Some Republicans accuse people of being “woke” as if it’s an insult, something bad and something to be ashamed of.

Until now I thought woke meant waking a person out of sleep. That’s not what woke currently means when used as a political weapon against people of color.

In 2017, a new meaning of “woke” was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The dictionary meaning is being aware of important facts, racial issues, social justice and marginalized communities. Woke people challenge and change the paradigm, making life better for everyone.

The true meaning of woke makes me proud to be woke. Black Lives Matter used the hashtag “Staywoke”after Michael Brown’s murder. Woke people promote awareness of injustice and discrimination. Staywoke means staying informed about social issues, political issues and racism.

People considered “woke” are intelligent defenders of true historical facts of Black people in America. The term “woke police” is used by critics in a negative way to describe those who fight for social issues, justice and true historical facts.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee said, “We have a moral obligation to stay woke, take a stand and be active, challenging injustices and racism in our communities and fighting hatred and discrimination wherever it rises. We can never be woke enough.”

Black people were not immigrants. They were brought to America against their will to be sold as slaves. Forced to become Americans with no rights; the choice was not theirs.

We have a choice to wake up and choose to be woke.

Deanne Danforth, Wilton

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