Woke, from where did that come? Traditionally it was used as past tense for wake. In 2008 soul singer Erykah Badu sang a song entitled “Master Teacher” in which there is a line about being woke up and staying woke.

Today woke basically refers to social activists who were woke (awakened) to racial injustice in society. It is now a reference to a group interested in social justice who address racial issues. They strongly resent and resist any comments of what they approve. Any person questioning any thing about them is in for strong reaction. This bullying action causes many who oppose them not to speak out in order to avoid their criticism. That includes interracial bullying.

They are owed thanks for awakening society to certain injustice. However, in order to insure fairness and equity in our culture other sections need to be woke (awakened.)

History waits to see if we as a society can have disagreements without hostility and bitterness. Upon the answer rests the future of our nation.

To group any race as all members being of one mind is unfair. There are many persons in all races who have regard for persons of other races. There are compatible members of all races working together to resolve long standing injustices. If those elements prevail the future of our nation looks bright. However, for this to happen all segments, not just one, need to be woke. The slogan “Wake up America” is appropriate.

The American public can be sliced into many segments. Consider four:

One, black people who are positive, compatible and open to working across racial lines.

Two, those blacks who are aggressive, and condemning of those with whom they disagree. They are self-asserting and hostile in word and deed toward people of another race.

Three, white people who are openly positive, compatible and open to working across racial lines.

Four, those whites who are aggressive, condemning of those with whom they disagree. They are self-asserting and hostile in word and deed toward people of another race.

Notice any similarities? Let’s oversimplify the four groups. When numbers one and three get together there can be success in resolving conflicts, and reaching positive conclusions. Both as one are commendable.

When numbers two and four meet all hades breaks out. Confusion and conflict erupt. Hostility bristles. Peace is exiled and bitterness prevail.

Usually when numbers two and three meet there is a beat down of number three. We must woke up to that reality.

When numbers one and four encounter each other there are efforts to suppress number one.

Bottom line, there are good and bad guys on both sides.

It would be a very good day if numbers one and two could get together and decide to be one compatible body committed to collectively working with numbers three and four.

It would be a very good day if numbers three and four would simultaneously commit to collectively working with numbers one and two.

There is a covert problem and that is when rogues from either or both sides go virulent. That is very disturbing and causes suspicion and distrust among all.

Talk about a good day, that would be if all four were to commit to working together for the good of all. If either is to live happily ever after we must coalesce.

In the first century word got out in Ephesus the old apostle John was to speak. His total message was, “Little children love one another.” That is good for today.

The Rev. Dr. Nelson L. Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

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