Berkeley Bake Sale Reveals the Fraud of Affirmative Action

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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At the University of California Berkeley, Berkeley Campus Republicans (BCR) are planning to reprise a concept designed to demonstrate the absurdity of race and gender quotas. An “Increase Diversity” bake sale in which the price of goods sold will be based on one’s gender or race is scheduled for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sproul Plaza. The sale is in response to SB 185, a bill introduced by Democratic state Senator Ed Hernandez in February of 2011, which asks the California State University “to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions.” The bill is currently awaiting the signature of California Gov. Jerry Brown.

The sale will feature the following price structure for all baked goods: $2 for white people, $1.50 for Asians, $1 for Latinos, 75 cents for African-Americans, and 25 cents for Native Americans. Women of all races get a discount of 25 cents off those prices.

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

Mr. Lewis revealed that the backlash to the Facebook posting of the event was far greater than anticipated. “We didn’t expect the volume, the amount of response that we got,” he said. “In the first few hours, hundreds of posts on our Facebook page. And the tone of some of the responses–we expected people to be upset. 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.”

The original Facebook posting noted that “Most students feel that their voices aren’t heard in the baked goods distribution process controversy. They also believe that our UCs and CSUs need to be more diverse. YOU have the OPPORTUNITY to increase DIVERSITY and student VOICES by buying some PASTRIES and helping redistribute wealth for SOCIAL JUSTICE through BAKED GOODS on Sproul Plaza (9/27/11).”

It continued:

Berkeley College Republicans will be SELLING BAKED GOODS from 10 AM – 2PM across from the Affirmative Action Phonebank on Upper Sproul, and just like the CA Senate Bills 185 and 387 the phonebank 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.

After listing the aforementioned prices, the posting finished with one more satirical tweak. “Hope to see you all there! If you don’t come, you’re a racist!”

After the outburst, this original posting was removed and replaced with something less controversial. Lewis, in a Facebook comment, insisted the new version “in no way means to ‘cover up’ the previous description.” The new page explained that “the pricing structure of the baked goods is meant to be satirical, while urging students to think more critically about the implications of this policy.”

Unfortunately, critical thinking is in short supply at Berkeley. “The way they made the statement, the words that they used, the fact that they humorized and mocked the struggles of people of color on this campus is very disgusting to me,” said Campus Democrats president Anais LaVoie, who has demanded an apology. That sentiment was echoed by student Marco Amaral, one of the organizers of an “emergency town hall” event on Friday evening, aimed at discussing the controversy. “The initial reaction of the community was a beautiful thing,” he said. “The multicultural community on campus stands in unity against racism, sexism, and any type of prejudice.”

Not really. A meeting of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), scheduled for last night at 6PM PST, reveals that satire, as well as free speech (especially if it is effective) is off-limits at Berkeley. The BCR may have its sponsorship revoked by the ASUC. Why? For violating the ASUC’s constitution, which says 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.”

Apparently, as far as the ASUC is concerned, only the state can do that.

An email by ASUC President Vishalli Loomba further illuminates the intellectual vacuity and constitutional ignorance that afflicts far too many Berkeley students. While she writes that “I fully support the idea of members of BCR expressing their views on SB 185,” she concludes that the BCR “went too far in its actions,” noting that punitive measures are “definitely a possibility.” Thus, freedom of speech is acceptable — as long as it doesn’t go “too far.”

Joey Freeman, ASUC external affairs vice president, who characterized the bake sale as “incredibly offensive,” took a different tack. He defended SB 185, noting that the bill would only allow, as opposed to require, race and nationality to be considered in college admissions.

That is true, but that statement omits a few inconvenient realities. First, the bill went through two amendment processes, in April and May of 2011, respectively, before it reached its current incarnation. In April, the bill still contained language requiring the California State University to consider, not only race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, but geographic origin, and household income as well, in the admissions process. The last two were stricken from the final bill.

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  • Pathena

    SB185 not only violates the California constitution, it violates the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which requires equal treatment under the law.

  • jacob

    Who was it who said that if anything bizarre will ever happen anywhere in the world
    in general and the USA in particular, it will happen in CALIFORNIA….

    There are cities where the city fathers prohibit Bible study in private homes, bans
    Jewish ritual circumcision but promotes homosexuality studies in schools and
    now this Representative wants preferences for certain etnias
    I will appreciate somebody correcting me bu I remember reading somewhere
    long ago that Affrmative Action guidelines dictated that African-American aspirant student grades for universities were automatically raised 20% to help them enter
    said institutions…
    I this is true, then said State representative proposal is fair….
    RIGHT ???
    Ater all, what's OK for the goose ahouldn't be good for the gender ??????
    OR NOT ???

    • Kal

      It's like this, "If you tip the world on it's side, everything loose will fall straight down to Los Angeles." (or California)

  • Cuban Refugee

    As a school of higher indoctrination Berkeley is a microcosm of liberalism run amok. Just as the U.S. is being destroyed from within, the once-golden state of California is rotting at the core, and soon may sink into the Pacific — not from the effects of a major earthquake, but from the weight of its own detritus.

