Being Woke

The point of “wokeness” is not to feel sorry for being white.

The point is to realize race is not biological but was essentially created to delineate who has power and who serves that power: white and Black respectively in America. The first significant comments on substantial differences between white and Black people came from white people in power.

The people who held and who still benefit from that racial-based power, white people, do not get to suddenly switch over to a color-blind reality, specifically now that it’s become inconvenient and Black people are pointing out how they, for example, are systemically economically disadvantaged.

That racial balance of power has demonstrably acted like a substantial, negative interest rate on your family’s wealth because of the color of your skin. Regardless of whether a Black person could still make some good for themselves anyway, that’s still money effectively stolen for being Black when you think about it.

However, now that such considerations as reparations have come back into the conversation, people who have implicitly benefitted (people like me) are suddenly very keen on being color-blind and on race no longer existing.

Now to be fair, that’s partially well-motivated. Indeed negative things should not be done to someone based on the color of their skin.

But it’s also cynical and opportunistic, missing the point of much of our advocacy amid many such negative things happening because of the color of skin: like murder by hypoxia or gunshot.

Now that trying to right wrongs based on race is having race involved at all suddenly a morally problematic thing to do. Now white people try to talk about how to bring up race is racist.

Being woke is about understanding that race didn’t stop existing once its creation stopped being convenient for white people.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Christopher Sharp

This effort has evolved to primarily be for clearly communicating technical subject matter to the public: largely my two passions astrophysics and space travel.