GOP Bake Sale Fail

The college Republicans at Cal-Berkeley have launched a bake sale to protest considerations for admission to minority students; prices for bake goods are based on race and the point they are trying to make is being lost on the point they don’t get; their protest is racially insensitive.

From SFGate:

A bake sale flyer posted on Facebook last week linked the price of pastries to the race, ethnicity or gender of the buyer so that “White/Caucasians” are charged $2, “Asian/Asian-Americans,” $1.50; “Latino/Hispanic” $1; “Black/African Americans,” 75 cents; Native Americans 25 cents and a 25 cent discount to all women.

The bake sale creators have no understanding of how race works in America.

In a country whose earliest beginnings relied on an economic system that placed a price tag on the value of a black man, and carried out genocide against its native inhabitants, you would have to be tone-deaf to promote such an idea. Unless of course, all you really wanted was some attention focused on your cause.

Student organizers said the point of the bake sale was to mock a bill now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would allow university officials to consider race, ethnicity and gender as factors in its student admission decisions. Prop 209 prohibits public universities from considering an applicant’s race, gender and ethnicity.

It may have been presented as nothing more than a bit of political theater created to shine a light on a legitimate policy issue, but it came off as mean-spirited.

There is a distinct difference between criticizing an idea in the public marketplace, criticizing a public figure and criticizing a group based solely on an ethnic, religious, social or economic difference. Rich or poor, white, black, Asian or Latino, it doesn’t matter. You can only meet people one at a time.

There’s not only a distinct difference, but a distinguishable line whenever the issue is race relations: You never, ever, ever speak in generalizations about any ethnic group, because people of similar color and ethnic makeup aren’t all the same.

Everyone in America should understand that rule, but these students chose to ignore it.

Their point that government and justice should be color blind and that no individual – or group – should receive a leg-up in any public competition is a legitimate issue. But they didn’t go about making their point in an effective way.

If enrollment was based solely on scholastic merit – and did not include financial concerns – it would soon be white students clamoring for affirmative action alongside other “disadvantaged” groups. Consider this: Asian freshman students at UC Berkeley in 2010 made up 46 percent of the student body, while white freshman students constituted 32 percent. And those figures come after a 9 percent drop in enrollment among Asian students.

The GOP just doesn’t seem to understand the Melting Pot concept.  Other news outlets have reported nearby campus Republican clubs will be arriving in Berkeley to join the GOP club in solidarity.  How unfortunate to learn that ignorance on racial issues isn’t restricted to a single campus.

  7 comments for “GOP Bake Sale Fail

  1. September 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Also, haven’t College Republicans across the country been pulling this exact same stupid stunt for decades? I seem to remember it irritating everybody way back when I was in college. (80’s)

    I guess to these knuckle-draggers, this sort of “edgy” humor never gets old!

  2. September 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    While I agree that using the bake sale concept to get their point across, I do agree with their point- that this bill simply seeks to circumvent Prop 209, a vehicle that came directly from the people. This state prides itself in its ethnic diversity and opportunities for all. Race should not be used as a factor in determining admission to school. Those who are financially strapped have recourse regardless of ethnicity. Admission requirements themselves should continue to be color blind. The will of the people should not be ursurped because the legislature thinks a law is unfair.

  3. Chris Thompson
    September 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Hey Dan. Thought I should take a quick look at your blog today. My thought is that African Americans and Hispanics would be well served to be in the front of the line buying those baked good. They should be teaching their children that liberals and democrats have been infantilizing them for years with their words and their policies and it’s time to stop allowing themselves to be characterized as victims. And a good Wednesday to the readers of OC Liberal!

    • September 28, 2011 at 9:43 am

      The blog is called, “TheLiberalOC” and I completely disagree with your chracterization. But will note its a conservative perception that you hold while Republicans demonize minorities of all stripes. Idf you read the story, you’ll note that if admission is basede soley on the merits, Asian Americans would dominate enrollment at Berekeley. And I’ll note there was no discount for handicapped Americans or GLBT students making the point strictly on race.

      • October 2, 2011 at 4:28 am

        I was looking around to see if I had any native american members in my family tree as they got the best deal of all at he bake sale. I can qualify as a Hispanic (25%) but have never felt the need to use it publically.

        Chris Thompson did make a good point though about government promoting generations of dependent poor people of all races. Where I part company is, that Republicans have been equally guilty in victimizing the lower socio-economic class by also supporting massive government entitlements and cradel to grave handouts. As we run out of money, a lot of this will have to stop and there will be some very unhappy people out there. The entire system needs to be overhauled, and people put back on the path of believing in themselves and their ability to succeed in life.

  4. Bill Spaulding
    September 29, 2011 at 6:10 am

    It is a time-honored tradition as Dave Weigel pointed out on Monday at It would appear that there are more than a few College Republicans who need not be concerned with being called intellectual giants….or creative.

    From Weigel’s piece at
    February 27, 2002, from U-Wire:

    The University of New Mexico College Republicans sold “quota cookies” Tuesday at an affirmative action bake sale outside Zimmerman Library, with prices varying according to ethnicity.

    Cookies were 25 cents for Hispanics, American Indians and blacks; $ 1 for Caucasian or Asian females; and $ 1.50 for Caucasian or Asian males.

    February 18, 2003, from the Detroit News:

    At a Monday bake sale at the University of Michigan, a student group sold bagels and muffins for $1. But for African-American and Hispanic customers, the price was 80 cents.

    The group — reporters and editors of the conservative Michigan Review newspaper — called it the “Affirmative Action Bake Sale.”

    February 10, 2004, from the (Colorado Springs) Gazette:

    The sale, hosted by the College Republicans at CU-Boulder, will offer baked goods at different prices depending on the race of the buyer.

    For example, whites and Asians will be charged $1 for a cookie. For the same cookie, Hispanics will pay 50 cents and blacks will pay only 25 cents.

    March 25, 2005, from the AP:

    At the College Republicans’ affirmative action bake sale this week at Grand Valley State University, the same cupcake that a white male could buy for $2 was available for 75 cents to a white female or a black person, 50 cents to an Asian or a Hispanic, and only a nickel to an American Indian.

    February 26, 2006, from the (Allentown) Morning Call:

    Prices at the so-called “Affirmative Action Bake Sale,” which was actually against affirmative action, varied depending on the race of the customer, with whites paying more than minorities.

    “The sign said $1 for whites, 25 cents for blacks and women got a 25-cent credit, so they told me, “Go ahead and take it, it’s free for you,”‘ said Amirah Cottman, a black woman.

    March 18, 2008, from the Flint Journal:

    The University of Michigan-Flint issued a campuswide e-mail Tuesday trying to counter a purported anti-affirmative action bake sale by a conservative campus group.

    June 23, 2009, from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

    The “affirmative-action bake sale,” at which the Bucknell University Conservatives Club charged different prices depending on a customer’s race, was shut down by the administration in April.

    (If I were good at writing HTML, I’d include the actual link to his article. But I can’t because I’m not. Sorry)

  5. October 2, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Dan, granted the Republican Club stepped into the political incorrect zone with their bake sale, but the point they were trying to make was valid. You liberals want it both ways, equal rights for all, and affirmative action, which is the favoring of one sex or race over another.

    In these tough economic times, attending a four year university is a privilage and admission should be limited to the most qualified academic students regardless of race, sex or economic status. For the lesser qualified students, they can start at the Community College level and work their way up. It worked for many of us and I don’t feel socially slighted by my past. So bottom line, which is it, equality for all or discrimination by use of affirmative action?

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