What is ‘woke’

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by anglican74, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It’s a term that has been generally confusing to me, and I’ve found this website which translates ‘woke’ and other related terms into regular English, has anyone seen it?

    https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-woke-wokeness/
     
  2. S. DeVault

    S. DeVault New Member

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    Woke is simply agreeing with whatever the secular world decides is good or bad that week.
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Woke as a political term of African American origin refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. It is derived from the African-American Vernacular English expression "stay woke", whose grammatical aspect refers to a continuing awareness of these issues.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woke

    __________

    For those who would broadly consider themselves woke, the word has been weaponized against them. But the Fox/Young brigade often claim the same.

    The origins of woke, in this context – as forged by African American communities – dates back at least to the 60s, but its mainstream ubiquity is a recent development. Fuelled by black musicians, social media and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the term entered the Oxford English Dictionary only in 2017, by which time it had become as much a fashionable buzzword as a set of values. Some of those who didn’t keep up with the trend felt left behind: if you didn’t know the meaning of woke, you weren’t.

    Rather than rejecting the concept of wokeness outright, today’s detractors often claim they are rejecting the word as a signifier of pretentiousness and “cultural elitism”. However, as Fox and others have shown, it is as much to do with the issues of racial and social justice. Criticising “woke culture” has become a way of claiming victim status for yourself rather than acknowledging that more deserving others hold that status. It has gone from a virtue signal to a dog whistle. The language has been successfully co-opted – but as long as the underlying injustices remain, new words will emerge to describe them.
    https://www.theguardian.com/society...how-the-word-woke-was-weaponised-by-the-right

    _________

    woke
    The act of being very pretentious about how much you care about a social issue
    Yeah most people don't care about parking spaces for families with disabled pets. I wish they were woke like me.
    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=woke

    _________

    As it happens the term finds its early origins with Abraham Lincoln, where the Republican Party rad an add campaign in support of Lincoln under the headline 'Stay Awake' and that campaign was intended to stop the spread of slavery.
     
  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Thank you... As the scholars of wokeness describe their movement, https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-woke-wokeness/

    the concept 'woke' seems to be defined as possible:

    The notion of “getting woke” (or staying woke) is defined as being acutely aware of racial and social injustice—not just awareness and acknowledgement of isolated incidents, but awareness from a position of understanding systemic and institutional racism. … The notion of getting woke encapsulates the first stage of becoming an accomplice in addressing the system of racism… White accomplices should strive to be woke enough not to call themselves woke and instead strive to embody this state of being by building with people of color. … Be in a perpetual state of learning and be woke enough to know you are never woke enough.
    -Source: Roy, Laura A. Teaching While White: Addressing the Intersections of Race and Immigration in the Classroom. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD, 2018, pp. 150–151.

    Just so we’re all on the same page, we should mention that having knowledge about the facts of racism and the mechanisms that (re)produce racial inequality doesn’t necessarily make someone “woke.” There are many people who know the facts and use them to insist on anti-Black narratives and pursue public policy that enhance racial inequity. Knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient component of being anti-racist. You have to put your knowledge to use in order to eradicate the problems of racial injustice.
    -Source: Bunyasi, Tehama Lopez, and Candis Watts Smith. Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter. New York University Press, 2019, p. 12.


    New Discourses Commentary
    In brief, “woke” means having awakened to having a particular type of “critical consciousness,” as these are understood within Critical Social Justice. To first approximation, being woke means viewing society through various critical lenses, as defined by various critical theories bent in service of an ideology most people currently call “Social Justice.” That is, being woke means having taken on the worldview of Critical Social Justice, which sees the world only in terms of unjust power dynamics and the need to dismantle problematic systems. That is, it means having adopted Theory and the worldview it conceptualizes.

    Under “wokeness,” this awakened consciousness is set particularly with regard to issues of identity, like race, sex, gender, sexuality, and others. The terminology derives from the idea of having been awakened (or, “woke up”) to an awareness of the allegedly systemic nature of racism, sexism, and other oppressive power dynamics and the true nature of privilege, domination, and marginalization in society and understanding the role in dominant discourses in producing and maintaining these structural forces. Furthermore, being woke carries the imperative to become a social activist with regard to these issues and problems, again, on the terms set by Critical Social Justice. This—especially for white people—is to include a lifelong commitment to an ongoing process of self-reflection, self-criticism, and (progressive) social activism in the name of Theory and Social Justice (see also, antiracism).

