Actor Rakie Ayola has absolutely nailed how to reply to anyone who uses the word “woke” as a criticism.
Rakie was speaking to BBC Breakfast about a progressive drama series about friends bound together by a secret. The six-part BBC show, called The Pact, stars well-known actress Rakie as DS Holland in its second season.
Host Victoria Fritz asked Rakie: “There are some people who will see it and say, ’this is a woke version of the Welsh family.′”
Victoria glanced at Rakie, and pointed out: “I can see you rolling your eyes. Tell me.”
Rakie then began by saying she would respond to such criticism by asking people to “explain what you mean by woke – and then we can have the conversation.”
She continued: “If you can’t explain it, don’t hand me that word.
“Don’t use a word you cannot describe.
“Or maybe you know exactly what you mean, and you’re afraid to say what you mean, then let’s have that conversation.
“Not even afraid – you daren’t. Do you know what I mean.
″Sit there and tell me what you mean by woke, and then we can talk about whether this show is woke or not.
“Then I can introduce you to a family just like this one – so are you saying they don’t exist, when they clearly do? Are you saying that they’re not allowed to exist? What do you mean by that?
“Let’s have a proper conversation. Don’t throw words around willy-nilly when you don’t know what they mean.
“If you don’t know, then please be quiet because you are incredibly boring.”
Victoria then cut off the interview, saying: “Absolutely. Rakie there, telling us how it is.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, when woke is used as an adjective (rather than the past tense of wake), it means: “Aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).”
It has since been hijacked and used as an insult, generally describing someone who is seen as overzealous in their progressive politics.
It’s a term generally grouped with political correctness, cancel culture and virtue signalling traditionally as a way to rebuff left-wing views, and has often been used as an insult by figures such as former prime minister Boris Johnson and his successor Liz Truss.
Journalist Steve Poole describes it in The Guardian as a method of mocking “over-righteous liberalism”.
TalkTV’s Piers Morgan also previously told Steven Bartlett’s podcast The Diary of a CEO that “the modern day woke is a form of fascism” which risks “the end of our democratic society”.
Piers claimed at the time that “woke” people used to campaign against racism and social injustice, but now it has evolved into something else, controlling what people can find funny and what is acceptable in culture.
“All the joy’s been sucked out of life by this woke brigade of, in my view, awful people who just think that life should be humourless, banterless, everything is bullying,” he said.