Pioneer or Token?

The only black kid graduating in the class.

The one woman in senior management.

The outlier, the exception

They’ve worked so hard,

They’ve done so well

The numbers speak for themselves-

They are a cut above the rest.

The only one from a rough background to ever make it

The only female to ever make it up the ranks.

Because people like them don’t usually do things like this.

What a remarkable person.

A real pioneer.

Or are they a token?

The one black face in the picture to represent what the picture is not: diverse.

The one woman in the team to represent what the team is not: balanced.

The acceptance of a few

To justify the discarding of so many

As though human dignity has a quota

And the system has reached its target number.

Indeed the numbers do speak for themselves

That people like you were never meant to do things like this

But one or two will be allowed in

Because it justfies the fact that so many will never make it.

And it looks better.

Like a shiny badge of progress.

Like a token.



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