The Fundamentals of Being “Woke”, Good or Bad, Why? (1 Viewer)

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    Huntn

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    To be "woke" politically in the Black community means that someone is informed, educated and conscious of social injustice and racial inequality, Merriam-Webster Dictionary states



    By definition “Woke” means awareness, awareness of social injustice and racial inequality. More importantly in my mind as a fiscally moderate Caucasian who leans liberal on social issues, it is vital that we live up to the standards as put into place by our Founding Fathers, equality before the law, equal rights, and equal opportunity, in essence a level playing field for all, the right not to be discriminated against in the public market place or in public education. Btw, by standing by these principles, does this make me a conservative or a liberal? :)

    So why are Conservatives at war against being woke And why ban it in the classroom? How can being educated about our past and social injustice be bad? Is it because:
    • This stuff is all made up?
    • Well it happened but don’t feel comfortable acknowledging it?
    • It is still happening?
    • I don’t want to be blamed for it?
    • It will be used to take away personal advantages?
    • Or it is going to cost me money?
    Imo, the real issue here racial inequality and injustice is that not only is it not made up, it’s not in our past either. It is ongoing and we need face this responsibly.
     
    Woke" is currently the favorite word of the right. Republican politicians can't go more that 5 or 6 words without peppering "woke" into their sentences. Turning on Fox News, you'll hear the word "woke" repeated ad nauseam, like a record skipping, but for hours at a time: "woke woke woke woke woke."

    Everything is "woke": Banks. Children's books. The military. Disney. M&Ms. Super Bowl performances. To be a Republican in the year 2023 is to spend every waking moment outraged and terrified by "woke," certain its wokey tendrils will snake their wokeness into your brain and woke-ify you into wokeitude.

    But the funny thing about "woke" is that, while all Republicans hate it, they don't seem to have any idea how to define it. That was hilariously demonstrated in a viral video clip of conservative author Bethany Mandel falling completely apart when asked in an interview to define "woke," a concept she wrote an entire book denouncing. Mandel couldn't do it.

    "So, I mean, woke is sort of the idea that, um..." she stammered before admitting it "is something that's very hard to define," and then failing utterly to get close.

    Mind you, Mandel was not being cornered by some progressive journalist. She was on a reactionary show with two sympathetic hosts who bent over backward to give Mandel room to explain what "woke" meant, coaxing her gently with, "take your time." Yet she still couldn't define "woke."

    This made a lot of people laugh, as it should. But make no mistake: The inability to define "woke" is a feature, not a bug. "Woke" is very much meant to be a word that cannot be pinned to a definition. Its emptiness is what gives it so much power as a propaganda term.

    "Woke" is both everything and nothing. It can mean whatever you need it to mean, and you can deny that it means what it obviously means. The ephemerality of "woke" is what makes it so valuable. "Woke" morphs into being when a right-winger needs to feel outrage and evaporates into thin air should anyone try to ask a rational question about it.

    It wasn't so long ago that "woke" was a slang term from Black America, and it meant something substantive and easy to define. To be "woke" was to refuse to be complacent about social injustice.

    This definition offended Republicans, whose very existence depends on complacency in the face of social injustice. So as an act of very racist revenge, they appropriated the term "woke," turning it into a catch-all insult for anything that annoys them.

    In right-wing mouths, the term "woke" is very slippery, which is necessary for people who both want to be bigots but don't want to be called out for it. Labeling someone or something "woke" allows Republicans to live in a liminal space, communicating a vile belief to their fellow travelers while maintaining that's not what they meant at all.

    For instance, imagine you're a trollish Republican congresswoman from Georgia, and you want to commiserate with your followers about how aggravated you are that they let Black people perform songs at the Super Bowl. In your grandparents' era, this would be expressed by muttering racial slurs to your friends over chicken wings during halftime. Now, however, that gets you called "racist." So instead you just tweet that every performance not from a white guy was "woke.".

    The beauty of "woke" here is how vague it is. If your critics call you "racist," you simply say you aren't mad at Rihanna and Sheryl Lee Ralph because they're Black. You can say it's just that they have an ineffable "woke" vibe that offends you. In the grand tradition of victim-blaming, Greene shifts responsibility to Rihanna and Ralph to somehow be less "woke."

    But of course, that's an impossible target to hit, even if they wanted to. (Outside of disappearing entirely, naturally.) Greene declines to explain what makes them so "woke," if it's not their skin color that so offends her.

    Or say you're the pinch-mouthed Republican governor of Florida and you want to terrorize LGBTQ people back into the closet. Banning homosexuality, at least for now, is out from a legal standpoint. Plus, being proudly prejudiced against people based on sexual orientation is politically unpopular.

