With the push for racial equality bustling now more than ever, also comes a bevy of threats to the cause—and tokenism is just one of them.
Merriam-Webster defines it as “the policy or practice of making only a symbolic effort (as to desegregate)”. In other words, acts of tokenism are performative, perhaps to jump on a trend or avoid criticism.
Some obvious examples include influencers posting empty black squares on Instagram without so much as a caption or meaningful discussion; TV shows inserting minority characters into the mix only to define them by their skin colour; political parties putting forward POC candidates in races where they have little to no chance of winning.
Everything about moving to Australia that, to me, was and is riveting and satisfying, but also anxiety-inducing.
It’s no secret that I’m as sentimental as they come. A quick scroll through my Instagram story highlights will reveal an excessive amount of #throwback photos.
So naturally, as I’m on the verge of completing my last semester in uni, I just had to meticulously reminisce my time in Melbourne.
I love Melbourne with all my heart. But, and I say this with love, this city is whack.
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much intense prep work you do for your trip. You’ll read blogs, you’ll watch YouTube videos, you’ll ask friends—but none of it will match up to experiencing it yourself for the first time and ending up 45 minutes in the opposite direction of your intended destination.
Disclaimer: Most of these I find whack simply because I grew up in a wildly different environment. If you’re a born-and-raised Melburnian, chances are you won’t find any of these out of the ordinary at all.
There is something about exiting the crosswalk mid-way that feels so counterintuitive. And it certainly does not help directionally-challenged individuals like myself either.
That said, I developed a completely rational fear of taking the tram, and in my first three months, travelled around via Uber almost exclusively.
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