Roy Wood Jr. defuses bomb requiring definition of "woke"

Originally published at: Roy Wood Jr. defuses bomb requiring definition of "woke" | Boing Boing


Roy’s answer sounded pretty good to me; I guess that the bomb maker was a conservative and their definition was rather different.


Try Educated, capital E :wink:


I’ll miss Roy. What a stupid, wasted death.
RIP. You tried.


Woke is a phantom issue. It’s never defined, so it’s whatever the MAGAys want it to mean. It’s like those phantom “litter boxes” for people who identify as cats in schools. It doesn’t exist. Since it doesn’t exist, you can ascribe it to anyone you don’t like, so there’s no “defense” against it.

The only way to combat this, IMHO, is to refuse to play their game. If they try pin the label, ask them what woke is, just like what happened with Mandell, with a “get back to me when you figure it out.”


FFS, yes… IT IS…

Woke is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.”

Then stop doing that by pretending that this has not been addressed multiple times in [eta- edited to reference other threads] other threads, or that they’ve made this up, when they most certainly did not.


And on top of that, people can ask what the term means, and they can do some basic googling, prior to posting and assuming that this is just a case of conservatives making shit up instead of twisting things out of context and out of meaning… I can actually think of no greater way to “play their games” then to just assume they made it up (adjacent to just taking them at their words).

The problem is that for many people this is no game - this is their lives and well-being… And these people are not playing a game either - they are hell-bent on dragging this country straight into fascist land, and believing that it’s just a “game” on their part does nothing to counter their dangerous rhetoric.

Orwell very much showed us what accepting their word leads to, and it’s not a freer society.

[ETA] Adding link to Salon, which talks specifically about the “non-definition” of Woke being used by the far right and the actual, real definition of the term…

To be “woke” was to refuse to be complacent about social injustice.


TL, DR: them “unable” to define the term (which very much has a definition) is a feature not a bug… they keep it vague to enable them throw it anything they dislike. They are vague here, like they are vague on many things, so they can keep endlessly expanding their attack on people as the opportunity arises…

so, no, pointing out that the word has a definition and that they “can’t” define it is not playing their “game”… it’s pointing out their tactics.


It’s been defined a hundred times, and accurately, by many folk on here.

Don’t let them have it. Don’t let the repugs have it at all.


Seth Meyers Idk GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers


Asking Nazis questions is platforming them

It’s literally inviting them to make a speech and listening politely while they do it :confused:


Let me rephrase my concern: you’ll never see a MAGAy refer to the ACTUAL definition of woke, only the imaginary version they see in their head.

We know what woke “really means”. This is an example of Orwellian doublespeak. MAGA simply defined it as something ELSE.

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Your original post did not remotely reflect that point. It merely assumed it was a made up talking point by the right… you literaly said:

So, if that’s not what you meant, then maybe don’t say that? :woman_shrugging:

And yes… I too have read Orwell, so I understand what is happening here… Which you might have picked up on if you’d actual read my responses here…


Yes it’s not about an inability to define it, it is about their unwillingness to define it. Because if you define it as “respecting people and trying to be aware of possible racism.” it is difficult to be against it. By keeping it vague they can appeal to racists while still trying to deny that they are racist. “I’m not the racist, you’re the racist.”


This post feels combative for no reason. Maybe @kschang777 didn’t articulate their post as clearly as you would have liked, but I feel that they’re definitely on the same side of this discussion.

Clearly there is a definition for the word. When challenged, certain people who use it constantly as an insult fail to define it. I think we all agree on that.

IMO the criticism is warranted. Just like we’ve seen with BLM and Defund the Police, White liberals rush in to “help” with messaging for Black Americans when it isn’t needed or wanted.

This isn’t a branding workshop. The group that originates the term gets to define it The last thing they need is someone who doesn’t know that it already is defined or doesn’t know the definition to jump in when fascists try to rewrite that definition.

That’s not the action of an ally, thank you.


I didn’t see anybody here try to redefine anything but merely pointin out that the ones who are trying to redefine the term to suit their needs have no understanding of it at all.

I do agree that “woke is a phantom issue” could have used some clarity. The ones who use “woke” as a pejorative, are using it as a blanket term for anything they disagree with. It’s a scare tactic in their minds.

Here ya go, from just a ways up this thread:

Woke very much has a definition, so the above statement is factually incorrect and patronizing.


Right. I was amending my post above.

In mine as well; as has already been stated it is more than possible to educate oneself prior to commenting.

No, that’s what the opportunists and grifters in the GOP/Faux & Friends are doing, in perpetuity - in an effort to increase the size of their scapegoat pool.

It’s okay to be unaware, but the fact of the matter is that the word has long since had a real, precise definition, no matter how fasscholes try to pretend otherwise.

‘Doublethink’ and ‘Newspeak’ happen when we let the oppressors redefine reality, starting with language.