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Bake Sale Plays Race Card to Protest Affirmative Action Bill

Memorial Glade and Sather Tower on the campus ...

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Drama is cooking over at the University of California Berkeley, because of a bake sale by the Campus Republicans where the price of the cookie or brownie depends on your gender and the color of your skin.

The bake sale prices goods at: $2.00 for white men, $1.50 for Asian men, $1.00 for Latino men, $0.75 for Black men, and Native American men for $0.25. All women will get $0.25 off those prices. It’s intent is protesting the Affirmative Action-like bill, SB 185 — currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

“I fully support the idea of members of BCR expressing their views on SB 185, and I believe that there should be dialogue and discussion surrounding this issue, but I do not think that this method is constructive,” said ASUC President Vishalli Loomba in an email. “Members of BCR have expressed that the differential pricing structure was intended to be satirical, but I do not see how this is comparable to what SB 185 stands for.”

“The pricing structure is there to bring attention, to cause people to get a little upset,” Campus Republican President Shawn Lewis, who planned the event, told CNN-affiliate KGO. “But it’s really there to cause people to think more critically about what this kind of policy would do in university admissions.”

Lewis says it’s a way to make a statement about pending legislation that would let the California universities consider race or national origin during the admission process.


Some believe that the organization went too far in these actions. (As an organization that receives funding from the ASUC, the Berkeley College Republicans is subject to having its sponsorship revoked.)

According to the ASUC constitution, the Senate “shall not fund any activity or group which discriminates against any student by race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, physical disability, or political activity, or belief in its method or recruitment and acceptance for membership.”

Lewis, Campus Republican President, says that while he thinks admissions should be largely merit-based, he does think that socioeconomic factors should be considered in college admissions considerations — just not race alone.

The passage of the bill would not necessarily mean a Proposition 209 annulment, (209 prohibits public institutions from considering race in admissions decisions, and bans awarding admissions decisions based on race and ethnicity alone.) SB 185 would allow admissions officers to view ethnicity as part of the student’s background as a whole.

Um yeah…well that sounds like it would do exactly that. Be an about face of Prop. 209.

To read more on my stance, keep reading…

Monday night while looking for background information on the new show PanAm, I stumbled on to a huge “white pride” online community. I found it fascinating for more than one reason. My whole life my parents, my mother in particular, made efforts to keep me aware of the historic plight and various treatment of African American’s in the United States, and of the still presence of discrimination. At the same time my mother was very intentional in raising me in environments of predominate races not my own. Her own views may never be as open and broadly accepting as mine on the topic of race, because she’s experienced things I haven’t, and hopefully never will, in a constantly changing social landscape. It was her choice to live outside of her comfort zone that shaped mine. Her own heart and mind may not see the world as I do; as a young black woman who’s only been living post the civil rights movement.

Martin Luther King’s dream was for a day when his children would live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I never want to be judged by for reason that is unrelated to my character. I am incapable of judging others by anything else as well. For this I have long since struggled with my opinion about affirmative action. The idea is ideal, but how it’s put into action hasn’t fully been that.

Affirmative action is supposed to address past discrimination through active measures to make sure equal opportunities as in education and employment, are provided. But these active measures tend to come across as: I have to do this because you’re that race; I have to do this because you’re that gender, and so on. In the past I can see how people would have needed to have their hands essentially forced—so people could be given the opportunity to showcase their character. Open the door others. I get that, and I understand that. As a result we have evolved in our thinking, and I don’t think that fact is appreciated and celebrated as much as it should. Hands will not always need to be forced, so why do we continually treat the entire landscape as if it has to be?

I think affirmative action can and will be fully deemed as successful when we simply remember the past, but refuse ourselves to live in it. When affirmative action is gone than it’s participants should rejoice then rejoice in the presence that they created. Constant reminders and turning to the past, make people blind to the present.

I don’t like that the NAACP states its mission as the “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”  When their vision remains steadfastly geared towards solely the interests of African-Americans. King may have been black, the same why I am, but when I support his “dream” I extend to every that covers this globe. I could never understand why I’d be encouraged to support a viewpoint that still inadvertently perhaps, still singles people out because of their race. (Reverse discrimination helps no one.)

They have objectives I highly commend:

  • To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens
  • To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States
  • To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes
  • To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights
  • To inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination
  • To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.

But do I like with what affirmative actions brings to mind to the masses (a legal requirement to look at someone’s race to justify something, therefore placing them above another race)? No.When I asked a group of my non-minority race friends they either didn’t know what it meant in the first place, or they replied that it’s when the law forces you to do something based on race. (and these are friends I’d in a heartbeat describe as color blind, they love and respect everyone people)

The world isn’t perfect; we’re not at a place where discrimination does not exist. It does, and it should be condemned as unacceptable. The motivation behind affirmative action still needs to evolve the minds of plenty. But with evolved tactics, that recognize racial views have come along way, but don’t disregard that we aren’t there yet either.  I could go on about this, but I’d like to think by now you have somewhat of an accurate picture of my opinion.

Gimme one of those cookies, because I understand exactly the point they’re trying to illustrate.


About maggie.

Maggie Barnes is a nonprofit and for profit business content specialist / social media consultant; and social sciences web writer interested in everything from psychology and sexuality, to technology, race, and economics. She is passionate about good communication and information accessibility.



  1. Pingback: Reverse Discrimination | sandy12176 - October 10, 2011

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