The Reality of Woke

Being woke is something I have been accused of several times. I find it odd that it’s an accusation, especially when you consider the modern definition of woke.

So first of all I’d like to clear up any misconceptions that people might have about the term, woke. This is from Miriam-Webster’s dictionary. You know, one of the books that tell you all about what things really mean.

Definition of woke
(chiefly US slang)

Aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)

As in….’But we will only succeed if we reject the growing pressure to retreat into cynicism and hopelessness. … We have a moral obligation to “stay woke,” take a stand and be active; challenging injustices and racism in our communities and fighting hatred and discrimination wherever it rises.’

Now it should be pretty clear that in the greater left-wing/right-wing scheme of things that woke is really on the side of social justice, and therefore is a Liberal concept.

The trouble is that Conservatives have weaponized the idea of woke to label those who are actually fighting oppression as the oppressors.

Ask any gun-toting right-wing American ‘patriot’ what woke is and he will most likely refer to it as some movement to take their guns away. Which, if you go back and read the definition again, is an absurdity, that has been planted in his head by the right-wing media and politicians.

In short, the right has turned ‘woke’ into just another four-letter word, and the fact that so many people are willing to believe that, speaks volumes to the power of the right wing influence machinery and politicians.

In the broader sense, woke can be taken to mean a philosophical stance against all forms of oppression. This of course encompasses more people than it angers.

But at the end of the day, the idea of wanting to eliminate things like; racial prejudice, hate, antisemitism, poverty, or any other form of social injustice, is not a bad thing.

The bad thing is the willingness to embrace ‘wokeness’ in people as some sort of character flaw when it actually just means that these people are acutely aware and concerned with helping to right what is wrong in society.

Wanting the opposite of that, in a so-called free society, is probably the most common form of oppression that woke people have to deal with. Fortunately in America, there are more woke people than there are the opposite.

And that simple fact is the only thing that keeps the country from sliding into fascism or worse.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. Early on in my writing career, I discovered advertising. While the other media have drifted in and out, communications writing and art direction have been the constant through a 20-year career senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource to direct clients, design companies, marketing consultants and boutique agencies. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and opened MurMarketing which is a freelance strategic development/copywriting/art direction service for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world. I currently write long format blogs in 4 different streams, encompassing, entertainment, marketing, and communications, life in general, and the renewable energy and recycling industries. These are currently published on I have, over the years, created more than 1500 blog posts. I live with my wife Heather in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life. I am currently recovering from spinal surgery and learning to walk again.

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