Don’t Ask!

Dear Institutions,

Next time you feel that we are only good enough when you need us to make you look good and you come knocking at our door, please don’t. We more than just a poster child for you. As hard as it for you to believe not all people of color are the same. Any individual of color you meet will never be able to speak for all people of color and you would have known this if you would have just done your basic research. When you find out that I am African, don’t ask me to showcase my culture for you because my culture is not for you to enjoy. Don’t approach us when you are making a video or taking photos so that you can put on your website and claim your “inclusive” “diverse” when you spend the least amount of money on diversity-related events. Don’t disguise tokenism as trying to be “inclusive” when we constantly face systematic, xenophobic and Islamophobic racism on daily basis and when come to you for aid, you look the other way and pretend like it not happening. Don’t ask us to be your token when you let your frat boys and girls have “black face” parties and they face no consequences. Don’t ask me to attend events so that you can use me to make yourself look good in front of the board of trustees. Don’t ask because we see right through the photos, video and the colorful words you use that that you are not seeking to make your institutions more inclusive, you are just trying to mak yourself look decent. Do not ask because people of color have been Institution’s  guinea pig for far too long and we are done.


Akeem Olaj & FreeQuency – “Keep On Token” (Southern Fried). Youtube Video,3.09. Posted by “Button Poetry.”December 4th, 2016,



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