    Historically, the term “woke” has been used somewhat extensively in slang throughout the twentieth century to refer to a state of awareness of the discrimination, disenfranchisement, and mistreatment of blacks, especially in America, and it is in that sense always had some connection to the critical mode of thought in the New Left. (See also, black liberation, liberation theology, false consciousness, and consciousness raising.) The term is alleged to have gained its first contemporary connotation in 2008 with the Erykah Badu song “Master Teacher,” in which Badu envisions and dreams of a world of racial equality and then advises genuine activism with the admonishment that listeners should “stay woke.” The term developed from there, particularly via black activism on Twitter.

    The term then gained particular significance and tied itself to the contemporary Social Justice movement in the mid 2010s as it became an activist watchword of the Black Lives Matter movement. There, say following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the phrase “stay woke” took on the very specific meaning of being aware of the reality (according to critical race Theory) of systemic racism in American society that activists blamed for being at the root of the incident. This has, in turn, led to the term being nearly synonymous with having a critical consciousness as provided through critical race Theory, although it has been appropriated through intersectional thought to apply to other issues of identity relevant to postcolonial Theory, queer Theory, feminism, and so on. It has since expanded and memefied further and is now seen from the outside as being wholly synonymous with having been converted to a Social Justice critical consciousness. As such, “wokeness” often refers to both critical Social Justice doctrine and the state of having accept it.
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Social justice, critical consciousness (or critical theory), and wokeness all involve a mindset that is incompatible with Christianity. The following article draws some contrasts between the worldview of Christianity (in which we all are created by God and we define our worth vertically, as children of God, in relation to Him) and the worldview of "critical theory" (in which we are either 'oppressor' or 'oppressed' and we define our worth horizontally, by comparing ourselves to other people).

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/incompatibility-critical-theory-christianity/

    I will quote the first half of the article here; folks can click the above link if they wish to read the remainder.

    Over the last few years, new terms like “cisgender,” “intersectionality,” “heteronormativity,” “centering,” and “white fragility” have suddenly entered our cultural lexicon—seemingly out of nowhere. In reality, these words and concepts have been working their way through academia for decades, perpetuated by disciplines such as Post-Colonial Studies, Queer Theory, Critical Pedagogy, Whiteness Studies, and Critical Race Theory, among others. These fields can be placed within the larger discipline of “critical theory,” an ideology more popularly known as “cultural Marxism.”

    But what is critical theory? And what should Christians think about it?

    Modern critical theory views reality through the lens of power. Each individual is seen either as oppressed or as an oppressor, depending on their race, class, gender, sexuality, and a number of other categories. Oppressed groups are subjugated not by physical force or even overt discrimination, but through the exercise of hegemonic power—the ability of dominant groups to impose their norms, values, and expectations on society as a whole, relegating other groups to subordinate positions.

    Space doesn’t permit a comprehensive treatment of this important subject, but we’ll highlight a few basic facts about critical theory that all Christians should know.

    Understanding Critical Theory
    First, not everything that critical theory affirms is false. Like almost any discipline, there are areas in which Christians should agree with critical theory. For example, critical race theorists affirm that race—as it has been defined historically and legally—is a social construct and not a concept legitimately rooted in human nature or human biology.

    Second, the notion of hegemonic power is also legitimate. Christians have long recognized how various institutions can—intentionally or unintentionally—perpetuate ideas like secularism, naturalism, and relativism that create resistance to the gospel. Similarly, Christian parents have to fight against false standards of beauty and sexuality promulgated by the entertainment and advertising industries. These examples show hegemonic power in action, as the culture imbibes norms and values promoted by dominant institutions.

    Third, critical theory functions as a worldview. It answers our most basic questions: Who are we? What is our fundamental problem? What is the solution to that problem? What is our primary moral duty? How should we live?

