“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [of hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”
— Potter Stewart, Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964)
The phrase “I know it when I see it” regarding hard-core pornography was coined by Justice Potter Stewart in his concurring opinion in the Supreme Court case of Jacobellis v. Ohio. Stewart captured so succinctly what constitutes hard-core pornography without actually defining it.
Some use a similar approach when it comes to what constitutes “woke”: you know it when you see it. This is because many have struggled in defining the term.
As a long-time observer of public behavior, I have crafted the definition of “woke” that so many have sought. Bookmark this website and share it with friends.
Woke — A progressive ideology heavily influenced by Marxism that attempts to upend norms of behavior and accountability in civilized society by promoting flawed beliefs, failed causes and dangerous actions.
There is more. Woke tenets include:
• Merit is a crime against humanity.
• Equality should be replaced with equity.
• All societal ills must be blamed on white supremacism and toxic masculinity.
• The wounds of racial divides should fester and be exploited rather than be healed.
• Select minorities are incapable of success unless the white community intervenes with the force of government. Those minorities that do succeed on their own must be restrained.
• Minorities who fail to adhere to progressive beliefs are traitors to their race, ethnicity, creed and nationality.
• The sexual revolution is defined by any manufactured notion of what constitutes an individual’s sex because biological sex simply does not exist.
• Science is not defined by the laws of nature, but by fleeting political whims.
• The rule-of-law to protect individuals and property is meaningless; law enforcement and the judiciary must be used to strike down political opponents.
• History must be rewritten to promote favored political narratives rather than document events with historical accuracy.
• The free expression of ideas is not permitted if it offends fragile sensitivities and then the speaker may be shouted down and permanently banned from participating in public discussions.
• Truthful speech that offends progressive thoughts must be labeled “hate speech.”
• Individuals must be “canceled” for merely holding disfavored beliefs.
• Having a liberal grievance — real or imagined — is a license for rioting, destruction, theft, and assault.
• Tolerance is forcing an individual to violate their conscience so that you may satisfy yours.
• Violence is defined as using politically incorrect words, phrases, and by expressing certain beliefs, but property destruction and physical assault are accepted means of expression when committed by the favored mobs.
• Young adults cannot be held responsible for poor life choices, including mismanaged finances, whereas pre-adolescents are mature enough to give consent to permanent, life-altering body mutilation and sexual relations with adults.
• Sound business practices must give way to social activism.
• The military, first responders, tradesmen, farmers, and those without a college degree make no meaningful contributions to society and must be ignored.
• Virtue signaling by the snooty elite is held in higher regard than actual acts of charity and kindness by the masses.
Being woke is more than being pretentious about how much one cares about a social issue. Wokeism is used as a weapon to bludgeon people, thoughts, and policies that do not comport with the neo-Marxist ideologies of today’s progressives.
Mark Hyman is an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist. Follow him on Twitter, Gettr, Parler, Post, and Mastodon.world at @markhyman, and on Truth Social at @markhyman81. His books Washington Babylon: From George Washington to Donald Trump, Scandals That Rocked the Nation and Pardongate: How Bill and Hillary Clinton and Their Brothers Profited From Pardons are on sale now (here and here).