Everybody is talking about wokeness, what it means and how the Republicans killed it. A USA TODAY poll says most people (including Republicans) see the word as something positive. And yet, the Republicans are blaming ‘wokeness’ on the second-largest bank failure. What we all know is that it was first defined by Black people. So we asked Bakari Sellers (lawyer, CNN Commentator and Twitter master), “do we want it back?”
Some people say to me, “Wait! Tucker Carlson and other right wingers like DeSantis have come after ‘wokeness!’ What do you say about that?” My response is always, “Let ‘em have it.” Look, it’s been co-opted so much that it no longer means anything to Black people. “Woke” was a word for some of us Black folks who found a level of intelligencia, who began to study and understand who they are and where they come from, and began to think critically about the world around them. Now it has been co-opted by white people into something I don’t recognize.
Among people like Tucker, “woke” is a political term to describe people on the left who want to fight for social justice. And while that may encompass some of the traditional “woke” values, that ain’t what it is.
It’s funny to watch people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and other white people who do not understand co-opt this word into something negative. They’ve bastardized it and will continue to bastardize other methods, meanings, and words of empowerment, including “critical race theory.” Why? Because those words were, in fact, empowering and did encourage, enlighten and put some people on a path to learn more about themselves, this world and their place in it. At the end of the day, they can have it. But I’m not going give them hip hop, though.