UC Berkeley 'Racist' Bake Sale Demonstration Sparks Outrage
In protest against an Affirmative Action-like bill awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature, U.C. Berkeley College Republicans announced plans to host a satirical Increase Diversity Bake Sale, selling racially price-adjusted pastries on campus, SFGate reported. The bake sale is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10am.
The announcement, posted on the group's Facebook page, advertised a pricing structure, ranging from $2 per pastry for white men to $.25 per pastry for Native Americans, with a $.25 price break for women.
"Just like the CA Senate Bills 185 and 387 the phone bank supports, we will be considering race, gender, ethnicity, national/geographic origin and other relevant factors to ensure the equitable distribution of baked goods to our diverse student body," read the announcement. The post finished with a signoff: "Hope to see you all there! If you don't come, you're a racist!" In another post, the group explained that the bake sale is meant to be satirical.
But many students were not amused. "I'm ashamed to know that I go to the same school with people who would say stuff like this," said student Skyler Hogan-Van Sickle in a Facebook. "I'm really trying to figure out how someone can be this hateful."
While some students resorted to threats and name-calling, others questioned the logic behind the bake sale. On Facebook, student Keith Africano wrote:
If you're going to compare the Bake Sale to Affirmative Action…the only way it would be comparable is if the flour, oven, and all baking materials were stolen from the people that are required to pay the lowest prices. And if the baked goods from all prior bake sales were made for free by the minorities while white students reaped all the profits…which resulted in unequal opportunities to purchase baked goods in the current sale.
Others argued in favor of the bake sale as a means of expression. "In no way do I believe this group is trying to be racist," wrote student Dennis Kim on Facebook. "They are just trying to raise awareness on new legislation that may come to pass that will allow universities to select applicants based on race and sex."
According to the Daily Cal, a special meeting of the ASUC Senate has been called for Sunday evening to discuss both the bill and the bake sale.
The Berkeley College Republicans may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire with the Increase Diversity Bake Sale. But if it's attention and discussion they are after, they've got it.