Howard Stern responds to ‘woke’ claims: ‘I take that as a compliment’

Howard Stern

Howard Stern has responded to complaints that he went “woke”, telling listeners he’s more than happy to be linked to the progressive term.

“I kind of take that as a compliment, that I’m ‘woke’,” he said on his SiriusXM show this week, after yet another internet personality used the word to describe him.

“To me, the opposite of woke it being asleep,” he continued.

“And if woke means I can’t get behind [Trump], which is what I think it means, or that I support people who want to be transgender, or I’m for the vaccine – dude, call me woke as you f***ing want.”

Howard Stern
Howard Stern is happy for you to call him ‘woke’. (Getty Images)

The term ‘woke’ has been villainised in recent years by the far-right and portrayed as a negative word to describe people with more liberal ideals.

The word originally stemmed from African-American Vernacular English in the 2010s and is defined as someone who is “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”, as well as other types of social inequalities like LGBTQ+ rights, sexism, and classism.

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It does quite literally mean to be ‘awake’ and aware of the world around you, as Stern theorised in his show on Monday (19 September).

That’s why it’s so baffling to see uninformed right-wing figures try to use it as an insult. 

A USA Today/Ipsos poll from March found that 56 per cent of Americans had a positive association with the word ‘woke’ and understood it to mean being “informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.”

Howard Stern
Stern has a better graspy of the word ‘woke’ than most people do. (SiriusXM/YouTube)

That accounted for three-quarters of Democrats and over a third of Republicans.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent believed the term to mean being “overly politically correct and police others’ words.”

Like most people who tend to be labeled as “woke”, Stern said he was proud to be known as such.

“I am woke, motherf***er, and I love it,” he said.

“I want to read legitimate news sources. Here’s how woke I am: I believe the [2020 presidential] election was not rigged.

“I’m woke. I think that’s a compliment. These guys on the internet who say they’re not woke, but they seem to be really angry, super against gay people – especially transgender [people].”

He continued: “Am I for kids being able to read about anything in school?” he asked, referring to the Republican-led states enforcing book bans.

“Yeah, I am. I don’t give a s*** what kids read.

“Give me vaccines, man. I’m all for it. I like being woke, if that’s what woke means.”