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Use of the term "woke" by white people is arrogance

Jarhyn

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We have seen plenty of discussion from the right that "woke" is arrogance. And let me be clear, I don't believe that everyone who has taken such positions here is on "the right in general"; some are actually quite "liberal", at least nominally. But, they are drinking the kool-aid of the right here and so on this issue they are "from the right"...

That said, however, the term "Woke" has a specific meaning in the language it was coined in (an offshoot of American English used by economically isolated black communities): someone who has empathy for people who have been systematically oppressed (and/or oppressed systematically).

The issue here is that to declare oneself empathetic on behalf of a second party, or to declare someone empathetic on behalf of a third party, or even to declare someone NOT empathetic on behalf of such third parties is arrogance. And while corrupt motive can be in play for those who act specifically for the sake of receiving the compliment (rather than merely having empathy), it does not invalidate that the right thing done for the wrong reasons still is the right thing being done.

So, to then slur those who are given compliments, as if to invalidate the compliment, is just as racist as proclaiming yourself complimented on "their" behalf absent "their" input at all.

Both views are arrogance.

Hell, if I still could, I would be negatively repping every single white poster who calls any other person "woke", whether a slur OR a compliment. Because few, if any, white people (including me!) are in a position to make that assessment honestly, and any dishonest or disingenuous use is slurring. And slurring is arrogance. It is taking the burden away from the people for whom empathy is expected from judging whether that empathy is real!

So why do you folks do it? Do you not think that people won't judge your arrogance as abjectly racist? Do you not think we, the rest of the world, can't see through this transparent act of racism in appropriating a term, a compliment into an insult? To attempt to force language others use into a realm of insult? How is this any different from the insulting and inappropriate attack of the use of the OK symbol to do racist dog-whistling?

That's where the line exists. So, do any of the other people who stand slurred as "wokesters" disagree with this?
 

KeepTalking

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I definitely agree, even though I may be guilty to some extent (more on this later).

In fact, until relatively recently, I had never heard "woke" in this context used as a label. The earliest usages I remember were in the form of "You need to get woke to...". I grew up on the wrong side of the river in St. Louis, and even though I am white, East Saint Louis ain't, and it wasn't when my Mom birthed me at St. Mary's on the East Side in the mid '60s. So, in the '80s, when my black neighbors parents were laying reality on the line for them, that is a phrasing that was commonly used, but that was not my reality. My reality was white, and I did not need to be woke to either the systemic, or indeed, the overt racial prejudice that existed around me. Those black parents are who I would consider to be woke if it is to be applied to anyone as a label. They had a lifetime of experience inside the system of their oppression, they knew things that I never could and never would know. Oddly enough, I don't hear my current black neighbors use the phrase "woke" at all, not in the 10 years since they moved in next door. Maybe they just self edit around me, but we got about 5 feet of alley separating our houses, so there are occasional overheard conversations, especially when the weather is nice and the windows are open. I suspect it is more because of how conservatives have turned the word into a negative.

So my point is that I certainly do not think that I am capable of being woke, as I cannot have the experience that those I would consider to be woke have had. That is what makes them woke. I do not feel that I can confidently label another person as woke, because I think it takes someone who is woke to do that. Woke is in that awareness passed to you by someone who lived it, and the awareness that you are likely to go through the same experience if you do not stay awake to your surroundings (and likely even if you do).

In another thread, when a picture of Colin Kaepernick was posted and offered as an example of woke, I did say that I consider him to be woke, as much for sake of argument as anything else. If we are to hold forth a celebrity example of someone both sides can agree fits the definition of woke, I think Kaep will do as well as anyone. So, maybe I am guilty of labelling Kaep as woke, and that makes me arrogant. Maybe applying that label to those old neighbors back in the '80s is arrogant of me, but I think in both cases that they and other black folk would agree that they are woke. So, I don't think that makes me arrogant, but that is often the case with arrogance, is it not?
 

Bomb#20

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One of the more entertaining quirks of human psychology is that whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct"; we'll undoubtedly see it again with whatever ends up replacing "woke". Gods-be-thanked that the movement to get atheists to call ourselves "Brights" never really caught on.
 

Trausti

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One of the more entertaining quirks of human psychology is that whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct"; we'll undoubtedly see it again with whatever ends up replacing "woke". Gods-be-thanked that the movement to get atheists to call ourselves "Brights" never really caught on.

