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And as you know, American Imperialism is absolutely justified because we had a black President once... before I fucking killed him!
—Senator Armstrong, An Incorrect Summary of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance[1]
There's nothing the rightwing loves more than a black person willing to say black people are the real racists or a queer person willing to say queer people are the real threat. If you're queer or a person of color and you're telegenic and articulate and willing to sell the rancid cum rag that passes for your soul, you'll never have to do an honest day's work again in your life.
Dan Savage[2]
Think of the worst politician you can. When we have a woman as bad as him elected, then we have equality.
Amanda VanstoneWikipedia[3]

Tokenism is the practice of using a member of a minority group in order to "prove" how "progressive and forward-thinking" your organization is.

For instance, Alan Keyes was the Republican Party's "token black" and would still be if Alan Keyes weren't insufficiently crazy in the era of Ben Carson.[note 1] Some companies[Which?] will hire one representative of a given group — for instance, one African American, one gay person, or one woman[note 2] — to give the entire company the appearance of being inclusive.

Similarly, traditionally exclusionary organizations such as private schools will go out of their way to put (stock) photos of minorities in their literature,[4] creating a parallel Bizarro World of multiculturalism that does not exist in said organization's objective reality. It's why Bob Jones University has photos of black guys and Asians on the front page of its web site.[5][note 3]

In some cases tokenism is used in attempt to dilute a qualified candidate's votes with an opposing candidate in the same demographic without any pretense of progressivity, e.g. the totally unqualified but famous Herschel Walker (GOP) running against Senator Raphael Warnock in the 2022 Georgia Senate race. Both candidates are African American.[6][7] "As for Walker: This won’t be the last time the GOP raises up a Black man [Walker] who lies, says dumb things and has a history of sexual misconduct and violence when the candidate on the opposing side is a liberal Black man with a squeaky-clean public persona who generally projects preparedness, intelligence and savvy."[6]

Tokenism is also used to give organizations the appearance of political balance. For instance, Alan Colmes was one of Fox News' "Token Liberals."[note 4]


The #NotYourShield pyramid of ultimately blaming the Jews (Cultural Marxism)
See the main article on this topic: Gamergate § .23NotYourShield

Gamergate found a way to weaponize the friend argument with the #NotYourShield hashtag. It is ostensibly a group of women, non-white people, and people of varying sexualities who claim they are not a shield from criticism for the journalists who decried Gamergate as a hate movement focused on evicting women, feminist ideas, and liberalism from the video game industry and that they care about "ethics in video game journalism".[8]

The primary victim of Gamergate, Zoe Quinn, later revealed they had evidence disproving everything about Gamergate up to that point, including evidence that the progenitors of #NotYourShield were sockpuppet accounts of straight white guys having stolen avatars from across the Internet of women and non-white people to use for making new Twitter accounts.[9]

However, this did not stop Gamergate from actually recruiting the kinds of people they initially pretended were supporting them, setting up a culture-jamming campaign and ironically a shield from criticism for Gamergate itself. When anyone criticizes Gamergate for being a hate movement against women and ethnic and sexual minorities, Gamergate adherents cite #NotYourShield, believing that the presence of women, anyone who isn't white, and anyone who isn't straight who agree with them discredits the experiences of those who disagree.

Example tokens[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Other former tokens, like Colin PowellWikipedia and Michael Steele, have also been purged for excessive sanity. But they also have Dinesh D'Souza and Michelle Malkin if one needs non-black minority wingnuts.
  2. Or one black lesbian to include all three groups with one person.
  3. There are many, many more photos of white people, however.
  4. Similarly, Pat Buchanan was one of MSNBC's "Token Racists."


  1. An Incorrect Summary of Metal Gear Rising | Part 2 | Sons of Obesity Max0r on YouTube, 2022.
  2. "Milo Yiannopoulos: Girls Are In Danger When Adult Trans Women Use Public Toilets But 13-Year-Old Boys Can Benefit From Giving Head To Adult Males" by Dan Savage (February 20, 2017) The Stranger.
  3. Sue Boyce: Preselecting more Liberal women is not just a 'feel-good' issue by Sue Boyce (February 6, 2016) Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  4. multicultural Photos Pexels.
  5. Bob Jones University (archived from February 1, 2022).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Why we barely dodged the Herschel Walker bullet by Karen Attiah (December 9, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. EST) The Washington Post.
  7. Herschel Walker’s Loss In Georgia Senate Runoff Shows Why Tokenizing Black People Usually Fails by Shaun Harper (Dec 7, 2022, 12:59pm EST) Forbes.
  8. #NotYourShield Hashtag Shows Multi-Cultural Support For GamerGate by William Usher (2014-09-06 20:35:46) Cinemablend (archived from September 7, 2014).
  9. "Chat logs show how 4chan users created #GamerGate controversy" by Casey Johnston (9/9/2014, 4:20 PM) Ars Technica.
  10. For the First Time, Abbott Discusses Details of His Lawsuit Settlement by Jay Root (Aug. 2, 2013) The Texas Tribune.
  11. Abbott Faces Questions on Settlement and His Advocacy of Tort Laws by Jay Root (Aug. 4, 2013) The Texas Tribune.
  12. King Cohn: Roy Cohn was one of the most loathsome characters in American history, so why did he have so many influential friends? by Robert Sherrill (August 12, 2009) The Nation.
  13. One of Trump's most vocal black supporters seemed to defend Hitler in a recent speech by Eugene Scott (February 8, 2019 at 4:22 PM) The Washington Post.
  14. Who is Jordan Peterson, favorite figure of the alt-right (April 28, 2018) NBC News.
  15. Is Jordan Peterson the stupid man’s smart person? by Tabatha Southey (November 17, 2017) Maclean's.
  16. Dunbar High School After 100 Years by Thomas Sowell Oct 04, 2016 12:01 AM) Townhall.
  17. "Check your facts, not your privilege" meme via We Hunted the Mammoth.
  18. "I don't, in fact, describe myself as a member of the alt right." minute 1:41