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The Token System

Is there any way that America’s system benefits those of color? From the history of slavery to the modern day “justice” system that is in term, it has proven to put minorities at a disadvantage to fulfill the “American Dream” in ways that masks the racism well. When you enter a Predominantly White Institute, images that are used for advertisement and plastered around are those with identities that the American society refer to as minorities. A lot of huge companies hire Black people, or women to show that they is inclusion, and diversity, while those of Color are getting paid less than their White subordinates. See, the issue lies within the tokenism that is blatantly ignored with this system. Predominantly White Institutions are unmistakingly, very predominantly White; from the White professors teaching about race to the White students who get no consequences for their racist actions. It is so effortless for these businesses to take advantage of minorities while completely disregarding the injustice that we undergo. Tokenism is explained to be “the policy or practice of making only a symbolic effort as to desegregate,” and it appears in television where they pick one Black actor and give him the role as the friend who lives in the hood with a deadbeat father; or in the workplace where there is only one Black woman in a swarm of White coworkers; and especially on college campuses where the Student Government Association always has only one Black person in the muster as a way to display inclusion. What is failed to mention amid this issue is the unconscious bias and toxic environment that minorities undergo from this ignorance. Picking specific minorities and embedding them into a workplace with no one who shares the same identity as them causes loneliness. They undergo microaggressions from their White peers that go unspoken because of their lack of privilege compared to the people that mask themselves as “inclusive.” The idea of tokenism brings in negative attention, and the pressure for minorities to carry themselves in a certain manner so they aren’t perceived as less than in a White crowd. Have you ever walked into a free yoga class that your college campuses offer, and the stare of confusions that fill the room last the whole session? How about overhearing your White coworkers saying you were only granted a position because you’re Black or a woman? It is overbearingly insensible the lack of empathy for minorities that undergoes the idea of tokenism. No business or school should be allowed the priority of using minorities as an indication of inclusion unless they are open to making space for more minorities to be a part of that community. No business or school should be allowed that priority if they aren’t working towards creating a less harmful environment for us. It’s a privilege to be privileged in America and with that always comes bliss ignorance. Bringing light to the facade of tokenism and pushing for honest inclusion in Predominantly White spaces not only diversifies new ideas that can better our society, but also creates a safe space for minorities to relate to and feel comfortable in.

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