Yep.
 

TomC

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One of the more entertaining quirks of human psychology is that whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct"; we'll undoubtedly see it again with whatever ends up replacing "woke". Gods-be-thanked that the movement to get atheists to call ourselves "Brights" never really caught on.

This has been exacerbated in recent years by a culture dominated by internet.
Tom
 

laughing dog

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One of the more entertaining quirks of human psychology is that whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct"; we'll undoubtedly see it again with whatever ends up replacing "woke". Gods-be-thanked that the movement to get atheists to call ourselves "Brights" never really caught on.
According to  Political_correctness, that is not the case for political correctness.

Interestingly, I grew up and still know many people who are conservative. My sample must be non-representative because very few feel the need to use the term "woke" as a pejorative.
 

J842P

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We have seen plenty of discussion from the right that "woke" is arrogance. And let me be clear, I don't believe that everyone who has taken such positions here is on "the right in general"; some are actually quite "liberal", at least nominally. But, they are drinking the kool-aid of the right here and so on this issue they are "from the right"...

That said, however, the term "Woke" has a specific meaning in the language it was coined in (an offshoot of American English used by economically isolated black communities): someone who has empathy for people who have been systematically oppressed (and/or oppressed systematically).

The issue here is that to declare oneself empathetic on behalf of a second party, or to declare someone empathetic on behalf of a third party, or even to declare someone NOT empathetic on behalf of such third parties is arrogance. And while corrupt motive can be in play for those who act specifically for the sake of receiving the compliment (rather than merely having empathy), it does not invalidate that the right thing done for the wrong reasons still is the right thing being done.

So, to then slur those who are given compliments, as if to invalidate the compliment, is just as racist as proclaiming yourself complimented on "their" behalf absent "their" input at all.

Both views are arrogance.

Hell, if I still could, I would be negatively repping every single white poster who calls any other person "woke", whether a slur OR a compliment. Because few, if any, white people (including me!) are in a position to make that assessment honestly, and any dishonest or disingenuous use is slurring. And slurring is arrogance. It is taking the burden away from the people for whom empathy is expected from judging whether that empathy is real!

So why do you folks do it? Do you not think that people won't judge your arrogance as abjectly racist? Do you not think we, the rest of the world, can't see through this transparent act of racism in appropriating a term, a compliment into an insult? To attempt to force language others use into a realm of insult? How is this any different from the insulting and inappropriate attack of the use of the OK symbol to do racist dog-whistling?

That's where the line exists. So, do any of the other people who stand slurred as "wokesters" disagree with this?

What a load of nonesense.
 

Don2 (Don1 Revised)

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I wouldn't call it arrogant so much as indirectly participating in racist culture. It isn't that different from after the Civil War when white southerners were screaming about "New England abolitionists." It's just a name that racists scream like "Oh yeah, well you think you're better than us? Nyaaaah!" Interestingly, if you examine very closely the words that these snowflakes use when they get up on their pedestals to virtue signal to fellow anti-wokesters, many of them will even concede that there is systemic racism, making them technically "woke." And the reason this is so interesting is because it shows how superficial the label actually is--it is more connotation than denotation--far more tribal and finger-pointing than substantive. And on the other hand, when there actually is some substance to the label because the particular anti-wokester is not conceding systemic racism, then it's an attack on intellectualism like so: "Oh yeah? Well, you have facts I don't have? You're an intellectual elitist! You're 'woke!' Haha, I told him." Now, of course, this anti-woke virtue signaling is a statement of being superior in some way to the woke, but it rests on a faux projected arrogance that other anti-wokesters will latch onto, kind of like bullies making fun of nerds. By doing so, these anti-wokesters are stopping progress and keeping racism alive.
 

KeepTalking

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One of the more entertaining quirks of human psychology is that whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct"; we'll undoubtedly see it again with whatever ends up replacing "woke". Gods-be-thanked that the movement to get atheists to call ourselves "Brights" never really caught on.

Yep.

I present to you Right Wing and Friends, who revel in having turned the term "woke" into a pejorative, while maintaining in other threads that the term has always meant the ridiculous pejorative that it has only recently been turned into.
 

Trausti

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One of the more entertaining quirks of human psychology is that whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct"; we'll undoubtedly see it again with whatever ends up replacing "woke". Gods-be-thanked that the movement to get atheists to call ourselves "Brights" never really caught on.

