What Does "Woke" Really Mean?
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Politics

What Does "Woke" Really Mean?

It's all about thinking.

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What Does "Woke" Really Mean?
staywoke

The word "woke" has made its way into political conversations, especially with millennials. "Woke" is tossed around often when discussing issues of social justice. This makes the definition muddled and often it is hard to understand what these slang terms really mean.

What we do know is the word "woke" is a compliment. It is often associated with having progressive values but is not exclusively restrained to those beliefs. Traditionally, woke means the past tense of being awake. This relates to social justice when you realize that you have to awaken yourself to the struggles people face in the world.

When you wake up to these realizations, it can be jarring. But being "woke" isn't easy. You have to seek out an understanding of the world that you are not accustomed to. To be "woke," a person must be widening their perception to the world and critically thinking about how they live in comparison with other people.

"Woke" rose to prominence with Black Lives Matter movement, hence why we often associate it with progressivism. People were told to "stay woke" to the idea that police brutality and systemic racism exist in our country.

Recognizing police brutality and other injustices does not mean you have to consistently be in line with progressives to be "woke." In the full sense of the slang term, you can be critically thinking about and recognizing systemic problems without considering yourself a "social justice warrior" (in the non-derogatory sense of the phrase.)

Being woke is about realizing where we go wrong and working to fix it, yet nobody is perfect and it is often difficult to be involved in politics without being "problematic" (Problematic meaning going wrong in some way, i.e. saying something certain progressives may find offensive.) Sure, being consistently offensive and unapologetic is a sure way to be labeled "not woke."

Yet it is important to recognize that faults can be mended and that someone being "problematic" shouldn't be a reason to protest their speeches in a campus. This is the case especially when other progressives are considered problematic by people such as college students.

The best way to stay "woke" is to listen to what others have to say, evaluate it and think critically about how that effects the world. Many people have many different ideas and no two people will agree on everything. The true way of being "woke" is all about thinking about other viewpoints and being willing to change if you are proven wrong. So yes, being woke is a good thing that we should all look for.

Stay woke.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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