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Letter: Symbolic tokenism undermines true diversity in Arlington

Democrats should think critically when selecting candidates for local office

To the editor: One of the most frustrating things for a person of color in this self-professed liberal community is seeing how much tokenism still thrives in Arlington politics.

Local politics is where people should know candidates well enough to judge them by their fitness for the job and, yes, the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.

Tokenism is the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to be inclusive to members of minority groups, especially by recruiting people from underrepresented groups to give the appearance of racial equality.

But tokenism undermines diversity. Diversity is more than presence. If the token doesn’t represent the voices of their minority group, then the entity is devoid of diversity.

When deciding on a candidate, examine how they’ve treated women – particularly Black women, other minorities and those having no political value to them whatsoever.  How they conduct themselves before or while campaigning is how they will conduct themselves once elected. Guaranteed.

To the Arlington Democratic establishment: This business of demonizing and lying about candidates who dare to challenge the party’s favorite is as Trumpian as it gets.

I am a lifelong Democrat who wants no part of those tactics. I can think critically for myself, perform my own character analysis and determine who does or doesn’t represent my interests, regardless of their skin color.

In this election, I am supporting Josh Katcher for commonwealth’s attorney, Susan Cunningham and Maureen Coffey for County Board and Jose Quiroz for Sherrif.

Symone Walker, Esq., Arlington