Yep.

I present to you Right Wing and Friends, who revel in having turned the term "woke" into a pejorative, while maintaining in other threads that the term has always meant the ridiculous pejorative that it has only recently been turned into.

As long as you think being “woke” makes you morally better than anyone else, we’ll keep making fun of you.
 

KeepTalking

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I present to you Right Wing and Friends, who revel in having turned the term "woke" into a pejorative, while maintaining in other threads that the term has always meant the ridiculous pejorative that it has only recently been turned into.

As long as you think being “woke” makes you morally better than anyone else, we’ll keep making fun of you.

As long as you continue to insist on applying the pejorative label to those who never identified with the complimentary label, you will continue to be the butt of your own joke.
 

Jarhyn

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I present to you Right Wing and Friends, who revel in having turned the term "woke" into a pejorative, while maintaining in other threads that the term has always meant the ridiculous pejorative that it has only recently been turned into.

As long as you think being “woke” makes you morally better than anyone else, we’ll keep making fun of you.

As long as you continue to insist on applying the pejorative label to those who never identified with the complimentary label, you will continue to be the butt of your own joke.

Indeed, which is the point of the thread. Nobody here except perhaps the Arrogant Keep Talking (this is a joke I don't really mean it for the most part please don't report me) seems apt to apply the term to much of anyone. Well, nobody but KT and the people who hate all that is "woke".

It says a lot that the whole point of the thread is to decry use of a self-congratulatory mode of the label, as well as pejorative uses, as both being distinctly racist and then the reaction is people loudly accusing us of using the label in a self-congratulatory fashion.

It's funny, insofar as I have had people use that term for me, and people of color, and within the last week. I've never called myself it, and honestly, I don't even agree entirely with the characterization.

I would say, though, that having empathy for people IS to be a more ethical person than the individual who lacks empathy.

Or, when enough people consider you to be an asshole, it may pay to think that you might be an asshole. When people consider you to be a good person, it may pay to think you are doing something right.

These aren't hard concepts for most.
 

Politesse

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I present to you Right Wing and Friends, who revel in having turned the term "woke" into a pejorative, while maintaining in other threads that the term has always meant the ridiculous pejorative that it has only recently been turned into.

As long as you think being “woke” makes you morally better than anyone else, we’ll keep making fun of you.

As long as you continue to insist on applying the pejorative label to those who never identified with the complimentary label, you will continue to be the butt of your own joke.

There's the rub.
 

Alcoholic Actuary

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Right wing person: "Woke offends me!!!"
Left wing person: "That word is dumb"
Right wing person: "QUIT BEING WOKE, WOKEY McWOKERSON!!!!"

It's actually easy to make go away - out of touch folks just stop using it.

aa
 

Trausti

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I'm 17. And I'm Immunized from Woke Politics.
https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fef670218-f0de-4df0-9d2f-d9a7889e142d_1059x1412.jpeg

Here is the main thing I have learned:

When acceptance is the highest value, when avoiding condemnation online is worth more than the truth, the truth will be swiftly discarded. Online likes, followers and reputation — weak, empty values — dominate the teenage world because teenagers are not being taught alternative ones by the culture or, often, by the adults in their lives. They — we — are not being given the tools to answer the questions that really matter: What is truth? What is justice? And what is the purpose of life?

My generation’s been told that truth or justice are merely assertions of power.
 

Alcoholic Actuary

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I don't know what gymnastics you went through to get this right wing story (eehhmm Bari Weiss) but MOST of the youth today are more equipped to handle the nuances of american politics and good will than this anecdotal shiite. There was a time when the country said - We are going to build society, and then demanded that adult males join the war effort, people buy war bonds, civilian companies re-engineer to produce war machines, and christ, that money be made of steel instead of copper. All for the greater good of the USA. They did it. They are still referred to as the 'Greatest Generation'. All Americans (and a ton of immigrants) sacrificed some of their greatest 'freedoms' for the sake of the USA country.

