For my generation, after the murder of Trayvon Martin, so many of us have become extremely conscious to the racial issues going on in our country. In addition to learning on our own, most of us graduated high school and moved on to college where we are submerged with all the deficits of the world. We are learning about women's right, politics, criminal justice, social reform, religion and a number of things we were previously ignorant to. Not all, but many of us are unlearning the pathologies and misinformation we were forced to believe and are slowly but surely beginning to think for ourselves. This has resulted in this interesting "wokehood" if you will.
Here are 7 things that are true if you’re a part of the wokehood:
1. You cannot watch mainstream movies and shows anymore.
I used to love reality television and I used to love "White Chicks." However, now I cannot watch anything, and I mean anything without analyzing it and criticizing it. When I watch shows such as "Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood," I don’t see music artist living their lives. I see transphobia, misogyny, unhealthy relationships, the plight of the black community, disregard for women and in the back of my mind i can’t help but think “ yet again, capitalist America is profiting off of black people and our music industry.” It's not that I don’t enjoy TV; It's that, our toxic ways of thinking are so ingrained in our society that of course they manifest themselves in our shows. I’m not looking for problems, the rest of yah just don't see them.
2. You cannot date regularly anymore.
We no longer look at just physical characteristics. A good personality isn’t going to suffice. Now, I have to know where your mind is at? How conscious are you? Are you in tuned with the world around you? We often find ourselves single because our expectations are too high. We do not want to teach our partners, we want to learn with them and if their mind is still asleep, if their minds are still on snooze- then we just can’t vibe with them. On the flip side, not many people want to date you neither. They find your way of thinking and living challenging and unattractive. I’d even venture to say they are intimidated by you. It is definitely the struggle out here to find bae.
3. You realize your family is problematic AF.
We love our family. We really do. But the way they think and their beliefs are so screwed up and backwards, you don’t understand how you share the same DNA. It's not that you think you’re better than them, its just you think way differently than them. As mentioned, our conditioning runs very deep and when you add religion and culture into, there are bound to be some very concrete differences. You can’t have conversations about views because you're always going to be the odd one out and it’s on rare occasions that they agree with you. They’re still your family, though, even if they’re voting for trump and think gay people are a punishment from God. You don’t agree with them and you try to teach them as best as you can without losing your mind.
4. You’ve had to cut off friends.
Unlike with your family, you can change your friends. It sucks when you realize your friends, your very own friends are homophobes, racial bigots, prejudice, sexist and just idiots. You argue with them constantly on social media because you refuse to allow their despicable opinions to go unchallenged. You learn the difference between respecting someone's opinion and discussing it respectively compared to annihilating someone verbally because they’re opinions are rooted in the oppression of a people.
Now that you are more in tuned with the social plights of our world, its kinda hard to remain optimistic. Your customized facebook feed is bombarded with so much struggle you are in a perpetual state of hopelessness. Hopefully, this is just a phase and the despair will turn into motivation. If I ever get out of my bag, I’ll let you know.
6. Intellectual conversation thrills you.
When you find like-minded people, you heart fills with hope. When you can share an article with someone and they don’t ignore it because it’s too much to read. When you can bring up an incident and they already know about it and want to discuss it!!! When your conversations aren’t only about relationships or gossip and you can talk for hours about everything. You realize you’ve been having the wrong conversations all along.
7. You realize some of the “woke” people are still asleep.
I use quotes around woke because I’m only using the term because of its familiarity. I’m not too fond of the term because of what it now implies. There is this elitist bubble around the woke community that is grounded in the very things woke people are supposed to fight against. So many woke people are just camouflaged bigots with an advanced vocabulary. You can’t be woke when it comes to the murder of black men, and disregard all the injustices other people face. You cannot pick and choose who matters and who doesn’t feel that the problem is that so many people learn a little bit and think they know it all. No. There is so much to the world and you cannot know everything. Admit that and don’t act like you know it all.