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What is Tokenism

Updated: Nov 26, 2022


Ethnicity is the main factor that defines a person's nationality. Many people belong to specific ethnic groups, such as white Americans, Asian Indians, or black Ethiopians. However, not all groups are defined. by their ethnicity; for example, women are also considered minorities. Basically, 'minority' is a politically correct term that refers to a group being mistreated or ignored by the majority population.


Early 20th-century feminists argued that ethnicity was more critical in determining a person's worth than gender. For example, in the 1960s, when the civil rights movement fought for equal employment opportunities for black people, some people believed it morally superior to fight against Jim Crow laws instead. This belief shows how early feminists saw male and female blacks as inferior because of their ethnicity rather than their gender. On the other hand, black male leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. were held in high esteem because of his activism against racial discrimination. According to feminists such as Rosalyn Baxandall and Alice Walker, sexism still affects minorities; it is just less visible when minorities are mainly men.


Attitudes towards race and religion are some examples of how people of different ethnicities have been treated unfairly. For example, black men are thought to be more dangerous than black terrorists like King and Malcolm X. In addition, two white supremacist groups - the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations - were once national organizations with millions of members in the United States. In spite of this prejudice, many Americans do not agree with treating certain ethnic groups unfairly. When an Egyptian immigrant killed 14 people at a San Bernadino shooting range in 2015, many Americans protested hate speech against Arabs and Muslims instead of defending white supremacist ideas. On the other hand, 'alternative' white nationalist groups like The Nationalist Initiative often criticize anti-white sentiments within the anti-racist movement. Rather than hiding these opinions, these groups seem to thrive on them.


The term 'minority' is often used to refer to a group that is being ignored or treated poorly by the majority population. For example, women who did not participate in the 2017 census were referred to as 'minorities.' However, this term can be misleading; many traditional minorities have become majorities in some countries over time. For example, indigenous Americans once made up most of the population of what is now the United States. In addition, minority groups can be formed by common interests among people with different ethnicities- for example, Asian Americans and black Americans may have similar values and needs regarding affirmative action policies.


Tokenism is a term used to describe actions taken by prominent members of ethnic minorities to promote diversity in general rather than promote equality among ethnic minorities specifically. For example, George Takei was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor despite not being Japanese- but he has spoken out against internment during World War II and supported civil rights for Japanese Americans while they were Chinese citizens. Although racism still exists around the world today, many people have become more critical of their actions toward others due to exposure to their own minority status.

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