If you're reading The Root, chances are you at least know what it means to be “woke.” It's a level of consciousness that questions mightily and refuses to take things at face value. It's not quite Hotep, but if you're woke, you've allowed yourself to see what's real: systemic racism and a very strong disadvantage for people of color all over the world.
Usually, black people are the most woke because the disenfranchisement is happening to us, but there have been more and more white people who are speaking up and speaking out. Shout-out to the white people who are woke!
However, every once in a while, a black person questions why HBCUs exist or claims we don't need Black History Month or says she'd never hire someone with a ghetto name, all while bearing a ghetto name. Those people are the opposite of woke. Those people are sleep, sleepy—in fact, the sleepiest people on the planet. Here's a list of black celebrities who are catching up on all their z’s.
Editor’s note: This article contains a tweet that some may find offensive.
From her blatant support of Donald Trump to her claim that black people don't need Black History Month and soooo much more, Stacey Dash is just soaking up all the sleep. I guess that's how she got her good looks because … Sleeping Beauty.
Charles Barkley doesn't seem to like what #BlackLivesMatter is up to. When he appeared on radio's The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz, he said this:
The cops have made some mistakes; black people have made some mistakes. We have to sit back and be honest with each other. The cops have made some mistakes; that don’t give us the right to riot and shoot cops. We need the cops, especially in the black community. We as black people, we’ve got to do better.
Sir, are you assuming that all protesters are rioting and shooting cops? Because that's not what's happening. There's more:
There is some reason why there’s racial stereotypes, [because] some black people are crooks. Some of these black people out there are committing crimes. Let’s don’t sit there and act like all our hands are clean. We never get mad when black people kill each other; well, that always has bothered me. … I’ve always said we as black people, if you want respect, you’ve got to give each other respect. You can’t demand respect from white people and the cops if we don’t respect each other.
Maxwell recently tweeted and deleted, "This will not end good if we don’t do something. #americanlivesmatter #whocaresaboutcolor #humanlivesmatter." And why did he do that?! One of our senior editors, Yesha Callahan, took him to task for the controversial hashtag, and he promptly blocked her and sent the following tweets:
Honestly, this one is just … OK, so Chrisette Michele decided to hop on social media, tell everyone she's not a "political genius" and then go on in her social media manifesto about how she thinks boycotts are not the answer. Tell that to everyone who ever marched in Selma, Ala.; everyone who's ever been brutally hosed by police or attacked by dogs and who fought for change in America and lived to see it happen. We're still not as far as we could be as a nation, but we're in the Oval Office, performing on stages and owning many things because someone boycotted for us.
Tyga decided to get involved in the police-brutality conversation on Twitter in a series of tweets. He was making valid points about police involved in the shooting of unarmed black people and how he doesn't care whether or not they are innocent and that we need to speak up and vote. Then he made the fatal mistake of tweeting #AllLivesMatter. And black journalist Cory Townes went all the way in.
Wendy Williams made the HBCU comment heard 'round the world when she said, "I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically white college. We have historically black colleges. What if there was the National Organization for White People only? There’s the NAACP." She has since apologized for the error of her sleepy thinking, especially since Chevrolet snatched its checks from her grasp. And she even had Roland Martin on her show to school her on the topic. At least she learned something?
Where do I begin? I don't even think I need to write anything here. I should just share why Azealia Banks said she lightened her skin:
I don’t think it’s important to discuss the cultural significance of skin bleaching anymore because i think that just as African-American people or just as black people in this world, you assimilate. And there are things that, I mean … you accept not out of necessity but things that kind of become norm because it’s just happening all the time. I think that goes for black people or any minority.
Uhm, what?! That's not all.
She also said this:
Although I’m making a joke, all jokes come from a serious place. I think a big part of being a black person in America is … it’s accepted—people look at skin bleaching as something different, but I see it as … another assimilation thing. It’s just a continuation of the falsification of self that comes with being a black person in America. That can extend to speaking clear English or doing really well in academia. Whatever it is that black people make fun of each other for. It’s all a part of that respectable Negro stuff.
