Why do I love woke?

Woke is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) originally meaning alertness to racial prejudice and discrimination. Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as racial injustice, sexism, and denial of LGBT rights.

– from the Wikipedia entry on Woke

I love woke.

I know it’s popular to criticize woke these days, even among progressives and liberals. *

So why do I love woke?


I could say that I don’t love all of it. I don’t love some of the weird and obviously misguided and overzealous expressions of it. But that’s not completely true.

I even love the misguided parts of it. It’s what always happens when something new is adopted on a larger scale. It’s something for people to digest and process. And it’s something for us individually and collectively to learn from.


Why do I love it?

It’s a huge step forward compared to most of what we have seen in human history and most of what we see in the world today.

It may be just a glimpse of a more radical inclusivity in human history. Who knows what will happen in the future.

And I love inclusivity.

It allows for a far more rich society and for us to benefit from that richness. I love seeing minorities respected and included.

It feels good to treat people as I would like to be treated, with respect, welcome, and an acknowledgment that I too am valuable and have something to contribute.

It allows me to feel more included with my own peculiarities. And we all have those peculiarities. Even if we think we don’t, we may. And, at the very least, we have a very real potential to be in the minority in the future in one way or another. (In my case, it’s a disability.)

It’s a mirror for inner inclusivity. It’s an invitation for me to embrace more of my inner diversity. To get to know and consciously embrace more parts of me, which makes my own life far richer and opens up new possibilities for how to live my life in the world. If I want to explore and embrace my own richness, how can I not also do it in society?


Is this a naive view?

Perhaps, but I don’t think so.

I am very aware of many of the misguided and slightly ridiculous expressions of it.

And I am certainly not naive about how rare it is in human history and culture. It’s rare to find that kind of humanity and intentional inclusivity.


* This is an example of how something starts at the far right, and then for whatever reason is adopted by liberals and progressives. Are they aware that they are adopting ideas from the far right? Are they aware that they do exactly what the far right wants them to do? Are they aware that they often, perhaps without noticing, allow themselves to be shamed into it?

Are they aware that the right-wing folks who started with the woke-bashing do so in order to try to maintain their (often white male) privilege? And to justify continued bigotry and marginalization of large groups of people in society?

In my view, if you are against woke, that says something about you, and it’s not very favorable.


  • I love woke 
    • A huge step forward compared to just about anything in human history
    • Even the misguided parts of it, part of the package, part of what we collectively can learn from 
    • Inclusivity in society
    • Allows me to be included as well, with my peculiarities
    • And mirrors and invites inner inclusivity 

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