I don’t claim to be woke. Anymore.
I’ve come to despise the term because it’s been co-opted by so many different people in so many different ways that it’s lost all it’s original meaning. Anyone who displays a Hooked on Phonics level of knowledge and compassion for the plight of the marginalized gets labeled as “Woke” or “Woke Bae” or whatever other goofy ass term of endearment gets passed around on the internet.
An aside, I have yet to hear anyone outside of an electronic medium talk like this. If you’ve ever physically heard me say anything about being woke, I’m usually saying it tongue in cheek. Reality is a cruel bitch.
Another reason for this turn back to that middle ground between apathy and the perpetual caffeine high is because I found it to be rather performative, even if I was performing for an audience of one. While I’ve rarely been one to say crazy shit about other marginalized groups on social media (while occasionally letting the 2520s have it), I found myself over policing myself, liking and retweeting things for brownie points from nobody. And yeah, while I have begun and continue to clear out old tweets from my personal twitter, because you never know when your words can be used against you, whether they are fuck shit or not, I am fucking sleepy. I’m tired of giving off the appearance of being a progressive person because I’ve realized that I’m not. I still have blind spots and I recognize that, and I know better than putting my foot in my mouth about those blind spots. Listen and learn, listen and learn.
Even though I may be tired, I can’t yet go to sleep. There’s too much that happens into this world, too many places where me and my folks, at all our various intersections, are still getting fucked. We’re politically, socially, economically, educationally, spiritually fucked.
Hell, our pleasure and entertainment is even fucked.
It’s no secret that I’m a wrestling fan. I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops since 1999. I’ve had periods away from it but I’ve come back, and I’m still here. I’ve written about it, had a podcast about it, thought about doing it. It’s no secret I love wrestling. It’s not the same though.
Too many wrestlers and organizations have shown their asses over the last several years for me to continue to really enjoy it the way I used to. This isn’t something special. This happens to a lot of people with the things they love. The rose colored glasses come off, the naievete wears away, you stop making excuses for their bullshit.
I am woke enough to stop excusing wrestling and wrestlers for their bullshit.
Just this past weekend, as of this writing, the newly crowned Impact World Champion, and I’m not giving her the dignity of typing her name out, even typing out the organization is giving them too much exposure; the newly crowned World Champion of this organization was outed for spitting in a Afro Puerto Rican woman’s face and calling her a nigger back in 2017. Said woman punched her, but stayed quiet until now for fear of being blackballed, because this newly crowned World Champion is the daughter of a legendary wrestler and has enough pull on the independents (basically anything outside of WWE, maybe Impact and now AEW) to fuck up people’s money. The new champion has also been outed as being a bully to a lot of women as well, but then lacked self-awareness and tweeted that women should support one another, which opened the flood gates on her ass.
Instead of this newly crowned World Champion, the first woman to ever hold THEE major male singles title in a major organization, instead of her owning up to what she did, showing some fucking remorse and putting in some effort to be a better fucking human being, she doubled down. She played victim. She had her slew of defenders, including a Korean wrestler who once shared her expriences of the racism she experienced in the WWE, a Black man who has been accused of physical violence against his ex-wife and a few other Black and Latino wrestlers whom you would think would just know a little better, but hey, I guess even when people are from where you are from, they still not from where you’re from.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Back during it’s November air date, Jim Cornette, famed promoter, manager and commentator made a comment about strapping a bucket of chicken on a wrestler’s back, putting him on a scooter and sending him riding across Ethiopia on an episode of NWA Powerrr that honestly should’ve remained in the 1980s where he first told that joke.
ACH left NXT and was damn near ran out of wrestling because of a t-shirt design that looked eeriely like Sambo. While ACH may have said too much after the inital outcry, you can’t look at that shirt and see anything but generations of racial imagery.