Y'all, I'm just going to leave this right here:
Here's a fun fact: Apparently, when your kids are mixed, it's hard to say "Black lives matter" … if you're Fetty Wap. *Rolls my good eye.* I get it. Fetty wanted us to care about the other half of his mixed children, but not like this.
This young starlet is typically such a joy to watch. Her personality is infectious, her country Chicago accent is adorable and she's got the kind of energy you want to be around. But then Keke Palmer's Twitter fingers got in the way while she was commenting on #BlackLivesMatter. She said that all lives matter because people are being murdered for religion, too. This is like going to an AIDS rally and asking someone to care because you have Parkinson's. Not the time, Keke, not the time.
Darrell Scott is pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland and burst onto the political scene last November when he pulled together a group of black pastors who were supposed to endorse Donald Trump for president. The Root’s political editor, Jason Johnson, spoke with Scott, and after he realized how giddy the minister was about flying on Trump’s private jet and the gold-plated seat belts he got to buckle, he knew he was dealing with the worst kind of opportunist—one who's willing to sell his soul for gold.
Why is Clarence Thomas so "sleep?" Is it because he's a self-hating Uncle Ruckus type, who hates affirmative action and racial quotas, even though one could argue it was a form of affirmative action/a quota system that got him on the Supreme Court? (He didn’t have the record to replace a lion like Thurgood Marshall.) Is it the fact that he never asked a question for, like, 10 years, and always sided with now-deceased super-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on everything? Could it have been what happened with Anita Hill? Or could he be sleep because he said this:
The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.
This guy endorses Donald Trump, and even though he's a former brain surgeon, he's an idiot. Do you remember what Ben Carson said about Harriet Tubman on the $20?
Andrew Jackson was the last president who actually balanced the federal budget, where we had no national debt. In honor of that we kick him off of the money. I love Harriet Tubman. I love what she did, but we can find another way to honor her. Maybe a $2 bill.
This sultry singer is a little more Hotep than she is sleep, but Erykah Badu's series of tweets about young girls and the pedophiles who can't stop gawking at them ruffled many feathers, including those of our associate editor, Kirsten West Savali. Badu placed the responsibility on these young women, telling them that they should dress less sexy. Wait, what?
A couple of her tweets are below, but since then, Badu has woken up a bit more and is now donating funds from her upcoming show to the African American 490 Challenge, a partner of Enough SAID, the Michigan Women's Foundation campaign to raise money to test more then 10,000 rape kits found abandoned in storage at the Detroit Police Department. Good for her for learning!
Someone wanted to step up her relevancy. Christina Milian tweeted, “All lives Matter” and was immediately met with venom. She then cleared everything up by admitting that she wasn't "up to date with the hashtags." Yeah, girl, that's it. At least she was bold enough not to delete her tweet.
I think Raven-Symoné had to be the first black celebrity to declare that all lives matter. It was back in 2015 after then-presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley said that all lives matter at a rally and later apologized, Raven-Symoné attempted to back him up, claiming that O'Malley didn't need to apologize. On The View she said this:
I understand what the “Black Lives Matter” hashtag means. It came in conjunction with everything that was going on with the police in Ferguson. You have to be sensitive in that statement, but he is right, all lives matter. … I think you have to open yourself up. It should be “All lives matter.”
The gag was when her white co-host Michelle Collins had to school her:
Why reappropriate something that was really such a powerful thing for the Black community, something that meant so much and still means so much? It’s such a positive thing. Why make that about everybody? It’s not about everybody.
Then there was that time Raven-Symoné said this:
I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American.
Thank you to Ancestry.com actually for sending me my DNA test … I am from every continent in Africa, except for one, and I am also from every continent in Europe, except for one. And for the last 400 years, my family has been living in Virginia. How long do you have to be in one country before you’re that?
And then this after a TV host said that Michelle Obama looked like an ape (later, Raven-Symoné went on to say that the first lady looked like a cat):
"I don’t think he was saying it racist … Michelle, don’t fire me from this right now, but some people look like animals. I look like a bird. So can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?
And then there's her stance on the n-word—that everyone should use it:
We don’t look at it as racism as the way your generation does. We’re trying to move forward.
Oh, and let us not forget how she wouldn't hire anyone with a "ghetto name":
I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.