Contrast that with today, where the government asking people to do something as minimal as wearing a mask is met with condescension, derision, and outright claims of fascism. Yet the current generation is doing it. They are going to college and trying to be productive under our (boomers, gen x, millennial) standards of productivity - yet going into debt and not getting jobs. What's hilarious, if it weren't also tragic, is that the last thing on their minds is wearing a mask or getting a vaccine to help society while they simultaneously struggle to meet an almost forgotten society's expectation of 'success'. If anything happens to these guys, it will be that they are the strongest and "Greatest Generation" ever, and society will succeed because these kids were so exceptional...

despite your post to the opposite.

aa
 

Jarhyn

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I don't know what gymnastics you went through to get this right wing story (eehhmm Bari Weiss) but MOST of the youth today are more equipped to handle the nuances of american politics and good will than this anecdotal shiite. There was a time when the country said - We are going to build society, and then demanded that adult males join the war effort, people buy war bonds, civilian companies re-engineer to produce war machines, and christ, that money be made of steel instead of copper. All for the greater good of the USA. They did it. They are still referred to as the 'Greatest Generation'. All Americans (and a ton of immigrants) sacrificed some of their greatest 'freedoms' for the sake of the USA country.

Contrast that with today, where the government asking people to do something as minimal as wearing a mask is met with condescension, derision, and outright claims of fascism. Yet the current generation is doing it. They are going to college and trying to be productive under our (boomers, gen x, millennial) standards of productivity - yet going into debt and not getting jobs. What's hilarious, if it weren't also tragic, is that the last thing on their minds is wearing a mask or getting a vaccine to help society while they simultaneously struggle to meet an almost forgotten society's expectation of 'success'. If anything happens to these guys, it will be that they are the strongest and "Greatest Generation" ever, and society will succeed because these kids were so exceptional...

despite your post to the opposite.

aa

I was going to post something about how I disdain the kind of hideboundedness of being consigned to a generation. I graduated highschool at the end of 2000?

The thing though is that I don't accept the things that are being expected of anyone. That's not what I consider success, not what I have considered success since I first moved into an apartment, in squalor, in Madison. And while I didn't find success there, I did learn what success wasn't, and it was also not where I came from, a place of meaningless comfort.

Success is not having a life devoid of empathy.

I enjoy getting compliments. I'm not dead inside. I just don't do the things I do for that reason. If I did, the compliments wouldn't feel good, and then I would feel dead inside.
 

Jarhyn

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We have seen plenty of discussion from the right that "woke" is arrogance. And let me be clear, I don't believe that everyone who has taken such positions here is on "the right in general"; some are actually quite "liberal", at least nominally. But, they are drinking the kool-aid of the right here and so on this issue they are "from the right"...

That said, however, the term "Woke" has a specific meaning in the language it was coined in (an offshoot of American English used by economically isolated black communities): someone who has empathy for people who have been systematically oppressed (and/or oppressed systematically).

The issue here is that to declare oneself empathetic on behalf of a second party, or to declare someone empathetic on behalf of a third party, or even to declare someone NOT empathetic on behalf of such third parties is arrogance. And while corrupt motive can be in play for those who act specifically for the sake of receiving the compliment (rather than merely having empathy), it does not invalidate that the right thing done for the wrong reasons still is the right thing being done.

So, to then slur those who are given compliments, as if to invalidate the compliment, is just as racist as proclaiming yourself complimented on "their" behalf absent "their" input at all.

Both views are arrogance.

Hell, if I still could, I would be negatively repping every single white poster who calls any other person "woke", whether a slur OR a compliment. Because few, if any, white people (including me!) are in a position to make that assessment honestly, and any dishonest or disingenuous use is slurring. And slurring is arrogance. It is taking the burden away from the people for whom empathy is expected from judging whether that empathy is real!

So why do you folks do it? Do you not think that people won't judge your arrogance as abjectly racist? Do you not think we, the rest of the world, can't see through this transparent act of racism in appropriating a term, a compliment into an insult? To attempt to force language others use into a realm of insult? How is this any different from the insulting and inappropriate attack of the use of the OK symbol to do racist dog-whistling?

That's where the line exists. So, do any of the other people who stand slurred as "wokesters" disagree with this?

What a load of nonesense.

If it's such a load of nonsense you shouldn't have any problem finding something substantively wrong with it, then. I'll wait.

and any dishonest or disingenuous use is slurring. And slurring is arrogance

I'll admit, I have some quibbling errors of logic surrounding this clause, maybe you could go apoplectic that I spoke too strongly and was minority wrong about something.

Anyway, I'll go laugh now.
 

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I just realized that I can't recall ever hearing the term "woke" being used in a non-derogatory sense. But language is fluent. Words change meaning over time depending on how people use them. I don't see a need to cling to some original definition.
 

