So, in season 20, we see Eric Cartman wearing a shirt with the slogan Token's life matters:

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After some quick research I found that this refers to the black life matters movement.

So I get the joke, they replaced the black with token, proving that he is even a racist when he tries to change and give an anti-racist statement.

But I don't understand why Eric is wearing the shirt? What does he want to express with this message? Did I miss an explanation in the episode? Or is this only a litte joke they included without any context to the rest of the story?


Token is the name of the black boy. That boy is a... TOKEN. He is the only black boy in the community.
And as Kevin Hart said in SNL: having just ONE black friend make you more racist than not having any black friends.

Eric is doubly racist. Not only does he have only one black friend but, for him, only that guys matters because losing him would result in ... losing a token.

A token to say: I have a black friend so I can say....

It's just a joke not tied to whole episode. Rather commentary on real life.

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  • 1
    I quite disagree with the "one black friend" argument you're making here. (1) Dead or not, Chef was also a good friend of the boys (2) There are simply no other black boys (around the boys' age) in the town to be friends with (3) Black girls (e.g. Nicole) are not friends with the boys because they are girls, not because they are black. The children are generally still segregated into boys and girls. This is mostly due to overlapping interests: the boys generally like the same things as each other, as do the girls, but the boys and the girls like completely different things. – Flater Feb 22 '18 at 11:48
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    (4), though this is slightly stretching the topic, Cartman is most commonly not portrayed as a genuine racist (there are exceptions to this, but they are in the minority). He just has a habit of doing whatever he needs to do to get what he wants, and has no issue crossing moral boundaries to get it. Cartman's T-shirt isn't a statement on racism; it's to prove the point that Cartman is using the BLM movement for his own personal benefit (unrelated to the topic of racism). – Flater Feb 22 '18 at 11:55
  • Cartman has shown degrees of racism though; a good example of this is the episode The China Problem. In it, Cartman undoubtedly displays a very real fear of Chinese Americans taking over the country. Episodes like this aren't exactly exceptions. I think it's more that Cartman is in fact a racist, but as you say will put that aside for his own personal benefit. Cartman will put aside anything for the sake of himself. – OP_rah Jun 18 '18 at 20:20

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