It is quite common for Facebook users to be bewildered by the word ‘Woke’. I have seen quite a number of people ask what it means.
I remember the first time I stumbled on the word. It was on a meme…something about being woke in Lagos.
By association, idleness and plain nosiness, I somehow discovered what being woke was all about.
First of all, it is a black word. White people are not woke. They have always been awake. In fact, they have walked down the halls of racial dormitories supervising sleeping occupants. If you must use the word woke to describe a white person, it would have a totally different meaning. A woke white person would definitely be a vegan and cries when dolphins murder fishes for food…yes I said murder.
The person would be a scientologist or be part of some super alternative religion. This person would be a worldschooler travelling and learning from the world because white people do not have visa problems and yes of course to learn about the world by hiking, skiing and meditating somewhere in Asia. Woke mothers believe in baby led weaning and breast feed exclusively. They do not use diapers for their babies, only cloth nappies and the kids wear clothes without synthetic fibres. Their kids know they are transgender before they are 3 and this is super exciting for the parents.
Wait a minute, white people cannot be woke. I thought that was what I was trying to establish?
Anyway, being woke is a black thing.
Woke (Wikipedia) is a political term of African American origin that refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice.
In other words, Black Americans coined this term so that the whole world will know that they understand what is up. They know what is happening behind the scenes. They understand societal conditioning (Yas! This is such a woke word!!) and will not let anyone take them back or set them up for the future.
But calm down.
This is certainly not a serious education on the word woke. I am not very good at serious.
This article should have been titled: ‘How to be a Woke Nigerian’. In fact, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a direction to our article.
You might have been feeling left behind, old or just bush when people banter with the word ‘Woke’ flying around. You want to be cool. You want to present yourself in a manner so you can mask your pseudo-intellectualism. You want recognition amongst top thinkers (I desperately want to name names but I am afraid). Una don jam luck today. I will help you.
- Do you have a twitter handle that you use actively? No decent woke person is without an active twitter handle. Twitter is the Mecca of Wokeness only they convene every single day. I am taking it for granted that you already have an above average grasp of the English language. Because if you don’t, I am sorry, just stay asleep. You must also have an Instagram account. Facebook is optional. If you do own a Facebook account, use it sparingly abeg. Do not jump into comments or arguments; you cannot be seen as active. If you love Facebook too much to let go, be a ghost and lurk around without leaving footprints.
- If you are religious, kindly reconsider. Religion is a rigid construct (get used to ‘constructs’) and there is no way you can be taken seriously if you have not broken through religious conditioning (I did it again. Note the word conditioning). Religion gives boundaries, it is boorish and like so last century. Besides, a lot of the things you are required to support as a woke person do not mix with most religions. You can replace a faith with Feminism and humanism. You must be open minded and ready to explore beyond the boundaries that other people created.
- Thou shalt keep ready and within reach thy cloak of righteousness and thy garment of outrage. The tweet of truth and the hashtag of generalisation must be at hand. Thou wilt need it when ‘calling out’ which thou art qualified to do in a twitter thread. In NIV, this means that you should be ready to be angry and express your anger and call out people who are dumb and dense and annoying and dare to perpetuate what you know is a lie because you own the franchise of absolute truths. You can never be woke without outrage. How else will people know that you are if you are not there challenging everything?
- You must have a ‘god complex’. You are omniscient and ready to explain things to mere mortals. What you condemn in your mind is condemned in the world. What you put a stamp of approval on must be adopted in all nations as the correct thing to believe. This means that you rarely apologize. “YOU SAID WHAT YOU SAID”. It also means keeping the ‘banish-to-hell’ button close by. This is simply the block button. Anyone who does not agree and argues with what you know as the truth will get blocked. You don’t just hate sin, you rarely give the sinner a chance.
- There is a certain vocabulary that is acceptable. If you are lucky to have some background in academic writing, it will come in handy when you are giving flesh to your ideology. Big grammar is super impressive and places you above normal soldier ants. If you do not have such a background then you can disguise with a few words while you get better. Words like ‘Cis’, ‘Existential’, ‘Weaponize’, ‘Agency’, ‘Conditioning’, ‘Constructs’, ‘Binary gender and Non binary gender’, ‘Polyamorous’ etc. You must know words that are politically incorrect. If you never knew that calling someone ‘half caste’ is a faux pas then you will enter hot water, get dragged with a toetag hashtag and banished from the Woke Club. Interracial is preferable. There are many other words, look them up.
- You MUST be an LGBT advocate or supporter. There are no two ways about it. There is no middle ground. It is the ultimate test of whether or not your core is right. You must never see this minority as people who chose to live in certain way. You must know that the way “chose” them. They cannot help how they are born. You must adjust to their preferred pronouns and be very angry at people who do not recognize LGBT people. Be ready with stamps that say ‘HOMOPHOBIC’, ‘RACISTS’,‘BIGOT’, ‘HATE’ etc Just between us, it doesn’t matter if you were a person that did not understand or accept LGBT people a minute ago. The moment you embrace them, you must have zero tolerance for people that are the way you were for decades. That you have grown in knowledge really means that anyone who has not grown along with you is banished to blocking hell. Your tolerance spans every fringe idea or person but stops at anything mainstream. It would be a good idea to be a marginalized minority as well.
- Speaking about mainstream issues, yeah, not for you. It is boring. Normal. In fact normal things annoy you. You praise every deviance you see. It makes you stand out. She doesn’t drink? She is a bore. She throws back tequilas? YAS! Queen. A mood. He believes in abstinence? Yawning! He is bi-curious and likes it when girls do anal on him with a strap on? YASSS! Living his best life.
- Have some mental illness (preferably self-diagnosed). It just makes you seem deeper. Introspective. Troubled. Hence exciting. All the greats have had depression, anxiety and even some bi-polarish thing going on. The best I have actually seen is someone that diagnosed herself as mildly autistic. Mind you, it must not be anything serious that requires hospitalisation or institutionalization. Please don’t bristle. I skated close to the edge with this one. I can see someone tweeting how they find it disgusting that I would trivialise mental health and how creatives legit have mental health issues. Well, consider this a favour. You can start a tweet storm with a really clever hashtag with this point. I may even apologise for this point if I am threatened sufficiently. This brings me to my next point.
- CANCEL. CANCEL. No apology is ever good enough. Once a person shows himself, it is not a mistake. Little about their history matters. No good will be seen in them every again. If anyone defends them CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL them too.
- Be a snob. Identify with the really smart ones even if you are not as smart. Get their attention. Create time to think of clever things that will get their attention. A retweet may change your life. Or even just a pat on the head will tell you that you are on the right path. Be so over a lot of things. Be the best version of you. Don’t let negative people drain your energy. Follow all the literary blogs. Share articles about existential stuff. Love Laverne Cox. Ignore Bob Risky. Follow Kenny Brandmuse and Bisi Alimi. Day dream about Obama being world president and spit on Donald Trump.
- Bonus point. Superimpose 1st world issues on Nigerian issues. Make comparisons. Talk and be outraged at how Nigerians want to muzzle gay people preventing them from speaking about the sex they have while heterosexuals talk about their own type of sex all the time. Conveniently forget that in Nigeria, homosexuality is still a crime. How you want to hold nuanced conversations on homosexuality when gay people can be killed without consequence in this country is the grade A woke shit. It is like worrying if people will notice the oil stain on your dress when your dress is in tatters.
This is much longer than I intended. I really truly could go on. But I won’t.
I hope I have helped you today. You are welcome.
This is not a sub. But if you want to carry it who am I to say no?