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The first time I heard it, it was from a black mom to her son. Telling him to be careful and vigilant as he goes about his day to stay away from rednecks and cops who can endanger his like. “Stay woke, son. Come back home alive.”


Then I heard it used by Black people about white people who have a clue about all that. “She’s woke. You’re safe with her.”


I’ve never once ever heard a non-Black person say it about themselves.
And then this crowd comes along trying to mock the word and the people it used to apply to - and simultaneously (deliberately?) mock and minimize the dangers that it used to describe. It could be deliberate, since these are the same people who claim racism doesn’t exist and try to influence others to disregard it.
 

Jarhyn

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I just realized that I can't recall ever hearing the term "woke" being used in a non-derogatory sense. But language is fluent. Words change meaning over time depending on how people use them. I don't see a need to cling to some original definition.

I don't see a need to cling to a definition either. I just recognize that it is absolutely fucking disgusting to take a word from another language that means something nice, and then start using it to not just say something benign but to pervert it to mockery.

There is a serious error in the brain of anyone who would do that.

I don't demand it be undone. I just recognize that the people doing it are acting attrociously.
 

Bomb#20

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...whenever a subculture adopts a blatantly self-congratulatory term for its own members -- a term that implicitly accuses the subculture's non-members of some mental failing -- the non-members can generally be counted on to start using the term sarcastically. We saw this before with "politically correct";...
According to  Political_correctness, that is not the case for political correctness.
What are you seeing in that article that conflicts with what I said?

your link said:
The term "politically correct" was used disparagingly, to refer to someone whose loyalty to the CP line overrode compassion, and led to bad politics. It was used by Socialists against Communists, and was meant to separate out Socialists who believed in egalitarian moral ideas from dogmatic Communists who would advocate and defend party positions regardless of their moral substance.
You aren't proposing that socialists, finding themselves in need of a term to characterize the communists' views, invented "politically correct" on their own initiative, are you? Mocking somebody tends to work better when he was doing the thing you're mocking him with. Of course this started with communists calling their own views "politically correct".
 

Jarhyn

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What are you seeing in that article that conflicts with what I said?
The part that directly precedes your quote and the part that directly succeeds your clip.

What I find ridiculous is that in the other threads, all there are are accusations of circlejerking on the left. Not to mention accusations against everyone who wants to actually see racism cause less misery in our lives.

We have a lot of people, both white and black, who identify that racism creates problems, and created problems, and those problems endure because of apathy and ignorance.

Caring about others is not a flaw. It is not arrogant to talk about the problems, particularly the systemic ones, the ones arising from resource flows and limits on them to certain communities: when the best jobs your kids can get are stocking groceries because you can't afford college (as parents are expected to pay for college, another aspect of institutional racism, as if a child's education ought hinge on what people not-that-specific-indivudual have done.)
 

Gospel

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I just realized that I can't recall ever hearing the term "woke" being used in a non-derogatory sense. But language is fluent. Words change meaning over time depending on how people use them. I don't see a need to cling to some original definition.

We used to use "woke" to describe someone who can't be fooled or is always a step ahead of street opposition. Since white folks got a hold of it, it died and was buried alongside the rest of the commercialized slang terms. I think "woke" was laid to rest next to "Lowkey" nearing two decades ago. "Lowkey" was thought to be buried next to "Fo shizzle" but it turns out "Fo shizzle" was always commercial so it was dug up and thrown out of the hood slang graveyard.
 

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I just realized that I can't recall ever hearing the term "woke" being used in a non-derogatory sense. But language is fluent. Words change meaning over time depending on how people use them. I don't see a need to cling to some original definition.

We used to use "woke" to describe someone who can't be fooled or is always a step ahead of street opposition. Since white folks got a hold of it, it died and was buried alongside the rest of the commercialized slang terms. I think "woke" was laid to rest next to "Lowkey" nearing two decades ago. "Lowkey" was thought to be buried next to "Fo shizzle" but it turns out "Fo shizzle" was always commercial so it was dug up and thrown out of the hood slang graveyard.

...along with everything else Coronadog ever said...
 

Gospel

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BTW - The term "OPS" which on the streets meant "rivals" is the most recent death in hood slang history. So in other words, you'll see it in circulation more often starting in 2022 like it's "live" ("live" has been undead for almost a century now) but it's just a zombie.
 
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