An Increase Diversity Bake Sale held at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Tuesday divided the student groups on campus.
The bake sale was organized by group of students supported by Republicans. The aim of this diversity bake sale is to oppose affirmative action policies. The bake sale was to protest against state legislation known as SB125.
SB125 would allow public universities in California to consider race and gender in university admission policy.
The participants sold cookies and cupcakes depending on race and gender. The prices for male students were $2.00 for Caucasians, $1.50 for Asians and Asian Americans, $1.00 for Latinos and Latino Americans, 75 cents for African Americans, and 25 cents for Native Americans. The prices for female students were discounted 25 cents in each of the above cases. However, the sellers told the buyers to pay whatever they could.
Some called this diversity bake sale a racist sale, which ignited protest among the students and at UC.
One of the architects of California’s Proposition 209, Ward Connerly, joined the Increase Diversity Bake Sale.
A former UC regent, Connerly said, “Sometimes you have to do things that are wrong in order to correct things which are more wrong.” Proposition 209 banned affirmative action in California upon its implementation in 1997.
The bake sale sparked not only a discussion about racism but also a counterprotest. Hundreds of students, mostly African and Latino Americans dressed in black, lay down in Sproul Plaza at noon on Tuesday.
“We have nothing to lose but chains. It is our duty to defend freedom,” said some of the protesters.
The bake-sale protest was against affirmative action policies. The pricing structure is meant to be discriminatory, said Shawn Lewis, the organizing group's president.
We're hoping it will encourage people to think more carefully about a policy that judges people differently based on the color of their skin. Lewis added.
According to SFGate, the ratio of students at UC Berkeley has changed since Proposition 209 was implemented. On the one hand, the proportion of Latino, African American, and Native American students decreased from 20 percent to 16 percent. On the other hand, the proportion of Chinese American students increased from 19 percent to 20 percent.
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