Some thoughts on the UC Berkeley ‘Diversity’ bakesale, or: Those cupcakes need re-pricing

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September 30, 2011

When I first read about the UC Berkeley Republicans bake sale, I was excited that they decided to adjust prices according to race. Well, I was sort of excited. I thought: Wow, how nice of them to charge according to the wage inequality that women and people of color experience.

I was going to tell them that they were off on the discount for women — it should be a 25 percent discount for each cupcake, not $0.25 less, you know, because women, on average make $0.75 for every dollar a man makes — when I realized that’s not what they were protesting.

Instead of making a statement about inequality, they’re making a statement about how their rights are being infringed upon by SB 185, a California bill that would allow colleges and universities to take race into consideration for admissions.

Hold the phone. Are they serious? Or is this performance art designed to make us see how people who benefit from privilege often don’t realize it? Somebody call the waaaahmbulance to take them to the weenie hospital.

Opposing SB 185 is racist and short-sighted. It’s racist because I believe that not acknowledging your privilege is racist. If you can’t see that many aspects of daily life — both on micro and macro levels — revolve around different and special treatment for white folks, then you need to take about 10 steps back and reevaluate everything you know.

It’s short-sighted because I’m assuming that, if you oppose SB 185, you believe that people of all races and ethnicities are already treated equally in the great state of California. This is absolutely not the case, and the myth of “post-racial” society is no truer here than anywhere else in the country.

I will admit that, in middle school, when I first heard about affirmative action, I may have been on board with these people. I was always told that it was “special treatment,” and nobody should have special treatment, right?

Well listen, I grew up and realized, if you’re white or male or both, you get special treatment. Maybe not all the time, but you do, I promise.

If you still don’t believe me, why is it that certain demographics are underrepresented at the UCs in the first place? Folks of Latino or Hispanic origin make up 37 percent of Californians but less than 20 percent of the population of UC Berkeley because…?

Oh, because our government fails to include a lot of these people in our education system? There we go.

I honestly believe that, if you think all races are equal, then you would realize that Black and Latino and Native American people are underrepresented at UC Berkeley not through some fault of their own or the shortcomings of their community, but because of the inherent injustice in the system — both the education system and the larger systems which govern our country.

Affirmative action is the first step we can take towards trying to correct some of those injustices.


Some thoughts on the UC Berkeley ‘Diversity’ bakesale, or: Those cupcakes need re-pricing was published on September 30, 2011 in Editorial, Opinions

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