UC Berkeley’s campus Republicans are offering a satirical “diversity bake sale” offering pastry prices based on race and gender. The event is designed to denounce a bill on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk that would allow California public universities to consider race, ethnicity and gender in student admissions. The posted prices for the pastry sale: white people $2.00; Asian people $1.50; Latino people $1.00; Black people $0.75; Native American people $0.25; and $0.25 off for all women.
Just another symbolic show by young Republicans of what they have been socialized to believe about American society: white male heterosexuals from the upper middle class and above, rule the country. This bake sale smacks of racism, classism, and sexism.
These young Republicans will grow up to be old Republicans with all the implicit bias’s they have learned. Some might run for political office and succeed. Others will vote for candidates that hold their implicit bias’s and belief systems. Perhaps they will take a pledge and vow to never back down until they achieve their agenda.
This ‘diversity bake sale’ is not just college high jinks-it is real life stereotyping and racism. In a free society, these young Republicans can express their views openly, even if they are racist, classist and sexist. This is a sad day for a fine university such as UC Berkeley.
This bake sale should remind Americans that a colorblind society does not exist in our society and that advances in ending oppression are just that – advances. The explicit nature of the ‘diversity bake sale’ is why I continue to be a social justice educator and stand with people of color, women, the poor and working class, gays/lesbians and transgendered people, the very young and old, the non-abled peoples and peoples belonging to religions that are discriminated against such as Muslims and Jews.
Timothy A. Bess
September 26, 2011