‘Woke’ Is Whatever You Want It to Be

What it means to be “woke” is in the eye of the right-wing beholder, Fox News host Dana Perino admitted Monday, just one week after a conservative author’s struggle to define the term on live TV went viral.

Perino was reacting to commentary from MSNBC host Jen Psaki on Sunday in which the former Biden White House press secretary said that the term — which conservatives on Fox News have hurled at topics as disparate as Xbox and Legos — is “simply not the boogeyman [Republicans] would have you believe.”

Perino began by likening the term’s fluid meaning to that of “political correctness,” citing the approval of audience members when Donald Trump criticized it during rallies in 2015 and 2016. “Everybody that was clapping knew exactly what he meant,” she said.

To be “woke” is “sort of like the Supreme Court definition of pornography: you know it when you see it,” Perino continued, referencing Justice Potter Stewart’s criteria for obscenity in the 1964 case Jacobellis v. Ohio.

“So, the Democrats want to get you in an argument where you’re having to define woke-ism as if Webster’s Dictionary is defining it. And that’s not what it is,” Perino contended.

“It could be a feeling. It could be a sense. And I wonder if Republicans or conservatives are going to have to define it more. [Psaki] could be right. I don’t know. But this will be tested.”

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