help you to understand the connotation! It puzzled me for a long time … couldn’t figure out what the heck they meant. The Republicans here are slaughtering the English language in their search for insults!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love to be woke! And I am quite proud when people call me woke. They recognize that I am a person in favour of social justice for all. To me, the antonym for woke is brainwashed, because a person has to be brainwashed to not want to help their fellow humans. Another antonym would be heart-dead, because if they do not feel empathy for those worse off than them, then they might as well be dead!
    Keep saying “Thank you!” to those who recognize your wokeness. They can’t stand it when their insults are accepted as compliments.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, and ‘mesmerized’ comes pretty close to ‘brainwashed’, I think. I will never understand how anybody can not care for others, for the planet, for the animals that are dying out due to our own carelessness. I’m happy to be woke … I couldn’t live with myself if I were otherwise.


  8. Jill, I am truly not a fan of this “woke” BS. It is a label used to deride without people fully understanding what the insult is supposed to be. But, indulge this 64 year old white man raised in the south who was a Republican for 20 plus years, a Democrat for less than 5 years and an independent for the last 15 plus years,

    If awake is another word for woke, then it concerns me that the “woke-accusers” support the former president’s bogus and woefully unproven election fraud claims, try to white wash his involvement in an insurrection against the government, rationalize his taking classified materials to a secure site that had an intrusion a few years ago by a Chinese agent, and tell people how pro law enforcement they are when they vilify police officers who tell the truth about withstanding Trump instigated seditionists.

    I am awake to these things as they concern me. I also am awake to the fact people who do not look like, love like, present gender wise like or worship like me have their rights being infringed on. I am also awake to the fact Michael Gerson, a conservative pundit, had said “the Republican Party is in decay.” So awake, woke, cognizant or aware matters as these folks are paying attention to what is happening. These are the folks whose opinions matter more to me. So, if I am woke, the response is “thank you for noticing.” Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly, my friend. I despise the labels that some think it is necessary to attach to people simply because they think differently. However, if they are going to label me as ‘woke’, then that’s fine with me … as you said, ‘thank you for noticing.’


  9. I, too, am woke. I want to help people. From one point of view, we’re only as strong as a nation as the weakest people within our borders. Treating everyone fairly and equally is a matter of national security.

    I started thinking that long ago, probably something I spirited out of something read. It’s a limited scope. On a larger scale, we have but one planet. Resources are limited. Moving forward to protect our planet and all of its inhabitants require everyone be treated fairly and equally. And yeah, I’m dismally aware of the blatant hypocrisy embedded in my statement as I buy food grown outside of the U.S. and products created where people are treated miserably. I’ll not defend that other than pouring out the weak tea, I’m trying.

    Third, though, who the hell am I to decide what ‘rights’ others should have? Why should I not help others? Others have helped me throughout life without ever asking for anything back. I’m just carrying it forward. Too many others who will deny rights, recognition, opportunity, or equality to others do so from the false basis that they’ve being denied what they deserve. More simply do it out of misguided hatred. If you really want a better world, you damn well better be ‘woke’. There is no going back to a better time.

    Sorry for the meandering reaction. Hugs and cheers, M

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t apologize for your meandering thoughts, my friend! I am in agreement with all you say and my thoughts often take similar turns. I never understand how people can simply ignore or tune out the needs of others. ‘Tis true that we cannot help everyone in need, and those who COULD, live in their ivory towers and refuse to. But, we do the best we can … people like you and I give what we can, help where we can, and would do more if we had the wherewithal. We SEE the needs of others, whereas some do not even notice.

      I’m also confused by this notion of “America First” … people are people wherever they live!!! A child starving in India or Sudan is just as much in need as a child starving in Chicago! And, as you say, the entire planet is suffering from the ravages of climate change … of people and corporations putting pleasure and profit ahead of all else. There are water shortages already in many places, food shortages, and both are beginning to show up here in the U.S. as well. If we don’t get our heads out of our collective arses, the human race is on a path of extinction, but the ‘unwoke’ refuse to open their eyes and see what is happening right outside their doors.

      If it’s a crime to care about people, about the planet, about all life, plant, animal, and human, then I am a criminal. I am what I am, though, and I have to live with my conscience 24/7, whereas I can tune out the rest of the world when I need to. Hugs ‘n cheers, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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