Opinion: Staying “Woke” Behind Social Injustice

Caine Blake, Editor: Virginia Bates

The word “Woke” and I have sort of a complicated relationship. Representing a doctrine of progress and hope, I can’t help but find myself aligned with the beliefs beholden to this word. Yet at the same time, the word “woke” has never been one that I felt defined me. The word just feels mocking or demeaning in nature, like taking a collection of diverse and legitimate political views and attempting to reduce them all into a word that is “hip and trendy” feels like it undermines the real seriousness and validity of said ideology.

As a result, I’ve never felt particularly identified with the term “woke.” When given the opportunity, I have never described myself as “woke”, as I’ve always felt there were superior ways to describe myself. The idea of referring to myself as “woke” just feels silly, as if I’m doing a disservice to myself and others by discounting my views in order to fit them all into one “cool” word. Using the word “woke” not only oversimplifies my own opinions but colludes them with a collection of other unrelated opinions that I may or may not hold.

In my opinion, the best solution to political classifications is to both align with general groups of ideology and then to argue every point on a case-to-case basis. Speaking for myself, at least, I don’t think a single label can explain how I feel about a collection of issues, and because of this in general, I’ve never felt like political labels helped express myself adequately. At the same time, I think that labels can help at least a little to give a general idea of where you stand and what is important so that you don’t need to have hour-long debates every time you talk. But when given the opportunity, you should.