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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[1]
Think of the worst politician you can. When we have a woman as bad as him elected, then we have equality.
Amanda VanstoneWikipedia[2]

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 too fucking crazy even for Republicans insufficiently crazy in the era of Ben Carson.[note 1] Some companies[Which?] will hire one representative of a given group — for instance, one black person, 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 photos of minorities in their literature, 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.[note 3]

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]


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 they believe Gamergate is about care about "ethics in video game journalism".[3]

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 make new Twitter accounts with.[4]

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]

  • Roy CohnRuined the careers of Democrats, gays, Jews… and he himself was all of those things. "Not all Jews are Communists," he said, "but most Communists are Jews."[citation needed]
  • S. E. Cupp — Token atheist. Uses the same basic techniques (academia and the media hates Christians!) to deliver the conservative votes.
  • Jordan Peterson — Token academic who is the "favourite figure of the alt-right"[5] and believes that academia has been polluted by "postmodern neo-Marxists," and who is handsomely rewarded for it via his Gofundme page, bringing in $50,000 a month.[6]
  • Thomas Sowell — You mean the segregation-supporting Sowell?[7][note 5]
  • Christina Hoff Sommers — Insufferably smug,[8] "factual feminist" and Gamergate shill.
  • Blaire White — That trans woman who tells the right that it's OK to be transphobic. Holds views antithetical to those of the overwhelming majority of trans people, but still manages to claim the left is "fighting a fight transgender people don't want." Known for making extremely sensationalist claims like "trans children are child abuse"; welcome to clickbait culture.
  • Milo YiannopoulosAlt-right figurehead (although he doesn't identify himself with the alt right[9]). Vaguely advocating fucking children. Well, he was molested as a kid, so he's pretty hard to top in the "token" category.
  • David Cole — A Jewish Holocaust denier.
  • Candace Owens — A token Black Hitler apologist.

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 you need 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."
  5. Of course they would pick a guy named Tom.