Overwokeness…Is there such a thing?

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood and I don’t feel like cooking because it’s about 8000 degrees outside. My garden is thriving and strawberries are about to become super sexy. I decided to risk my life and go outside (with a mask on) and check the news.

Y’all. Dear Reader. These folks are talking about “Snow White” and the Prince. How the Prince kissed her without consent. He is a predator. He should be sued and taken to jail.

I mean, seriously? Are you really serious out here?

Wait, how woke?

Let me tell you something-being woke is starting to become toxic and dangerous. I know, I hear you moaning and groaning, but let me explain a few things. For me, woke is one thing but overwoke is toxic. Somebody really sat down and said, “You know, let’s look at these fairy tales. ‘Sleeping Beauty’…oh that’s a no consent right there. ‘Cinderella’ ain’t nothing but slavery. (Even when she marries the Prince, she’s still a slave) But hold up, ‘Snow White’. This guy…I can’t. And she lives with seven very small people/folx/men and they didn’t even help her? They were at work while she was getting accosted! But wait! The witch used a red apple to poison her…that’s gotta mean something.”

Go back to bed with this shit.

Listen, I have friends that are absolutely petrified…no terrified…of writing about other characters. White writers who want to add a Black character to their story or book, but are afraid of getting assassinated by the “Woke Committee”. Now, they don’t mean any harm and I’m a thousand percent sure they won’t have a Black person eating watermelon and fried chicken, like a Black person would most definitely have every white person in a Klan sheet, yelling some racial shit.

No harm, no foul, right? But these are people that make a living writing. They don’t mean anything bad, but are so fucking afraid of the “Woke Police” that they are literally trembling before they write anything.

Let’s expand the “Woke Committee” stuff here.

People want inclusivity, but at what cost? I know, I harp on Stephen King, but let’s go there. He uses the “Magical Negro” trope so much, that it’s not even a trope, it’s understood when you read his work. I’ve read some shit here and there, but not as much as I used to. I mean, I read a lot. But there’s a discussion on my blog about my thoughts on this dude. How can a white person be inclusive in writing, when they are afraid the “Woke Committee” is going to come down on them? I can hear it now, “So, they just had to use a name like LaTasha or something with an apostrophe. They had to have the hair in dreads or an afro. Oh, so they want the Black girl to assimilate because she has straight, permed hair?” This is some shit that you just can’t win.

I even had a friend tell me that they had published a story not too long ago and they were happy that the “Woke Police” didn’t find it. It wasn’t a bad story. They just included a Black character in the story. That’s it.

And yet, every time I look for a good Black movie, I see about 8,459 movies about slavery and Black folks getting pissed. Black folks in movies about drugs or being gangsters and shit. But, hey, don’t write about us, white people! You best quit!

Since I’m already knee high in this argument, let me continue. How can a person write a scary story without offending anyone on the “Woke Committee”? When I was young, we’d joke about how long the Black person lived in a movie because they were always the first ones to go. Now, there are pages cheering the longevity of Black characters on tv shows. Shows write by white writers. Ahh…so are we not supposed to be happy or proud about this? Feeling conflicted?

Suppose I write a scary story and it has a phrase like, “His soul was as black as night and just as stained.” I can hear the “Woke Committee”-“No, she equated being black with being dark and dirty and stained. Nope. Boycott. We got get the ‘Cancel Committee’ on her ass! Think she gonna write some dumb shit like this…”

I’m moving in hip deep here.

Sensitivity readers? Really? Ain’t that some bullshit? I’m sorry, but I’m on Twitter and someone asked if I could be their sensitivity reader for something.

“What? I’m sorry and what do you want me to do?”

“Well, I wrote this Black character and I want to make sure the character isn’t offensive.”

Me…long pause…”Come again?”

“Yeah, like you know, how they talk and how they look and…”

“Okay, I get it. Stop. I can’t.” I am literally holding my head in my hands, shaking it.

“Oh no, are you offended? Did I offend you?”

“I’m not offended. I think it’s stupid.”

This is an apparent thing. As the kids say, GTFOH.

If I write a white character, I will write a character that fits within the dynamic of what I’m writing. For example, I wrote a short story about a girl running away from a hoard of zombies on a highway. She hid on a bus. She hid in a car. A kid attacks her. It was just a girl running.

And, of course, me living in brain fart central thought, “Fuck it, give her some blonde hair and call it a day.” I didn’t say anything derogatory about her, her family or anything. She was just a girl, trying to survive. (It was actually a smaller piece of a bigger story.) I gave it to a fellow writer friend to critique. He liked it, said there were several similarities between what I wrote and actual war strategies (I did not know that-love having smart friends) and said that the way I had the character steal and stock gasoline was wrong. (I’m a writer, I don’t live in an apocalypse…wait…well, I don’t steal gasoline in this apocalypse.) Outside of that, there was no mention of, “So, you wrote a ‘Becky’ in your story, huh?”

It wasn’t important. She fit the narrative of the work. She could have been a Black girl named Zenobia. (Yes, I grew up with a named Zenobia. She was very tall and had these braids…but I’m getting off subject…again…)

Here’s my thing. I grew up in the 70’s. Woke was not a thing. It was “Stay Black”. We’d just come off the full on Black Panther movement and little kids, like myself, were always throwing the fist or saying Pro-Black stuff. I was busy being a kid and didn’t have time to worry about “woke”. I went to an all white school on the West Side of Cleveland one year, then the White kids came to the school on my side of town the next. I remember this little girl called me a “bitch”. She was a very, tiny white girl. Didn’t matter what color she was, it was the fact that she called me a “bitch” because I was a hall monitor-with another white girl-and we told her to stop playing in the bathroom. (Her name was Teresa and she had red hair. Her parents were getting a divorce and she was five or six. I was eight, maybe.) My fellow hall monitor, Diane R., was like, “Oh, she said a bad word!” And we had to give a report to the principal. Teresa apologized and that was it. She said she heard her dad use the word with her mom and she was mad.

For me, it’s simple. She apologized, we moved on.

But, now with all this wokeness. I mean, folks are scared of being truly creative and expressing themselves, in a sincere way. Now, “Candyman” is one of those good movies that everybody raves about, but what if it came out now? Like we didn’t know the original “Candyman” movie? Oh, you bet, the “Woke Committee” would be all over that like white on rice!

Let me tell you something, we are rapidly moving to having to establish a “Woke Cabinet” with “Woke Committee” members in each state. If you want to publish or write an article, it must be approved by the “Woke Committee” before being passed to the Cabinet for final approval. All nouns must be gender neutral. All settings must be bland colors. All written language must be banal.

If you fail the “Woke Committee” review, you will be sentenced to a special room. You will be locked up with books and movies that are supposed to make you even more “Hella Woke”. You have to get a certificate and show it wherever you go. (“Yes, I understand what I said, fellow gender neutral person. I have my ‘Woke Card’ here, in the present time, on my physical body.”)

If you don’t get the “Hella Woke Card”, you will be forwarded to the “Cancel Committee”. Once you face them, there is no coming back. You get stripped of everything and are required to wear a sign on your chest saying how you are not “Woke nor Hella Woke but Super Cancelled”. No friends, no job, no one will deal with you. The wind would even blow around you because you are not “woke” enough to be embraced by the wind.

Hey, y’all set this world up. I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut and stay out of the way.

Maybe if we focused more on “being human”, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about “wokeness”.

I said what I said.

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