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.
What is tokenism?
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.