Bobby Lashley, former Impact World Champion and MMA fighter is currently involved in an interracial cuckolding lesbian fantasy storyline with Liv Morgan, Lana and her real life husband
Alexander Rusev, I don’t know the particulars, I’m not watching this shit right now.
And Randy Orton, my old crush, a man who has a documented history of going AWOL from the Marines because he didn’t want to be a Marine, who poured tanning lotion over a female talent’s belongings because she didn’t know who he was or some shit; who had the Wellness Policy – WWE’s drug testing and concussion protocol – adjusted because he couldn’t stay clean and they didn’t want to fire him for his third strike because he’s a third generation talent; who took a picture with a female fan and then made fun of the woman with his equally yoked second wife; who told another female fan to call him when she was 16 because I guess 16 is better than 15 in some places; who would pull his dick out and touch it and then try to shake hands; who would be riding in cars on the freeway shooting firecrackers out of the window; who had sooooooo much to say about Colin Kaepernick’s protest when it first started; Randy Fucking Orton, master of the RKO, said nigga on a Twitch stream and it barely made a dent. And he said it as if he says it regularly.
And that all just happened over the last three to four months.
We can go on about the optics of Kofi Kingston, the first African-born – hailing from Ghana – WWE Champion in the company’s entire history* losing the title after a Cinderella story that saw him win the title in dramatic fashion at Wrestlemania 35 to the Aryan wet dream Brock Lesnar on Smackdown’s first episode on FOX; AEW looking quite pale towards the top; the controversies with Lio Rush that saw many people pile on him for an ill timed comment and his refusal to be held down; legendary fuck up Alberto Del Rio El Patron gettig fired for slapping an employee who told a racist joke; the passing up of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Naomi, Ember Moon** et al; going back further, Vince McMahon himself said nigga on live television in front of Booker T, Sharmell Sullivan and John Cena; the build up and the match between Booker T and Triple H at Wrestlemania 19***; the NXT wrestler from Canada using nigga on Twitter long before her signing; Cryme Tyme; the Mexicools; the “hazing” of Mark Henry, Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry; Kamala; all the dancing and smiling niggas that ever graced a ring, and god knows how many other instances of fuck shit that I just don’t know about or am leaving out because to recall them would be exhausting.
And that’s just the fucking racism.
So yeah, I’ve stepped back from wrestling. I haven’t caught an episode of RAW or Smackdown in some months becuase it’s also just trash, and really don’t have much desire to catch NXT or AEW, which are great products. NWA Powerrr gets some views, however I still side eye them for the Cornette incident, because that could’ve easily been fixed in post before it went on air. As far as Impact, I don’t watch it, I’ve never watched it and they’ve insured that I never watch it. I will still hold an interest. But the WWE doesn’t get much of my money now and days and I have long since canceled the network and even though I’ve expressed interest in attending Wrestlemania when it comes to
Hollywood Park SoFi Stadium in L.A. within the next year or so, I probably won’t shell out the cash to go. I can’t reasonably enjoy the product knowing what I know, knowing that some of these folks, even some of my own skinfolk, wouldn’t piss on me if I were on fire.
Those of you who don’t have to worry about these things, because you aren’t part of a marginalized group, you’re fortunate you don’t have to worry about these things. Then again, maybe you aren’t, because half of you be the main ones defending this shit. You can kiss my ass too.
Rest in power to “Soulman” Rocky Johnson.
Featured photo by Mike González
*Look, the discussion has been had about the Rock being the first Black WWE Champion. That really depends on who you ask. I say give it to him. He can’t claim being the first Samoan champion, that goes to Yokozuna. Yes, Yokozuna was actually Samoan and not Japanese. See, wrestling has a history of fuck shit.
**Ember Moon, what can I say about the good sis? I support her, I really do and I want better for her. She married a dude that calls himself King of the Black Women for Christ’s sake. Take a guess.
***While Triple H has garned some good will from me for NXT, to this very day I still dislike him for how Wrestlemania 19 played out. No way in hell he should’ve won that match.