When did “Woke” Become a Negative Term?

Sleeping serves its purpose. Sometimes, we have magical dreams. Other times, we have dreams about people we haven’t thought about in a long while or dreams that remind us of things we need to accomplish when we wake up.

A long time ago I had a friend who slept over with her three-year-old grandson. In the morning, the child rose and exclaimed, “I waked up!”

I like to think I, too, have “waked up.”

If you are awake, life happens.

So why is “woke” such a bad term these days? Synonyms for “woke/awaken” include: acquainted, vigilant, knowledgeable, aware.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be all of those things.

According to dictionary.com, the newest term for woke means: being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. In mainstream use, woke can also more generally describe someone or something as being “with it.”

And what is wrong with being conscious of racial discrimination?

So why do people use “woke” as a negative term?

“Before 2014, the call to “stay woke” was, for many people, unheard of. The idea behind it was common within Black communities at that point — the notion that staying “woke” and alert to the deceptions of other people was a basic survival tactic. But in 2014, following the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, “stay woke” suddenly became the cautionary watchword of Black Lives Matter activists on the streets, used in a chilling and specific context: keeping watch for police brutality and unjust police tactics.” (site credit)

So, it appears to me that those who use “woke” in a negative tone are in denial of basic facts.

And just a reminder, synonyms for “deny” are: negative, ban, oppose, rebuff, reject, discredit.

I don’t know about you but I’d rather look like this:

katy perry smile GIF

than this:

Tired Episode 2 GIF by Friends

2 thoughts on “When did “Woke” Become a Negative Term?

  1. The reason the term woke has become negative is because so many people who claim to be woke see racial discrimination where it does not exist. Same with oppression and injustice. A person can be extreme in either direction. It is possible to deny something exists when it does and it is also possible to see something in places when it does not exist. You can run off the road on either side.

    Liked by 1 person

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