The words “woke” and “wokeness” have become catchall phrases for conservatives to describe policies or ideas they disagree with.
Conservative commentator and author Bethany Mandel was asked to define “woke” during an interview on The Hill’s “Rising.”
Co-host Briahna Joy Gray asked, “What does that mean to you? Would you mind defining woke? Cause it’s come up a few times, and I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page.”
“So, I mean, woke is sort of the idea that… um…” Mandel began.
As she sought to find a coherent way to define “woke” in a few seconds, she added, “This is going to be one of those moments that goes viral.”
Mandel went on:
“I mean, woke is something that’s very hard to define. And we’ve spent an entire chapter defining it. It is sort of the understanding that we need to totally re-imagine and redo society in order to create hierarchies of oppression.”
Finally, she added, “Sorry. It’s hard to explain in a 15-second soundbite.”
Watch the video below:
LOL: Briahna Joy Gray BREAKS the brain of Rising guest Bethany Mandel by asking her to define "wokeness" pic.twitter.com/uwRSSH0LaM
— The Vanguard (@vanguard_pod) March 14, 2023
The video had received 4.9 million views by Wednesday morning.
With politics, theology, and philosophy, you sometimes need phrases that can be a stand-in for discussing a complex theory, so you do not have to explain the whole idea all the time.
But recently, the use of “woke” and “wokeness” has exploded, and they have become amorphous phrases with no clear, easy-to-understand definitions other than “[X] policy is bad.”
And to be fair, liberals have this problem too, but with calling people Nazis or fascists. Earlier this month, a conservative commentator called for the eradication of the “preposterous ideology” of “transgenderism.” His comments led Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) to label him a “Nazi hellbent on keeping only white men alive and in power.”
Why is calling for people to stop accepting gender identity bad? Who knows. Bowman did not elaborate. But he does not need to because calling someone a Nazi discredits someone’s ideas.
There is nothing wrong with conservatives using “woke” as a derogatory term. But to use the word to attack anything they do not like is a lazy way of confronting ideas and an attempt to avoid having to really explain why a policy or idea is bad.
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