What exactly does “woke” mean? When I first became aware of the term, I recall hearing that it meant someone who was aware of “social injustice.” If you professed to acknowledge your own “white privilege,” you were woke. If you could recognize a so-called micro-aggression and dub someone racist, you were pretty much woke, too. Perhaps it was meant to be a good thing, but these days, the use of the term “woke” to describe someone or something is typically meant as a pejorative. That’s probably why you don’t see many people bragging about being “woke” anymore — if they ever did at all.
Conservatives essentially took a word that self-righteous liberals used and made it an insult to highlight their hypocrisy and radical left-wing positions on social issues. Disney’s pushing of LGBTQ themes in their content, professional sports teams doing pride nights, schools carrying pornographic books in their libraries, and Bud Light partnering with Dylan Mulvaney all fall under the category of woke.
And the left can’t stand that this has become a negative thing. In fact, according to MSNBC, the word “woke” is now no different than saying a racial slur. MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart explained before the GOP primary debate Wednesday night that the word would likely come up a lot during the debate and that it “means so many different things to different people” before leaving it to MSNBC Correspondent Trymaine Lee to explain what it really means.
According to Lee, “For generations, the term woke was a part of black American in-speak. It meant to keep your eyes open, stay aware to the forces that might be around you that might want to cause you harm, be vigilant. But in recent years it’s been co-opted, some would say hijacked by far-right wing conservatives and turned into anything but a feeling of awareness.”
Lee then played a montage of Republican candidates using the word.
“Woke has become a charged political catch-all phrase often used as a battering ram and a battle cry, and to many, a slur,” Lee said in a voiceover of the montage, which eventually featured MSNBC guests decrying what the word has become, with one interviewee insisting that “woke” is “almost another way of saying black, it’s another way of saying the n-word.”
MSNBC previews the GOP debate by focusing on the party’s use “woke” which is apparently “another way of saying black. It is another way of saying the N-word.” pic.twitter.com/HouFTvOPuA
— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) August 23, 2023
While I can’t definitively speak to the history of the word “woke” and whether it has roots within the black community or not, that doesn’t explain how it suddenly became a slur. But what it does tell us is that MSNBC, a notoriously left-wing media outlet, isn’t particularly happy with the way conservatives have “hijacked” the term but even more so how effective using the term has been.
The radical left understands how powerful language can be, and when it loses control of the narrative, it desperately seeks to shame people to stop using words in ways it doesn’t like or words it has lost control over.
So don’t be shamed by these ridiculous accusations likening words to slurs. The war on wokeness is working, and the left just can’t stand it.