If You Hate 'Woke' But Can’t Define It, Maybe What You Hate Is Something Else

The real reason behind your anti-woke agenda.

girl with shaved head and blonde hair oneinchpunch / Shutterstock

By William Spivey

Wokeness seems like what former Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, "I know it when I see it."

A lot of people, mostly but not always Republicans, are seeing a "woke agenda" everywhere but can’t usually define it.

Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) gave it his best shot at defining it in what amounted to a word salad, suggesting woke is the punishment of white people without explicitly saying so.


"The most toxic part of this tyranny is its doctrine — 'wokeness.' Everyone has by now heard this word but it means something very specific. It means that all the so-called oppressor groups must be punished for their past and present alleged sins.

"There are many steps to punishing them: inducing self-hatred through indoctrination, stripping away their rights by not enforcing the laws on their behalf, public humiliation, hatred, expropriation, and ultimately violence. That’s what the Left has done so far. It’s not exactly clear yet how far this can go.

"And what does wokeness mean for the so-called oppressed? It means privileged status, exemption from certain laws and norms, and the public recognition that their views are unimpeachable — they cannot be contradicted by reason, they cannot be doubted, but must be believed."


RELATED: What It Really Means To Be ‘Woke’ & Why It’s So Controversial

Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has come under attack from the right for not adequately eradicating "wokeness" from his House Financial Services committee. McHenry failed to eliminate the terms "diversity" and "inclusion" from the mission statements of two subcommittees.

The attack on wokeness mirrors the Red Scare led by Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.

Governor Ron DeSantis has declared, "Florida is the place where woke goes to die!" 

His speech on the subject included denying funds for gender dysphoria care for minors, ending indoctrination in schools and not mandating children be vaccinated.


It was elsewhere he declared war on Black History and insisted we base what’s taught on "Western Values," as Black History "lacked educational value." 

DeSantis threw in a little xenophobia by advocating discrimination against foreign-born teachers.

"With everything, I think that we’re putting Floridians first, we’re putting Americans first. If we have a qualified teacher in the United States or in Florida, I don’t want to go with a foreigner over somebody that’s from our communities. There’s nothing wrong with, in some situations, I don’t know how it would work, with what they’re doing, but clearly, we believe in putting the people here in Florida first. Our programs are designed to benefit Floridians, not people in other countries." — Ron DeSantis

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What has become apparent is being "anti-woke" grants permission to be against what you were against in the first place.

DeSantis, named in one article as the CEO of Anti-Woke, Inc, has introduced a plan to defund all efforts involving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in state institutions.

Their very existence was to counteract bias against underrepresented students and employees; the anti-woke see it as attempting to shame white people.

According to the anti-woke, the solution isn’t to identify and correct wrongs, past and present. It’s to eliminate the discussion of inequity and protect the feelings of those who might see themselves in those discussions.


Anything that views the LGBTQIA+ community positively is "woke" and must be suppressed.

The mere discussion of race and the history of race must also be deleted. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is high on the anti-woke agenda though it isn’t being taught in public schools or used to indoctrinate or shame children.

The anti-CRT crowd is the exact same people as the anti-woke. They just expanded their vocabulary.

It doesn’t matter that much of the proposed stop-woke legislation is unconstitutional; when has hate ever cared about the law?

If the anti-woke speak long enough, their true agenda comes to light.

Ron DeSantis said: "Wokeness is a pernicious ideology exemplified by critical race theory — the idea that racism is systemic in U.S. institutions that serve to perpetuate white dominance in society."


DeSantis isn’t able to acknowledge systemic racism and especially not the need to address it.

His views aren’t contrary to those of white nationalists and white supremacists. The term woke was initially used by Black protesters during racial justice movements in the mid-1900s

RELATED: Being A Black Man In America Means Never Feeling Safe

"To be 'woke' politically in the Black community means that someone is informed, educated and conscious of social injustice and racial inequality." — Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Woke got a resurgence after the George Floyd video was released, and millions of Americans, most of them white, took to the streets to protest racial injustice.


The anti-woke movement is a response to that because people of all colors joining forces was unacceptable for maintaining the status quo.

Anti-woke is about white protectionism with a little homophobia and misogyny on the side. It’s the excuse to be against the things you were already against.

That doesn’t mean a few people of color won’t join the movement as part of their hustle (I see you, Chris Rock). A quick way to become a hero among the right is to be an anti-woke person of color, giving credence to their hatred. Who’s going to step up and be the next Diamond & Silk?


When you next hear Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz, and others trying to hate their way to the Presidency with "woke" as their battle cry, listen to who they are attacking and protecting.

Anti-woke is the new McCarthyism. Hopefully, we won’t destroy as many lives to put it to an end.

The anti-woke crowd is on a mission; they’ve convinced themselves their cause is just when it’s the opposite.

"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetuated in the name of the noblest causes." ― Thomas Payne

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William Spivey is a writer, poet, and wannabe philosopher. He writes about politics, race, social justice — and occasionally relationships and romance.