Racist Bake Sale Organizers at UC Berkeley Are Totally On to Something


bake sale cupcakesA club of College Republicans at the University of California-Berkeley is making a lot of enemies this week for its plan to hold a bake sale in which customers will be charged based on race and gender. Prices of baked goods are as follows: $2 for white men, $1.50 for Asian men, $1 for Latino men, $0.75 for black men, and $0.25 for Native American men; all women will get $0.25 off those prices.

The bake sale is a form of satirical protest against pending affirmative action legislation that would allow California universities to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin during the admissions process. Minority students get "preferential treatment" at the bake sale just as they do during the admissions process.

Ignoring the fact that it's probably one of most unoriginal and tired protest ideas of all time -- opponents of affirmative action have used the exact same tactic for years -- the organizers are using it to make an excellent point.

As many people who find the the bake sale protest offensive and insulting have commented on Facebook, the bake sale is racist and discriminatory -- but so is affirmative action. Its proponents assume (and much of the time are correct) that minorities in this country experience socio-economic disadvantages compared to white people. And so they try to legislate an even playing field in the college admissions process, instead of focusing on curing the root of the problem: creating greater opportunity and equality before people get to college.

Of course, the problem with this particular bake sale at UC Berkley is that it's been perceived as a bunch of white kids complaining about reverse discrimination. And it's no wonder: Charging customers by race and gender is a one-sided, juvenile response to a very complex conversation. It puts the focus on the "unfairness" of affirmative action instead of acknowledging inequalities in society and opening up the conversation to more productive solutions.

But I agree with the racist bake sale to the extent that it gets people talking about the fact that affirmative action can have a negative impact on society: Ironically, the policy often contributes to -- and sometimes even increases -- racism by instilling resentment in white people over the "preferential" treatment that minorities receive. Not only that, it creates the unfortunate and unfair situation in which we question whether minority people at good schools and in high positions did so on their own merit or were given a free pass.

At the very least, this bake sale will get people talking.


Image via Rachel From Cupcakes Take the Cake/Flickr

discrimination, immigration, in the news, racism


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Beths... Bethsunshine

I admire the creative way in which they are making their very valid point about affirmative action!!

bills... billsfan1104

Good for them. Now people can see it for themselves, how RACIST affirmative action is. Why should any student pay less simply becaue of their race?? Why dont you call out house racist Berkley is?? The "bake sale" is doing the thing.

nonmember avatar ele4phant

Affirmative action doesn't admit a student of color who has no intelligence, talent, or potential. The kids who get admitted are already smart cookies. What it does do is recognize that many of the indicators (grades, tes scores, ect) used by admission offices are culturally biased, and give those applicants a *slight* edge to make it up. Also, colleges want a diverse campus, filled with students with differing backgrounds and prespectives. It broadens and enriches the student body's education. While affirmative action may be a crude way to do it, people who are white (and male in general) have basically been recieving preferential treatment the minute they entered the world, and its racist to pretend that white people aren't given benefits just because they are the right color.

sugar... sugarmansmom

Nobody pays less because of their race, at least not under affirmative action.  Affirmative action basically allows for admission of a minority student over a white student when all other factors are the same...same gpa, same SAT scores, similar extra curricular and admissions essays.  Affirmative action is meant to help level a very unlevel playing field and compensate for some of the advantages white students have that are inherently built into our system.

Author says: "instead of focusing on curing the root of the problem: creating greater opportunity and equality before people get to college."  Any ideas on how to go about doing this?


roche... rochellemarie68

Yes, because white males have had such a hard time getting a fair break! Boo hoo hoo.

babyb... babybirch

People should have to pay the same price regardless of race and / or gender . This is what the bake sale is trying to prove . You'd be pissed if you had to pay more just because your skin's not the right color . It's racist to assume that all white people come from upper-class suburbia and everything is handed to them, so they don't need assistance . I know plenty of white families who are just as underpriviliged and in need of assistance as families of any other race or ethnicity and they get no benifits at all .

Rochellemarie ... you're an idiot . White males don't have it easy anymore . That's such an ignorant thing to say . If anything, things are increasingly more difficult . It's almost impossible for us to get any kind of monetary help from the government, no matter how bad we need it, whereas a person of color can get it almost instantaniously . Fair ? Not at all . If the shoe was on the other foot, you'd be angry as hell .

Courtney Jefferson

Tim Wise, author of the book "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son," calls the bake sale a "sarcastic and rather smarmy slap at people of color."

"There are a lot of ways to make a point about your disagreement with affirmative action," Wise told Lemon Saturday night.

"I get the joke," he continued. "How very original. It's been done for 15 years. The point that I think needs to be made ... is that by the time anyone steps on a college campus ... there has already been 12- to 13-years of institutionalized affirmative action for white folks, that is to say, racially embedded inequality, which has benefited those of us who are white. And it's only at the point of college admissions that these folks seem to get concerned with color consciousness."

sugar... sugarmansmom

Why do so many people on here not know what affirmative action is?  Minorities DONT PAY LESS!  In fact, most ivy league schools ONLY offer needs based financial assistance (based SOLEY on ability to pay) and don't even offer academic scholarships. 

Affirmative action does not allow for other groups to PAY LESS. 


And babybirch- the standards for receiving assistance from the government are EXACTLY THE SAME for whites and blacks.  Its just harder for minorities and women to get a job that pays a living wage.  There is no seperate income table based on skin color. 


babyb... babybirch

As for all you people that say that white people have 'advantages' and that they're born with these 'advantages', what mysterious advantages are you talking about ?

If you're saying that all white people are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you're wrong . If you're saying that all white people are intelligent and good students, you're wrong . There are impoverished white people, slow white people, and white people who just don't care .

Students of ALL races have exactly the same opportunity to do well in school and go to college . If you show up for school, do your work, and pursue academic excellence, you'll go far . If you don't, that's nobody's fault except your own . People should all be expected to do well in school and rewarded for it equally . It's something you're SUPPOSED to do .

People should all be held to the same standard . You shouldn't be rewarded for going to college as a minority . YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GO TO COLLEGE .

Everyone should pay the same tuition . If you need financial aid, or you can get a scholarship, that's awesome, but those opportunities should also be avaliable to everyone .

PonyC... PonyChaser

I wonder... has any institution of higher learning completely thrown out racial profiling? (because that's what Affirmative Action is)  What I mean is this: Has it ever been attempted, in modern history, say, since the '60's, that a school completely disregard race altogether? Remove race from the application. Assign the application a computer-generated ID number as it comes in, and all identifying information is then removed, including sex.

Then students are judged, and admitted, based on ability and character only. Who knows?  We might just end up with a more diverse student body than those artificially orchestrated by Affirmative Action.

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