Being “woke” once symbolized one’s awareness of the historical and present injustices faced by an individual or group in the pursuit of their advancement or being. It meant that the blinders of matters of racism and systems of oppression were removed so that one could fully awaken to the reality that racism exists. It is a continual and daily acknowledgement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
I am a young, 26-year-old black man in America. I have seen true racism, and the racist carnage in Buffalo, Charleston, Houston, and other cities across our country, and it has stirred in me and in many others a desire to see justice served.
Yet, we as a society turn a blind eye to the daily carnage in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and my hometown of Chicago. In the era of Black Lives Matter and “woke” capitalism, crime and income disparities continue to rise, especially in more urban and minority dominated areas. Twenty weeks into 2022 and homicide rates have risen more than 17% compared to the last four years.
Where are concerned corporations and the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation now that the communities they have profited from over the past two years are in dire need of their actual support? Where are the multi-million-dollar campaigns to call out racism in the forms of radicalization, or indifference? Where is the movement to hold political leaders accountable who turn a blind eye to the suffering and degradation of our community?