What does woke mean?
If you find yourself asking this question, chances are you are questioning their motives. Woke as a term commenced with a strong political agenda. But, now that agenda is lost in the history books.
What Does Woke Mean?
Woke is an African-American borrowed term that was meant as a symbol to end racial discrimination. The earliest use of this word was by Jamaican philosopher Marcus Garvey in his book ‘Wake Up Ethiopia.’ Originally written as a signal to promote activism and awareness against political (mostly racial) issues.
However, this clearly did not define why you are searing, ‘What does woke mean.’ If it was this simple, the term wouldn’t receive such a negative remark in the press daily. The sheer ‘woke mob’ culture is plaguing everyone planning to make a remark against anything that is ‘politically trendy’ now.
The woke mob’s motto seems to be the only one!
‘Freedom of speech is all right, as long as it is not hurting us sensitive souls.’
This is eradicating the harmony people used to have amidst their differences in opinion. Almost dividing the world into two, as if there is nothing better to connect with other than someone’s political agenda or opinions on pressing social issues.
So, what does woke mean today? Let’s find out.
What Is A Woke Mob
Something that started as an awareness agenda for racism is now becoming the cornerstone for everything LGBTQ, Homophobic, Misogynistic, and other aggressive biases. Although these are the painfully prevailing issues, it is the hyper-vigilant motives of the woke mob that derail the issue.
Rather than discussing the real problem that the victims of these microaggressions are facing, they all jump toward condemning that one person. Deleting that person in the name of ‘cancellation’ is far from helping the cause. Certainly successful in creating a fear among celebrities and social public figures.
But what about those whose cases don’t come up in the press?
In the name of cancellation, the woke mob simply makes public figures shut up and whitewash their personas. No individuality rather just parrot what the majority wants. Thus, it does not address the serious issues being faced by many everywhere, outside the realm of the internet and media.
Are We Too Woke?
When we ask what does woke mean, we also have to question whether we are too woke. Where is the woke mob steering their next battalion? Since crossing out public figures from every social media platform, boycotting their brands, and making them a figure of public disdain hasn’t eradicated pressing issues like:
- Climate change.
- World Hunger.
- Unfunded government schools.
- Pedophilia, &
- Criminal justice disparities among the rich and poor.
Lately, the woke culture is steering too much towards LGBTQ causes, and although denying their mental health issues is not right, it is also making them too sensitive. To the point that the person standing opposite with a slight remark is almost condemned to a lifetime of hostility.
If you open any Tweet or any news (depending on whether the matter is huge enough to get attention from the press), the subject matter lacks logic to varying degrees. Some of the dangerous woke culture ideas that are finding their place in reality are:
Cultural Appropriation is essentially the act of stealing and customizing someone else’s culture. Although we all agree someone’s culture shouldn’t be another’s Halloween costume, where the backlash ends. Does it continue if one appreciates a culture respectfully? Moreover, why are hyper-vigilants so bent on defending a culture that is not even theirs?
LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant, a professor of Africana studies at Williams College, says that the term “refers to taking someone else’s culture—intellectual property, artifacts, style, art form, etc.—without permission.” One wonders who in a particular culture has the standing to “give permission” to an outsider. To whom should I pay the proceeds for wearing a Sari?
Modern learning appreciates the mixing of cultures. This is how a homogeneous society becomes heterogeneous. Culturally sharing is always a good sign of a harmonious, pluralistic society. Think the woke cultures need to understand the difference between respectful and disrespectful patterns before delving into someone else’s culture.
Recently, actress Drew Barrymore was heavily criticized by a few ‘woke’ African-American activists for enjoying the rain one fine evening. Logic soon left the scene only to be replaced by talks about racial microaggression. Many believed that the woman condemning the actress for enjoying nature was not only sparking confusion but steering the woke mob towards dangerous grounds.
She accused Barrymore of being racist because she was seen frolicking freely through the rain. All because the ‘TikTok Frolicking Challenge’ began with a black man joyously frolicking on a meadow, encouraging everyone to do so. Soon, ardent TikTok fans started calling this the #Balckboyjoy.
However, monopolizing over a TikTok trend of something as simple as frolicking through rain is definitely taking the ‘woke’ too far.
The worst thing controversies as such do is distract people from the cases of racism still occurring in the shadows. After all, if we sit and waste our time determining whether frocking is racism, the endless racial microaggression by the police department towards the African-American community will remain unnoticed.
Radical Climate Activist
What does woke mean? Yes, being alert to the discrimination and wrongs of society. But #woke is becoming a radical movement itself where even criminal behaviors are justified.
A ‘woke’ incident that took the media by storm, engaging everyone, is the smearing of paint by climate activists. On June 14, two activists entered the “The Artist’s Garden at Giverny” and smeared yellow paint all over one of Claude Monet’s valuable paintings. Then, they proceeded to glue their hands to the glass.
They justified such an act by calling everyone who is willing to enjoy a beautiful painting from the days gone by but wouldn’t pay attention to their environment. Although a right cause, their execution failed to match the gravity of the climate situation. Rather, it managed to derail the subject to the destruction of valuable paintings.
What Woke Culture Is Not!
So, before you ask what woke means, it is important to understand what it doesn’t mean.
Woke doesn’t mean passing sexual education to children (ages 5-13) without parental concern and in the name of sex and gender education. The cases of parents suing schools for teaching explicit items over school curriculum in the name of ‘woke’ are getting higher in America. (Source)
Being woke doesn’t mean putting yourself above the court of law, i.e., presenting judgment towards someone before even a certified judge does. (Source)
Being a part of the woke mob doesn’t justify criminal behaviors. In fact, in some radical cases, it is giving criminals a loophole, and the ‘woke’ mob is throwing a blind eye towards it. (Source)
Finally, not everyone is trying to attack and psychologically mame one another. If you believe someone needs education, take it upon yourself. If you do not wish to afford that energy, stay away. Raising our voice towards the more concerning issues is more important than blasting someone on social media over ‘pronouns.’ It is high time we stay alert against the hyper ‘woke’ culture.