    So instead you redefine any behavior that offends you — being out of the closet, publicly supporting LGBTQ rights, writing a book about two male penguins in love — as "woke." Now you can crush human liberty while pretending to merely hold the line against this elusive threat of "woke."..................


     
    The term "woke" appears to be immune to all definition, at least by conservative commentators.

    Fox News' Dana Perino, a co-host of round-table talk show "The Five", stumbled through her own attempt to explain woke, eventually invoking the Supreme Court's obscenity observation – "I know it when I see it" – and likening it more to a "feeling."

    "One of the things about woke ... can you explain it to your mom?" Ms Perino said, before recounting how Donald Trump used to get standing ovations for deriding the idea of "political correctness."

    She then made the obscenity comparison, saying woke is "sort of like the Supreme Court definition of pornography, you know it when you see it."

    "Democrats want to get you in an argument where if you have to define 'wokeism' as if the Webster's Dictionary is defining it. That's not what it is," she said. "It could be feeling, it could be a sense."

    The discussion was sparked after former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explored on her new MSNBC show how consevatives’ demonisation of ideas they considered woke appears to have backfired in the midterm elections and may do so again in 2024.

    Ms Perino’s argument that wokeness is more of a vibe that causes a person to put pronouns in their Twitter bio might be less notable if Republican candidates and incumbents were not actively running campaigns based on anti-woke culture war rhetoric.

    Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who are expected to be the primary contenders in the 2024 Republican presidential primary – both frequently use the word "woke" in their campaign speeches, always as a term of derision……

    Yeah, a feeling, ANYTHING I DON’T LKE, just don’t expect a coherent reason why I don’t like t, that would reveal too much… about me. ;)
     


    Aw, the poor little victim that spent a year and a half in deep research, writing, and editing of a book centered on "woke ideology" doesn't even have a canned response to what should be the question that leads every single interview. And it's the fault of the lefty bullies for supposedly talking shirt about children moments before going on air. forking pathetic.
     
    Yeah, her “explanation” was really pathetic. I don’t care that she froze on air, that could happen to anyone. But to come back and smear the person who asked the question is really lame.

    Just another right wing nut playing the victim.....whilst spewing hateful and bigoted nonsense....
     
    The conservative writer Bethany Mandel, a co-author of a new book attacking “wokeness” as “a new version of leftism that is aimed at your child,” recently froze up on a cable news program when asked by an interviewer how she defines woke, the term her book is about.

    On the one hand, any of us with a public-facing job could have a similar moment of disassociation on live television. On the other hand, the moment and the debate it sparked revealed something important. Much of the utility of woke as a political epithet is tied to its ambiguity; it often allows its users to condemn something without making the grounds of their objection uncomfortably explicit...........


     
    The conservative writer Bethany Mandel, a co-author of a new book attacking “wokeness” as “a new version of leftism that is aimed at your child,” recently froze up on a cable news program when asked by an interviewer how she defines woke, the term her book is about.

    On the one hand, any of us with a public-facing job could have a similar moment of disassociation on live television. On the other hand, the moment and the debate it sparked revealed something important. Much of the utility of woke as a political epithet is tied to its ambiguity; it often allows its users to condemn something without making the grounds of their objection uncomfortably explicit...........


    That was ownership, I would love to see what would most certainly be Mandel's pathetic response....I particularly loved this line:

    "That kind of thinking leads to higher marginal tax rates for people with private planes."
     
    The conservative writer Bethany Mandel, a co-author of a new book attacking “wokeness” as “a new version of leftism that is aimed at your child,” recently froze up on a cable news program when asked by an interviewer how she defines woke, the term her book is about.

    On the one hand, any of us with a public-facing job could have a similar moment of disassociation on live television. On the other hand, the moment and the debate it sparked revealed something important. Much of the utility of woke as a political epithet is tied to its ambiguity; it often allows its users to condemn something without making the grounds of their objection uncomfortably explicit...........


    They really can’t say what woke is about honestly, because it would discredit their motivations to attack it. So they have to make **** up and hope Goober back home swallows. Odds are looking at the MAGA base, they will.
     
    Yeah, her “explanation” was really pathetic. I don’t care that she froze on air, that could happen to anyone. But to come back and smear the person who asked the question is really lame.
    And she still didn't define "woke," she just whined about being humiliated while virtue signalling to the far right.
     
    Woke includes the basic awareness of our past and fundamental harm done to African Americans both during and after slavery that lingers into the modern US. Besides after the Civil War, Southern States took active measures to suppress blacks, their abilty to prosper, and their voting rights. This effort continues today without apology using convoluted reasoning as to why the GOP feels the need to suppress the black vote.
    It is what they feel they need to do to continue to hold political power and call the shots.