  • sedoanman

    Can a state legislature pass a law that is contrary to the state's constitution? One would think not, but one would apparently be wrong.

    • http://www.katherinesands.com kathy

      It certainly seems that a federal legislature can pass laws against it's own constitution, i.e. Obamacare (and I'm sure there are plenty of others), so why not.

      • mlcblog

        only a massive groundswell can override this lawlessness on the part of our so-called govt representatives….

    • Spider

      No it will be challenged and defeated.

  • Spider

    Obama is the culmination of everything wrong with affirmative action policies. All of the rrecords ( for the most transparent administration in history) are sealed for a reason. Because they will show Obama is our very first affirmative action president – completely unqualified for the job he now holds – President of the United States. Nothing about this fool was properly vetted – he was given a free pass just because of his race. Now look at the result. Our counrty has gone from a poor economy to utter chaos and potential financial collapse – and his media (useful idiots) do everything in their power to hide both our economic demise and their complicity in getting this charlatan elected.

    • Dennis X

      Please tell me when was that affirmative action election? Or for that matter when is the affirmative action bar exam or medical board exams?

  • tagalog

    If only there were a California lawmaker with enough guts to sponsor Bill #187 or whatever, giving preferential treatment to white males of European extraction and Asians, in order to reveal the delusional aspects of Liberalism.

    • mlcblog

      What the hell! we pass laws. They ignore them. We need new judges and lawmakers and executives!!!!!

  • Brujo Blanco

    Affirmative action is discrimination. Some might say that it is a means of providing opportunity to minorities and righting past wrongs. In practice it in fact results in whites being denied rights and opportunity because of their skin color.

    • garretso

      Yes. It treats people as members of groups and not individuals.

  • Geoff1138

    What if I show up with an eagle feather shoved up my ass with a tampon necklace? Would I get my cookies for free?

    • Will

      I think in Berkeley it's more likely that you'd get a lot of dates.

      • mlcblog

        You get dates, koolaid of any kind you like to share with your friends, and lots of govt grants and help to see how to access them.

    • 2maxpower

      probably get you a doctorate or you will be nominated for the Presidency of the Harvard Law Review. ..unless they consider it having been done before in which case they may kick you out for plagiarism.

  • fiddler

    The very notion that somehow government can by the stroke of a pen undo all the ills of past sins is absurd. Somehow, "children" can't play nice so their "parent" has to come in and create some kind of "fair" environment where you get special points because you are disadvantaged. The very idea of this forever brands this person as "disadvantaged" forever stigmatizes that person and falls short of creating that sense of equality. It is part of the unintended consequences of liberalism. Give it 25 years, 50 years or more, nothing will change because people are cast according to their skin color. But hey, Liberals are very creative and rich; they will invent some OTHER "fairness" measure to somehow assuage their guilty conscience.

  • xlent

    You broke me up Will…. Bezerkly is the extant "Theater Of The Absurd"

  • Doggwood

    One technical quibble: If I recall the numbers from the debate a few years back, the biggest losers of the racial preference systems were not the Caucasians but the ethnic Asians. There were just too many Asians, and the quotas reduced their numbers and replaced them with Blacks and Latinos. If I've got that right, then the bake sale ought to charge a premium for Asians rather than giving them a discount.

    For anyone that finds this bake sale offensive…well, it's certainly reasonable to complain about offensive things that go down in our public institutions. But the last generation has been an endless litany of institutional offenses against Main Street America, and we've been told to open our wallets and shut our mouths. If the Left suddenly finds something offensive…well, welcome to the club.

    • Chezwick_mac

      Asians are no longer a "protected" minority. Their success has precluded a continuation of that status.

      Like Orwell wrote: All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

  • mlcblog

    This is fascinating to me, especially since someone close to me has just shared with me some of the content of the diversity training classes she mandatorily attended. It seems that victimhood is indeed weighted, some being more valuable than others. She told me whites get 0, Asians more, sex and gender issues were worth points, and Latin and Black get the most points.

    This is really happening. I am not making this up, nor imagining or hallucinating. It is a fact. Right now. Here. Today this gibberish is being taught to adults with a straight face by govt decree.

  • mlcblog

    Years ago, I went to work for the VA hospital system. When we applied back then, early 1970's, extra points were being assigned to scores as people vied to qualify for jobs. Vets got points, blacks, too. I was outraged. Vet, yes! they earned it by offering their lives to defend us. But as for everybody else, let them study and work like me, or even better than me!! Come on. This is not what our freedom is all about, as so eloquently lined out in this talk by Bill Whittle. http://www.therightscoop.com/amazing-speech-by-bi

  • Doggwood

    Affirmative action started with Blacks. The historical injustice that pushed Blacks to the bottom of the pile is obvious enough. We can argue whether pushing a modern innocent White down to make room for a Black, in order to make up for the evil done by some other historical White, is reasonable policy. But, agree or disagree, at least we can understand the argument, and we can't entirely dismiss it: That the nation is institutionally attempting to set right a historical institutional wrong.