    Christianity provides us with an overarching metanarrative that runs from creation to redemption: We are creatures made in God’s image, who have sinned against him, who need to be rescued through the atoning work of Jesus, and who are called to love both God and neighbor.

    In contrast, critical theory is associated with a metanarrative that runs from oppression to liberation: We are members either of a dominant group or of a marginalized group with respect to a given identity marker. As such, we either need to divest ourselves of power and seek to liberate others, or we need to acquire power and liberate ourselves by dismantling all structures and institutions that subjugate and oppress. In critical theory, the greatest sin is oppression, and the greatest virtue is the pursuit of liberation.

    These respective metanarratives will vie for dominance in all areas of life. Consider, for example, the question of identity: Is our identity primarily defined in terms of our vertical relationship to God? Or primarily in terms of horizontal power dynamics between groups of people?

    Or consider the question of our fundamental problem as humans: Is our fundamental problem sin, in which case we all equally stand condemned before a holy God? Or is our fundamental problem oppression, in which case members of dominant groups are tainted by guilt in a way that members of subordinate groups are not?

    The points of tension are numerous. Invariably, we will be forced to choose between critical theory and Christianity in terms of our values, ethics, and priorities.

    Fourth, because critical theory understands all relationships in terms of power dynamics, it can’t be confined to a single issue such as class, or race, or gender. Consistency will push us to apply this framework to other areas. Critical theorists classify racism, sexism, capitalism, heteronormativity, cisgender privilege, and Christian privilege as forms of oppression. In all these cases, a dominant group has imposed its values on a subordinate group. And in all these cases, the solution is to dismantle the norms that keep the minoritized group in bondage. Christians who embrace the paradigm of critical theory as a solution to racism or sexism often question a biblical understanding of gender roles, gender identity, sexual orientation, marriage, parental authority, and even the uniqueness of the Christian faith.

    Finally, critical theory claims that members of oppressed groups have special access to truth because of their “lived experience” of oppression. Such insight is unavailable to members of oppressor groups, who are blinded by their privilege. Consequently, any appeals to “objective evidence” or “reason” made by dominant groups are actually surreptitious bids for continued institutional power. This view is rooted in standpoint theory (organic to Marxism and repurposed by feminist theory), which argues that knowledge is conditioned and determined by social location.

    This stance is particularly dangerous because it undermines the function of Scripture as the final arbiter of truth, accessible to all people regardless of their demographics (Ps. 119:130, 160; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; 1 Cor. 2:12–14; Heb. 8:10–12). If a person from an oppressor group appeals to Scripture, his concerns can be dismissed as a veiled attempt to protect his privilege............
    I have siblings who have been taken in by this "woke" crap. One of my sisters has berated my daughter via Facebook for being racist. My daughter is not the least bit racist, but trying to explain that only served as further demonstration to the "woke" person (my sister) that she (my daughter) must indeed be racist, because a truly "woke" person would admit that he or she has never done enough and can never do enough to overcome his or her racist tendencies. Thus my daughter wound up having to block her own aunt from continuing to post hurtful comments. (And before all of this recent nonsense, I thought my sister was too sensible to be so deceived.) But Jesus foretold these latter days:
    Mat 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
    Mat 10:35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
    Mat 10:36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household."


    Critical consciousness and the current social justice movement are anti-Christian. They depend upon the idea, as the article points out, "that members of oppressed groups have special access to truth because of their "lived experience" of oppression." In other words, these people who feel "victimized" consider themselves to have "special knowledge" that makes their judgment superior to anyone who has not shared their type of experiences. This is a perverted sort of gnosticism in my view, only it is a gnosticism that has no need of God or of His Truth. Indeed, the individual's "special knowledge" is deemed more powerful than anything God has said.

    "Wokeness" hides behind a guise of alleged compassion, but it is motivated by selfishness and attempted self-justification: one strives to become a member of the "woke" class, and thus to become more righteous than all the "un-woke" masses. This is totally incompatible with Christianity. Man cannot evaluate his righteousness by comparing himself to other humans. Man can only throw himself on God's mercy and trust in Christ for the gift of righteousness.