Doug Cuthand writes »

Woke is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “alert to injustice and discrimination in society, especially racism.” The Merriam Webster dictionary defines woke as “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).”

If being alert to injustice and attentive to important societal facts and issues is somehow a failing, count me in all day long.

“Woke” was coined by the Afro-American community in the 1940s to define someone who had woken up to the issues of racial injustice. “Be woke” was a call to awareness and action. People told each other to “get woke!” and it sowed the seeds for the civil rights movement.

Then somehow 70 years later the far right appropriated it, weaponized it and it became a pejorative.

It’s a really strange insult and it says more about the people that use it than those who are the recipients. Since when is empathy and caring for your fellow human beings a sin?

The terms woke and wokeness are thrown around with abandon in a way to label anyone who fails to agree with the bigots and hate mongers. It’s a sad reflection on the increasingly negative view some people have of our society.

Doug Cuthand is a member of the Little Pine First Nation, a Plains Cree community in Saskatchewan.