Woke is a Joke

If ‘woke’ means ‘aware of the true nature of our civilization’ then it is a good thing, but I suspect it’s generally used as the currently popular term for being ‘with it,’ ‘in the groove,’ ‘hip,’ ‘au courant,’ or ‘in the loop.’ Words change. Ideas change more slowly.
I saw an exchange yesterday in which someone was railing against the term ‘handicapped’ and saying that ‘handicapped parking spaces’ should be relabeled ‘accessible,’ which is truly nonsense, because all parking spaces are accessible to anyone with a car.
Of course we live in a racist society but, within the course of my lifetime, we have gone from colored to negro to black (that’s where I decided to stop – if we are white, then they are black, and it’s simple and fair) to African-American, (which is horribly misleading, I was actually surprised and amused when I went to France and heard black people speaking French) to ‘people of color,’ which is full circle. People of color is just two words longer and more pretentious than ‘colored.’
Saying we should use the true and correct words for things is not wrong, in a conversation among linguists and writers. But, it really is silly to try and enforce changes in our speech patterns and think you are actually bringing about change. Far more important is just to remember, whatever words you are using, to not be mean. I would far rather deal with somebody who occasionally says the wrong thing, but sweetly, than with laser-focused assholes who are eager to brand everybody else, including me, as the villain.

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