What it Means to be "Woke"

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

In our American cultural vernacular many words once considered slang have come into common use. Many of these terms distill complex and varied meanings into a single word. Some of those words include: Salty, shade, props, ripoff, copacetic, grind, beef, geek, and many others.

There is another word in our cultural vernacular that describes a personal state of awareness and engagement on issues in our society: That word is "woke." 

In a society where many have become tone deaf, selfishly motivated, and walled off from the struggles and unique challenges of people, to be "woke" to their plight is a virtue.

Being aware of the plight of others for a brief period of time is not a characteristic of being woke. People who are woke are always aware of others and seek to bring both attention and help to people as "brothers and sisters" and not only within an ethnic context.

Below are my points of view on issues of concern. Your points of view may differ.

You are WOKE...

1. When you see the world as it is, both in its beauty and tragedy, not from an idealistic perspective.

2. When you recognize that the root cause of American racism is white supremacy* and do not avoid the issue by succumbing to feelings of guilt, fragility, or diverting attention from the issue by false equivalence.

4. When you understand that poverty is not a measure of personal immorality and wealth is not a measure of morality.

5. When serving God and others is one's focus, not hedonism.

6. When you understand that God does not follow us, but that we must follow Him.

7. When you are aware and not silent about the problems of gentrification, mass incarceration, attempts to disenfranchise voters, police brutality, disrespect of police, and other society-level injustices.

8. When you are aware of the benefits of your privilege and do not pretend that everyone has an equal opportunity or find fault with people who do not match your privilege-driven standards.

9. When you neither justify nor excuse abuse of authority on the part of people in authority.

10. When you do not consent to the marginalization of the professional free press.

11. When you recognize that public education is viewed by many as both a profitable enterprise and a means to fund private schools with public funds.

12. When you recognize the high value of human life from womb to tomb--not only in the womb.

13. When you know that some efforts to study and help the poor are not designed to help elevate them into the middle class, but keep them as a permanent underclass, which provides careers, funding and income for many people.

14. You understand that the 45th president of the United States is historically and demonstrably unfit for the office he holds, needing prayer and accountability.

15. When you recognize that selective support for Black people who manage other Black people is valued more than recognizing Black people as peers who are worthy of serving and leading all people.

16. When you understand that making multi-culturalism a standard, when African-Americans (as one American minority group among others) comprise only 13% of the population while White Americans comprise 65% of the population, that the majority population ends up in control of everything.

17. When you understand that African-American history and culture are foundational to American history and culture.

18. When you recognize that the Confederacy was a traitorous enterprise and its monuments to leaders of the Confederacy are an affront to American identity and unity.

19. When you know that many white folks are "woke" and have stood shoulder to shoulder with African Americans and against white supremacy.  On August 13, 2017 Heather Heyer died while protesting in Charlottesville, Virginia against the "Unite The Right" Neo-Nazi, KKK, and white supremacist rally. 

20. When you recognize that America is great because of our unity and diversity not because of single culture nationalism. "We The People" are E Pluribus Unum, meaning "Out of Many One."

*White supremacist definition: "A person who believes that white people are better than other people and should have control over others."