I think I finally understand what ‘woke’ means

By admin
July 3, 2020
3 min read

Woke (/ˈwoʊk/) as a political term of African American origin refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. It is derived from the African-American Vernacular English expression “stay woke“, whose grammatical aspect refers to a continuing awareness of these issues.


I first heard of the term ‘woke’ when I watched Marlon Wayans Netflix special Woke-ish. I am embarrassed to say that even after the special I was confused about the term, but maybe that is because of my white privilege. I am half-Mexican and half-Italian, but you cannot tell I am Mexican as I don’t speak much Spanish; and basically I look white. But finally after George Floyd and all of the protests I can say now I am woke-ish.

I really didn’t understand how deep racism ran throughout our culture, but now I understand racism permeates every part of us and our culture; and we need to question everything now. I didn’t even realize that cops were co-writers and contributors to cop shows on television. These shows try to lure over the viewer into believing that is is acceptable for cops to beat a confession out of a suspect, or break into someone’s house without a warrant … these shows do this to change our view as a culture over time. After watching these shows we eventually believe that all cops are good and that violence used by the police is justified. After hearing that cops use the violence on cop shows as a selling point for their racism, it really struck me how deeply racism is rooted in our society. I also found it really creepy that the police would use shows in this manner to sway our opinion (although many would argue that the police are not swaying our opinion but rather keeping our racist opinions in place … not allowing for any woke-ish ideas or feelings). I felt very scared after learning this about cop shows.

I felt like quite possibly everything might be a tool for the white supremacy. I never questioned the statues around us, but they too were a tool for the white supremacy … they were and are a reminder of slavery for the entire nation. At first glance at the Teddy Roosevelt statue on public land at the American Museum of Natural History. I could not see the racism at first, but then I saw it … it is a glaring message that whites are superior to everyone else and I am glad the statue is being taken down. When you first look at the Teddy Roosevelt statue if you aren’t woke you don’t see the message, but if you look deeper then you see it. The statue is Teddy Roosevelt sitting on a horse above a walking American Indian and black slave. If you are not woke and you are experiencing white privilege you may not initially see the injustice of this statue, but them it becomes clear … Teddy Roosevelt is not only above the black slave and American Indian but he is on a horse and they are walking … clearly if all three were equal they would all be on a horse.

There is so much to talk about regarding the state of woke-ishness or being woke, and I intend to write about it every day until Trump is out of office.

[to be continued]

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