A former MSNBC host and contributor claimed Wednesday that the term “woke” is comparable to the n-word.
“At this point woke is a slur,” Touré Neblett, a journalist who co-hosted the MSNBC show “The Cycle,” tweeted. “The way the right uses it is an undercover way of saying “those people,” or “non-white people.” It’s a polite way of saying the n-word but in this case the n-word includes Blacks, LGBTQ folks, and other marginalized groups.”
The post circulated on social media, where Chris Rufo, a conservative journalist and cultural pundit, highlighted it and questioned if it made sense. “White liberals are the most woke group in America, but for the Reddit-tier race hustlers ‘woke’ now means ‘the n-word,’” Rufo tweeted.
The way the right uses “woke” it is a slur. A sneaky dog whistle way of saying the n-word. But bravo to you for perpetuating white supremacy. https://t.co/ulzlaM5IPn
— Touré (@Toure) March 15, 2023
Neblett responded, doubling-down on the notion that the word “woke” is a “dog whistle,” and accused Rufo of “perpetuating white supremacy.”
Neblett is not the only media pundit to accuse conservatives who use the word “woke” of bigotry. Journalist Soledad O’Brien, an ex-CNN anchor, claimed that the word has become a racial slur in February.
In a tweet that referenced Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s criticism of playing the “Black National Anthem” ahead Super Bowl kickoff, O’Brien claimed that Greene’s use of the word “woke” had racial connotations.
“So reporters.. for many people ‘woke’ means Black people. Or more likely–a racist slur. So maybe do a better job in interviews when people talk about ‘wokeness’ mmkay?” O’Brien tweeted.