Minority bake sale responds to affirmative action criticism
As students walked through the UC Breezeway on Wednesday, they were treated to free baked goods from various international and minority clubs on campus. However, this “bake sale” was not done as a random act of kindness – it was formed in order to counter the bake sale scheduled by the Advocates for Conservative Thought [ACT] that planned to sell baked goods at different prices to students based on their race as a statement against affirmative action.
Daniel Alvarez, SpectrUM senator, attended an ACT meeting where the bake sale was discussed. Upon receiving more information about their plans, he mobilized various groups, including COISO, United Black Students [UBS] and SpectrUM to form the counter-sale.
The organizations banded together and passed out free baked goods along with a flyer explaining the definition of affirmative action.
“It’s not so much whether you are for or against affirmative action – it’s the manner in which this is being handled,” Minal Ahson, president of COISO, said. “It’s blatant disrespect to a lot of student groups on campus.”
Ahson said that when she announced ACT’s actions at the COISO President’s Council meeting, everyone was upset.
“One quote [from ACT] that just stood out to me was, ‘Affirmative action is like the Special Olympics for black people.'”
According to Bryan Jones, President of UBS, all of the free food was donated or baked by members of the clubs, as well as administrators.
“It wasn’t an attack on [ACT],” Jones said. “We just didn’t agree with the idea.”
Jones said the information they saw to be distributed by ACT was very skewed.
“People shouldn’t be miseducated on the facts of affirmative action,” Jones said. “The best way to combat this at a school where 40 percent of the population is a minority is to educate them.”
However, the ACT bake sale did not actually transpire at the scheduled time; thus many students did not understand the purpose of the free bake sale.
According to Sarah Canale, ACT co-president, the bake sale was postponed simply because there were not enough volunteers to man the tables. They did not know about the counter-sale until they saw it.
“We are definitely still going to do it,” Canale said. “Maybe in a week or so.”
Canale said the purpose of the ACT bake sale is to simply point out that affirmative action is not equal or fair. They chose a bake sale because it would easily demonstrate the inequality that is inherent in affirmative action.
Canale said that African-Americans and Latinos would be charged a lower price for the baked goods than Caucasians and Asians, in order to mirror the effects of affirmative action.
“We are doing this just to show that obviously that’s not fair because the only difference is race,” Canale said.
When asked about the perception that the ACT bake sale was not the best method to handle the situation, Canale defended the idea.
“Honestly, we don’t have that opinion because it’s not the method – it’s the message,”Canale said. “Everyone should be judged, just like Martin Luther King, Jr., said, on the basis of their character and not the basis of their skin color.”
Canale also mentioned that the only information that was going to be passed out was about affirmative action in general. Another set of information detailing the conservative view was sent out to specific members, and ACT has no plans to distribute that.
The Hurricane will continue to follow this issue as more details become available.
Megha Garg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.