College Republicans at the University of California-Berkeley are making waves in the shape of a million eyes simultaneously rolled by charging customers at their bake sale based on their race and gender.
The club plans to hold a bake sale Tuesday wherein white men are charged $2 per item, Asian men pay $1.50, Latino men pay $1, black men pay $.50, and Native American men pay $.25. Women get a 25 cent discount from those prices. Native American women eat free.
Do you know the Muffin Man? He's kind of racist!
The protest is designed to draw attention to the fact that the state of California may allow its state university system to consider race and gender in admissions and that, my friends, is unfair to whites, and especially to white men, who for thousands of years have suffered at the hands of cruel women and minorities.
Unsurprisingly, the historically liberal student body at Berkeley doesn't like the smell of what they're cooking. CNN reports that the dyspeptic Shawn Lewis, President of the College Republicans, was shocked! Shocked! that people were upset by the bake sale in such large numbers.
"We didn't expect the volume, the amount of response that we got," Lewis 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."
Hippies have been known to protest violently. I can understand why he's afraid.
It's ironic that the College Republicans chose to express the perceived unfairness in considering race and gender in college admissions through charging people different prices based on those demographic factors, especially since the most stark reminder of the reality of lingering racism and sexism in this country is the fact that one's gender and racial identity effects how much money you can reasonably expect to earn. Giving women a 25 cent discount is on the right track, fairness-wise, although it would more accurately reflect reality if the cost of the baked goods reflected the purchasing power of the average woman. As of 2007, white women still earned only 78 cents to every dollar earned by white men working comparable jobs with comparable levels of education, which means that in order to reflect the percentage of our income consumed by a $2 purchase, they should actually be charging us more. Women of color fare even worse. Black women earn only 69 cents to every dollar a man earns; Latina women earn 59 cents. I suppose a true capitalist would rejoice at the prospect of giving women preferential treatment in college admissions; you don't have to pay them as much!
Further, what, exactly, did the club expect to achieve by this? Convincing people that affirmative action is bad? Are they trying to make white people jealous of black people and their muffin discount? If I were to sidle up to a bake sale and see that Native students were only being charged 25 cents for a baked good that a Republican guy's mom made, my mind would immediately go to genocide, and I'd probably conclude that the very least that we could do to make up for the Trail of Tears is to give all Native Americans discounts on all cookies always.
Of course, it's a free country, and America's future Trent Lotts are free to have all of the asshole bake sales their little hearts desire. UC Berkeley College Republican President Lewis agrees. He says that in spite of the fact that his head is in danger of being pelted by a cupcake, the sale must go on.
Image via Dan Peretz/Shutterstock