Follow

If you're white, using "woke" pejoratively is racist

@bgcarlisle what would you recommend as a substitute for "performative wokeness"

@trev Tbh, that's just a racist variation on the saying something is "virtue signalling," which usually just means that a person wants to undermine an obviously correct moral stance without actually engaging with it and so I think the whole concept could probably go in the trash

If someone is betraying one of their moral principles you could call them a "hypocrite," but that is different and requires engaging with the other person's actions and morality and not just sneering at their aesthetics

@bgcarlisle Thanks for the thoughtful response.

I understand your viewpoint as far as rejection of the phrase (since it is appropriative), and definitely its application to people participating in activism, but I'm not sure I agree that it's a complete equivalence. 1/2

@bgcarlisle Things like government agencies or corporations using the language of social justice in their press releases while furthering the MIC do embody a special kind of hypocrisy, but the insidiousness is in the appropriation and so I think it may deserve a more particular label to be meaningfully discussed. 2/2

@trev @bgcarlisle I've long used "institutional hypocrisy" to refer to corporations or governments or such mouthing pleasing words while meaning none of them. Common for big organizations (especially, but by no means exclusively, for-profit ones) to put up an amiable PR front while their actual actions are reprehensible and inhumane. In addition to other considerations, I think it's worth avoiding of-the-moment lingo even just because it gives the false impression this is anything new.
@trev @bgcarlisle If we need more specific terminology, maybe we should create something new? It's certainly been done before, ex. with "greenwashing" to refer to a very similar kind of hypocrisy as is being discussed here but rather specifically with environmental concerns.

@trev @bgcarlisle For that I'd use something like "pink washing" (or rainbow, black, green, etc).

@bgcarlisle arguably there is no good use of "woke" ever by a nonblack person

@Thomas Sure, Black people came up with a term for awareness of social issues: "staying woke"

Then white people started using it, but mostly in a sneering, ironic way

Now a term that was meaningful and useful (just not to white people) is nearly ruined for the people who came up with it to put it to its original use, because it's been poisoned by ironic/pejorative uses

By using it pejoratively, one participates in that

And as others have stated, white people probably shouldn't say it at all

@bgcarlisle I give you my word white people don't have to use the word of woke to be racist. Lol

@bgcarlisle no I'm saying there. The word woke used to have a meaning until white people started using it even before they started using it as an insult. As a person of colour. One thing I've learned is that once a word is in the Zeitgeist of white people. The word is done.

@bgcarlisle that's just what I'm basically saying is that anytime White People Co-Op the word that word is now dead. The best thing for white people to do is not Co-op words. Remember me to? Remember how like it was made by a black woman but we don't talk about that anymore? I mean one would think that me-too is only for white women by the way it's used on social media apps like this and others.

@Jaded905 Yes, absolutely

Sorry for the blunt initial response, I mis-read it and thought you were trying to change the subject to minimize how racist it is, my fault

@bgcarlisle no I wasn't. I was just saying that this is basically the future of anything that white people feel the need to hook their wagon to. It's wild to see so many things that meant something died because white people felt the need to grab onto it. It is really like you can't have anything in this life if you're anything other than a white person. Jesus Christ

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Scholar Social

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.