By: Courtney Harrington
On September 27, college students at the University of California Berkeley held a bake sale based on a person’s gender and race. Such actions caused a great amount of controversy not just throughout the college, but throughout the state. Baked items were sold to white men for $2.00, Asian men for $1.50, Latino men for $1.00, black men for $0.75 and Native American men for $0.25. On top of race, all women who purchased any of the baked items received an extra $0.25 off those prices.
The bake sale was led by the Campus Republicans, a group at the university. President Shawn Lewis, creator of the event, claimed that the price ranges were put into place to bring attention to the students about how things could be if university admissions were able to base a person’s acceptance off of his/her race. To the Campus Republicans, the bake sale seemed more along the lines of a statement about the pending legislation. In 1997, the Proposition 209 was passed, stating thatCaliforniapublic universities would stop taking into consideration one’s race when it came to being admitted into college.
Even though the Campus Republicans saw the bake sale as a great eye-opener for the state ofCalifornia, most everyone else disapproved of such an action. Within hours of the creation of the Facebook event for the bake sale, hundreds of negative comments were being posted. People were calling the event “racist, stupid and pathetic.” Lewis told CNN that the group was expecting some opposition, but nowhere to the extent that they were receiving it. “We didn’t expect the volume, the amount of response we got,” Lewis explained. “We didn’t expect personal threats to be made. They were implicit and explicit threats made to the organizers of the event, from burning down the table to throwing our baked goods at us and other kinds of physical threats.”
With all of the negative responses to the bake sale, the Campus Republicans still decided to go through with the event this past Tuesday. The group was aiming for the fundraiser to be satirical and a way to “urge the students at theUniversityofCalifornia Berkeleyto think more critically about the implications” of such a policy.
While the Campus Republicans were holding their fundraiser, many other students planned a series of countermeasures to be held the same day as the group’s bake sale. Such actions were some student’s own way of protesting the Campus Republicans “racist action.” With such controversial events taking place in the state ofCalifornia, what will become of such a bill?