    This is a PBS documentary on Netflicks outlining slave history in Florida. Several years ago, I heard a black professor describe the black experience in The United States as playing Monopoly, with the blacks circling the board 20 times and not having any wealth to buy property or allowed to buy property. :oops:

     
    good article
    ==========

    I was at the barbershop recently when Childish Gambino’s 2016 track “Redbone” popped up on a playlist. Singing about infidelity, Gambino — also known as Donald Glover — belts out, “Stay woke!” in the chorus. As we nodded our heads in unison to the song, someone asked, “How did ‘woke’ become the new scary term? Do they even know what it means?”

    We all had a wry laugh about language that has been misappropriated over the years, but the distortion of “woke” has been particularly insidious.

    I must give credit to the Silent Majority, the Moral Majority, MAGA, Q-Anon and all the other iterations of conservatism that Republicans have transmogrified into over the past five decades: They are masterminds at coming up with messaging that scares the Jim Crow hell out of their base. “Woke” is their latest stunt.

    In the 1960s, it was “Black Power,” a term about empowerment and self-reliance popularized by Kwame Ture, also known as Stokely Carmichael. Conservatives rebranded the term, which became a catch-all phrase to scare White voters that “Negroes” were taking over. Those two words would then be twisted by “White Power” adherents who, according to the ADL, deliberately mimicked the term “Black Power.”

    Some years later, former California governor and later President Ronald Reagan famously deployed the “welfare queen” narrative, framing public assistance as a Black issue, even though more White people than Black have been helped over the years by those federal aid programs.

    After Reagan, George H. W. Bush invoked the name of Willie Horton, a convicted Black man on weekend release from prison to rile up his base, during the 1988 presidential campaign. The Bush team made Horton a symbol of allegedly lenient prison furlough programs that were supposedly sending murderers and rapists into the suburbs.

    Bush rocketed in the polls, framing his opponent, Democrat Michael Dukakis, as weak on crime. Bush won the presidential election and the Willie Horton television commercial — an ad General Colin Powell described as being “racist… cold political calculation” — was a turning point in the campaign. Yet again, Republicans had found a potent symbol of how to effectively manipulate voters’ fears.

    Over the past several years, co-optation of language by the GOP has been on overdrive, due in part to the advent of social media. Once upon a time, politicians hammered incendiary language in speeches and interviews; Today, they have the ability to disseminate a similarly noxious narrative almost instantly online. Lee Atwater -— the brain behind the Willie Horton ad and other Southern Strategy tactics — would be proud. As he lay dying from cancer in the final months of his life, Atwater reportedly said he regretted the Horton ad, but the legacy of his racist actions lives on.

    The current list of terms that conservatives have weaponized is long and growing: Black Lives Matter. Defund the police. Critical race theory. Intersectionality. Now, add to it the ubiquitous — almost inescapable — word “woke.”

    To be clear, woke is not political, but it has been politically weaponized by bad-faith actors, mostly on the right. Being “woke” is not a term exclusive to the realm of social justice; it’s a decades-old slang in Black communities, meaning to “be aware.” For example: “I heard your man is cheating — stay woke!”

    Blues icon Lead Belly, at the end of his recording of the 1938 song “Scottsboro Boys,” talked about the need to “stay woke” after Black men and children were wrongfully accused of raping two White women in Alabama.

    In other words, be alert, keep your eyes open and watch your back — figuratively and literally.

    The mangling of “woke” cannot be solely placed on politicians. Celebrities and comedians have played a role: Bill Maher, Sean Penn, Russell Brand, Kanye West and Dave Chappelle to name a few, have all misused the word in recent years, contributing to the despoiling of a cherished cultural term. Either out of willful ignorance or arrogance, they deploy the term out of context, often while pouting about “cancel culture.”

    Meanwhile, pushing back against “woke-ism” has become a profitable business model for anti-woke warriors. John McWhorter wrote a 2021 book titled, “Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America,” this New York Times bestseller was partly popular because a Black writer was denouncing “wokeness.”............

    Even the most anodyne mention of civil rights is suppressed, as seen recently with revered figures like Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges.

    The boogeyman framing around “woke” is intentional. In 2021, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott complained about “woke supremacy,” a term with inescapable echoes of “White supremacy”— creating a deeply racist, false equivalency that pandered to a faction of the GOP in his state.

    It was a move that perhaps was not all that surprising coming from the only Black Republican in the US Senate, who is fond of saying that his family had gone from “cotton to Congress” when he downplays racism in his party. Not even Lee Atwater could have predicted the Southern Strategy tactics being used by Black politicians.

    There are no “woke” villains attempting to take over America. Is there sometimes unnecessary word policing? Can people be oversensitive? Can corporations overreact to the latest scandal or a trending topic? Absolutely, but that is not “woke-ism.” Labeling so-called overreactions or something you don’t like with a term rooted in Black communities, racializes — and shuts down — discourse many people claim we need........

     
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