Oh No…Am I Woke?
by Michael Donahoe
I hear this term often these days, so I finally decided to look up the definition and see exactly what it meant.
It seems we hear it mainly as a negative thing, yet when I looked up the term in the dictionary, it does not seem so negative.
While looking online at dictionary.com, I found that woke means: having an active awareness of systemic injustices and prejudices, especially those involving the treatment of ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities; promoting inclusive policies or ideologies that welcome or embrace ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities.
I then went to merriam-webster.com and found a similar definition: aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice.
From there I went to urbandictionary.com and found the following: When this term became popularized, initially the meaning of this term was when an individual becomes more aware of the social injustice. Or basically, any current affairs related like biased, discrimination, or double-standards.
In an article by journalist Dan Rather, he describes woke as originating in African American English to mean an “awareness of racial and social justice. And in another of his articles he describes woke as a way of thinking, an approach to gaining a better understanding, a grappling with “important facts.” To be “woke” is to be aware.
A March For Our Lives founder David Hogg, describes being woke as choosing reality over conspiracy, hope over fear, courage over cowardice and empathy over cruelty for a better future. Woke is about addressing past injustices of our country- not because it’s easy but because it is hard and necessary to create a more perfect union.
So, what I determined was if woke means anything like any of these definitions, then yes, I am woke and proud to be so. I do not see a problem with being aware and concerned for others and the prejudices and injustices they have suffered, or still suffer.
I guess you will have to read back over the definitions and decide for yourself. For me, I will stick with being woke as being aware of systemic injustices and prejudices; actively attentive to important societal facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice. Not only being aware, but doing what I can to promote acceptance and equality for all people, no matter what they look like, where they are from, what they believe or who they love.
Michael Donahoe was added as a writer as his views fit perfectly with those of Done with Religion. He also writes on Substack at https://myopinionblog.substack.com/