Meaning of wokeness:
a state of being aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality. Wokeness encompasses the need to search for more knowledge, understanding and truth in order to challenge injustice.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? While challenging injustice and raising awareness towards issues of inequality and racism is certainly needed and applaudable, it has the exact opposite effect when it leads to another popular term nowadays, the “cancel culture”.
Cancel culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles — whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be “cancelled”.
Social media is more powerful than ever — a single tweet can destroy someone’s career, and life. While my argument is that this would be incredibly unfair, I get how easily people are led to follow a trend — a simple retweet just seems so easy and suddenly hundreds of thousands of people have ganged up and are determined to “cancel” someone. What happened to “the need to search for more knowledge, understanding and truth” with which wokeness describes and prides itself?
The culture trend might have started off with good intentions, but when those intentions become exaggerated, unnecessary and most importantly not fact-checked, we must ask ourselves the following question: What are we doing this for? Is it for our own consciousness? Are we that desperate that we need such an external validation of ourselves? Do we long to be heroes, do we long to feel like we are saving the world from the bad guys? In our attempt to save the world from the bad guys, we might have turned into such along the way.
After facing backlash for perpetuating racist stereotypes, the 130-year-old Aunt Jemima breakfast brand recently got a makeover.