    Somewhere along the line, making up for the evil of slavery morphed into the quest for "diversity". In making this transition, our institutional discrimination abandoned its moral foundation. Why do we give points to whatever fill-in-the-blank class is "underrepresented"? This is discrimination, pure and simple. In a sane society, such notions would have been immediately struck down. 14th Amendment; equal protection under the law, that sort of basic thing. But no, modern racism considers itself enlightened. And enlightenment, it would seem, trumps the law, the Constitution.

    Replacing affirmative action with diversity has also trivialized the victims of slavery. If everyone's a victim, then nobody's a victim.

    Our nation has morally descended. It's a sad thing, but there it is. I don't know how to change it, but I can testify to the truth. The fools in high positions can proclaim their toxic nonsense to be morality, but that doesn't make it so. Practicing modern racism in order to fight historical racism is stupid and evil.

    • Timwn

      Good point. I'd also point out that the descendants of slaves aren't necessarily the ones to benefit anyway. A while back my father interviewed several people for a position and found that a white candidate was the best match. The school district ignored his suggestion and hired a lesser qualified Indian (from India) instead as he was dark skinned and theycould score a 'black' diversity point out of him. (This is not intended to disrespect Indians, whom I admire greatly. It's just to make a point). Thus the beneficiary of the affirmative action intended to right the evils of slavery was a recent immigrant who had no history whatsoever of slavery and no connection with the American black community at all- other than, of course, his skin color. Amusing anyway..

    • Will

      The other problem is the celebration of victimhood. If you spend a great deal of effort convincing someone that the deck is stacked against him, you end up with… a person who believes the deck is stacked against him. And while it indeed may be true that the deck is stacked against him, it does him no benefit to believe it. It would be more beneficial for him to lie to himself, overestimating his own opportunities, than to wallow in his perceived victimhood, and simply give up hope.

      Asians and Indians never seemed to embrace the victim culture (despite having been victimized), so what do they do? They pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and outperform us caucasians. It's lucky for these ethnic groups that they never had an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to bring them down.

    • CisscoKidd

      Like I've said a million times before, the racism scam is the biggest scam ever perpetrated in United States history. That's why I call it THE GREAT RACISM SCAM. Plus, you mentioned diversity. Yes, this word is a sugar-coating–a sugar coating for the screwing-over of the white man via Affirmative-Action. The liberals always sugar-coat their evil so the evil sounds all nice and cuddly to the mentally-disordered morons of the world……….that is, your gutless-coward-whities. The gutless-coward-whities will not stand up for their own race for anything.

  • No1CaresThatYourMad

    I think your all undercover or in denial racists and thats why it upsets you….booooo you

    • wsk

      Pinhead!!!!

  • B. Isaac

    .25 for the Native American…thats another misconception like we get free homes, and cars, and Education. We may be at the bottom or top which ever way you read it, but we don't ask for much, we would rather be left out of your agendas. We usually are, so why put us in this bake sale, exactly how many Native American Indians are in Berkeley? Racist white supremists people just love to be on the new, if its not a pretty boy its a big fat loud mouth!

  • Fred

    And whites pay taxes to support discrimination against them? Affirmative Action should have ended years ago. I worked with a lot of AF people and what a waste they are on the job site.

  • daninkansas

    Shouldn't the Asian students be charged more, not less than everybody else? After all they work, study and save like nobody's business. Then they have the nerve to go out and out earn us! Stop the unfairness!

    • Will

      It's not just unfairness! It's INJUSTICE!! I didn't go to medical school or Julliard, but I have every right to be a doctor or a violin virtuoso!
      ;-)

  • Zam

    As everybody knows, Affirmative-Action is based on racial preference. That is, minorities receive special preferences when it comes to educational opportunities and employment opportunities in the United States. The big-bad-white-man receives no special preferences. Here is the REAL racism. On top of this, we see that Affirmative-Action has become a normal and an accepted element of life in these United States. I don't see how but it has. Consequently, since Affirmative-Action has become a normal and an accepted element of life in the United States, racial preference has become a normal and an accepted element of life in the United States.

  • Zam

    So, as Affirmative-Action and racial preference are the norms for life in these United States, I guess this means they have to be important things. And indeed they are, indeed they are. Well, according to Michigan it is really really really important, that's for sure. In Michigan, two judges overturned the votes of thousands of people whose votes had banned Affirmative-Action in that state. Yes, the votes of a majority of voters had banned Affirmative-Action in Michigan–
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/a_horrible

    WOW. Affirmative-Action is really really important to the United States if two judges have to overturn the votes of thousands. And that's just one state. Woah!

  • wsk

    I would like a law passed that requires Universities must give American citizens first preference. If after all qualified Americans get their shot, then any remaining spots can be filled by resident (legal)aliens and finally outsiders.

  • http://-up-doors-running-a-business-by-beverly-birkenstock-boston/ Sherlene Heberer

    Nice blog !