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Happy to be labelled 'WOKE'?

You bet I am!

Dru Haynes

June 2023

We all love a label – especially one that can we use as an insult! And we've got plenty:

  • Millennials: entitled, lazy kids born between 1980 and 1995 who spend all their money on avocado toast instead of saving for a house (also known as 'Generation ME')
  • Boomers: those born between 1946 and 1964 who 'have it all' – a house, a good pension and a smug sense of self-righteousness
  • Snowflakes: overly sensitive types who 'melt' at anything they don't like (usually reserved for 'the young')
  • Gammons: red-faced, middle-aged white people with conservative views – usually anyone pro-Brexit
  • Wokerati: collective noun for 'woke' people especially those who believe they are some kind of chosen illuminati (opposite of 'Gammonati')

The list goes on...and on...but some labels aren't an insult, they're a badge of honour – and for me, 'woke' is one.

The word 'woke' has been corrupted to mean the opposite of what it actually stands for. Its original meaning is very simple - 'awake' to racial and social injustice. Originating from the Underground Railway in the US (a network helping slaves escape from the South to the North), the word was one of the signals used to let those fleeing the plantations know that they were in a safehouse. The term became popular in African American vocabulary in the early 1940's and by 2017 had been entered into the Oxford English Dictionary, defined as 'being aware' or 'well-informed' in a political or cultural sense.

So, if someone thinks it's an insult to say that I'm aware of the problems and hardships faced by fellow human beings, then I'll take that all day! I'm sure everyone's heard the phrase 'walk a mile in their shoes' - maybe if more of us did, the world would be a much more accepting place.

Stay woke!