“Who polices the woke?” The question caught me off guard.
My line brother posed it to me as I was on my way to a meeting. We are members of the first historically black Greek collegiate fraternity and are called line brothers because we joined at the same time. He called with a question that, up until then, I’d not considered. He wanted to know what was the mechanism by which we quantify someone’s degree of wokeness.
“Can a person be woke in one area but sleep in another?” Good question.“
Does being woke mean I have to agree with what all other woke folks say should be done about issues in the black community?” My L.B. is smart. I’d expect nothing else from an Alpha man.
His main point of inquiry centered on the illusive nature of ideas and expectations concerning those we identify as woke. He called me because he knows that as a philosopher of race, I teach, write and think about the intersection of race and public policy. To fully unpack his question, I think we need to first examine the contemporaneous use of the word “woke” vis-à-vis the movement for black lives.
Read More: The Politics of Being Woke