Proud to be ‘Woke’

Alisa Burris
4 min readApr 13, 2023

Most of the time, I’m a pretty composed, level-headed person, at least on the surface. It takes quite a lot of prompting for me to release the anger that silently churns so often within the deep corners of my mind, far in the background depths to avoid offending anybody.

But my rage cannot be suppressed for even one more second. Under no circumstances can I proceed with a mild manner in the face of injustice. So to whomever cares to listen, I’m proud to annouce that I am ‘woke.’

For all of the toxic proclamations attacking this vague evil that so-called wokeness represents, the loud press conferences and enraged interviews, the sudden policies cropping up across the country to insulate ignorance, the book banning and groundless firings of educators, I’m delighted to own my status as ‘woke’ without any reservations.

In my view, a woke state is synonymous with empathic awareness, an effort to understand as well as to support others of varying experiences and backgrounds. It’s an eager willingness to embrace diversity, not to shame or to deride cultural differences because of a fearful lack of exposure to unfamiliar traditions. Wokeness means observing the world with an open mind and encouraging a variety of perspectives in order to enrich ourselves, to enlighten society.

So I am incredibly pleased to say that I’m ‘woke.’

It angers me to no end to hear right-wing politicians ranting about the threat that a woke sensibility demonstrates. To them, flanked in a manufactured terror designed to deny critical thinking, any idea, creative work, or approach to life that doesn’t neatly correspond to a certain entitled stereotype should not be tolerated. Quite simply, I find such aggressive crudeness, a hateful extreme of shocking bigotry, to be atrocious.

Part of the reason America gained a reputation that has attracted other cultures for generations is the great diversity that it embodies. So one privileged group’s belligerent attempt to hijack this country in a desperate move to prevent the inevitably changing demographics should not be accepted.

These are key reasons to explain why I’m most definitely, unreservedly ‘woke.’

I’m delighted about the unfavorable responses to autocratic efforts to dominate Wisconsin’s highest court and to silence Democratic lawmakers seeking legal remedies against preventable gun violence in Tennessee. These hopeful reactions are worthwhile fights to stop fascist takeovers in the name of ferocious wokeness.

So no matter how much the concept of a ‘woke’ mentality is twisted, spun in an obviously distorted manner to villainize kindness, acceptance, and social responsibility, I think voters see right through this transparent evil. It’s time that we demand more from the people who are supposed to look out for our needs, not for their own exorbitant enrichment and endless power. To that end, I believe a crucial era has begun.

This is an era that will systematically reverse the stigma of wokeness to epitomize goodness, a blossoming perception of others that transcends a strict focus on oneself. With such an important realization, the gradual recognition that a healthy society means considering ourselves as part of something bigger, a world where we’re interconnected, concerned about those who exist around us, we’ll be wonderfully roused from the toxic isolation that’s caused such terrible division over these last few years.

We will be stirred from the settling numbness that helped empower extremism, conscious of how to fulfill an inclusive vision of the world, eager to imagine the pathway to this positive outcome.

In short, we will achieve that woke state of being to defy those who wish to suppress, oppress, and repress for the sake of an unearned, unjustifiable authority.

I’m proud to be ‘woke,’ to expect elected representatives and appointed officials to adhere to ethical rules, to reject lawmakers who elevate money-making organizations’ donations over the priceless value of innocent lives, and to insist upon a fair society that serves every individual without any form of prejudice whatsoever. That’s what it means to be ‘woke’ in today’s America and I will always stand by this identity.

It’s an honor to be among the millions of voters who identify with wokeness in order to remain vigilantly aware and to stand up to corruption. We as a country, as a society that embodies such magnificent diversity and creative ability, deserve so much better. In fact, a nation that has awakened to the expectation of decency, morality, and the welcoming of our differences is exactly what we need.

For more information about me as well as my work, please visit my website https://alisaburris.com. You can also connect with me on various social media platforms. Thank you for reading!

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