Like many culturally appropriated memes, “stay woke” was meant for people struggling within the constructs of our society. Being “woke” allowed one to be aware of the plights of others systematically marginalized. It describes someone that is “awake” and acknowledging in current terms that you can’t believe everything you read or what the news tells you. For example, Colin Kaepernick should be playing football after a 2016 season in which he had 2,241 passing yards, 16 TDs, 4 interceptions, 468 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns in 11 games, but owners are staying away from him due to his kneeling at the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality. His numbers are better than most QBs that have jobs right now. They just don’t want the “baggage.” Stay woke.
So when Jeopardy! decided to use “stay woke” as a category, it was celebrated. The disturbingly-mustacheless Alex Trebek would bring some current cultural politics into the quiz competition. Sadly, Jeopardy! didn’t use “stay woke” in the manner most thought — it was a pun. A play on words. In this context, “stay woke” was meant simply as a category to describe ways to stay awake. So, in turn, hearts were broken, and Jeopardy was decidedly not woke.