When Woke Bae Is Really A Sleep Walker

October 5, 2016  |  

An associate of mine once said: “If I ask a man how many eyes he has and he tells me ‘two,’ I don’t want him because he ain’t woke.”

I thank God — and all the praise dancers in the world — that this was a phone conversation because my face was all twisted up like, “Huh? What? Where are you getting this from? You CANNOT be serious!” Had our chat been in person, her self-esteem would have been damaged and our friendship would probably still be on a time-out. See, apparently, for this associate of mine, the mention alone of a third eye is a panty dropper. For me, not so much.

Picture the longest sigh you could ever imagine from a Black woman who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Now take that soul sister and place her on hold with the phone company for more than 20 minutes while she’s in the middle of responding to a dumb email from her boss –that’s how frustrated I am with this Hotep business.

So many of us are allowing ourselves to be duped by the SWB. I know, that sounds like a ’90s R&B quartet, but it’s not. An SWB is a Selectively Woke Brother, or as I also like to call him, a wolf in lion’s clothing.  He is probably familiar with who Willie Lynch is, he can quote Marcus Garvey, and tells you how beautiful you look even when your twist-out is trash. These are his good qualities—the ones he used to bait you in. However, what has yet to be revealed about him are all the things that contradict his kingly character.

Personally, I have always liked my men conscious –probably since I was about eight. Bumper Robinson’s character on A Different World did it for me. Dorian Heywood was everything: tall, college-educated, handsome, athletic, righteous, and still a virgin! Then when Freddie came through with Shazza on her arm there was no doubt in my mind that I needed a boyfriend who could pronounce Kujichagulia.

Trust me, I know how refreshing it is to finally meet a man who can stimulate your brain cells; that’s why I listen to Big K.R.I.T. all day long. But beware, ladies! “Woke” is the new methodology to get the Hello Kitty.

Let’s think about it. Every man in America has gotten a whiff of the Steve Harvey three-month rule. And now that social media has made it “acceptable” to be educated about our history (which sucks because it took a hashtag like #melanin for our people to understand the beautiful range of Black skin tones, but that’s a rant for another article), don’t you think these men have become aware of the fact that we go gaga for the Nas types?

It would be such a beautiful thing if everything going on around us had truly sparked a new awareness among brothers, but the truth is some of these so-called Woke Baes are really just sleep walking. And here are the tale-tell signs:

  1. He doesn’t have a job and really isn’t looking for one. This isn’t “King” behavior at all. Everyone knows if a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat. And guess who he will expect to feed him? YOU.
  2. He uses the B word and other obscene words to describe women. Now peep game… Hey may not refer to you as a female dog, but when he’s holding a general conversation, watch which words roll off his tongue, especially with his friends –if you ever get to meet them.
  3. He disrespects his parents. Not much explanation needed for this. Just know that if he treats the life givers like crap, you stand a poor chance.
  4. He doesn’t take care of his children. So if his little prince or princess is being neglected, how can you believe you’re really “his Queen”?
  5. Unless the knowledge can be found on a meme, he has no desire to learn about the African Diaspora. If this man is only getting his cultural experience from social media, something is wrong! What books does he read? Can he read? Do you know if he even finished high school? Anyone can retain just enough information to pass a test, but a true learner is always proactive. His desire to know more about self will be reflected in what he does with his spare time. Find out what he does for a hobby. Be advised that smoking to open his chakras is not good enough.
  6. He isn’t a feminist. He believes it’s time for the Black man to regain his place in society but is hush about the injustices toward Black women? Pause.

Honestly, these are just the baseline issues when it comes to the SWBs we’ve dealt with, but we know there are plenty more. Have you been a victim of the SWB? How did you realize you had been played?

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