How much are you worth? According to UC Berkeley College Republicans, I am worth $1 for being Latina. But because I’m a female, I’m eligible for a $0.25 discount. How generous.
On Tuesday, UC Berkeley College Republicans hosted a satirical bake sale, titled “Increase Diversity” bake sale. At the event, cupcakes were available for purchase, but rates were determined upon a person’s gender and race. The price was $2 for a white person, $1.50 for Asian, $0.75 for black and $0.25 for Native American — with $0.25 off for females.
The bake sale aimed to exemplify how unfair it is to accept students into public universities in California based upon their race or gender.
Though this idea seemed well-intentioned as a mere voicing of opinion, the bake sale was simply taken too far, overshadowing the message the Berkeley College Republicans wanted to convey. In turn, it created controversy and most students of all races and genders involved were deeply offended. There are many other avenues in which to get a point across, but selling food based on a person’s gender is completely inappropriate because of its discriminatory nature.
The way in which the Berkeley College Republicans decided to voice their opinion made it seem like racism is not serious — so much so that it’s appropriate to make a satirical event out of it. In all, the satire was taken too far.
Instead of encouraging conversation and discussion about whether or not making gender or race a decisive admissions factor is a good idea, the bake sale instead turned off students and made them not want to participate in any conversation with the Berkeley College Republicans. In essence, it failed miserably.
It’s baffling how something as serious as education could be equated with cupcakes, and I certainly don’t understand why a person’s race had to be incorporated into the event for the Berkeley College Republicans’ point to be made known effectively.
Proponents of the bake sale have argued the negative responses to the demonstration essentially prove the entire point. An organizer for CampusReform.org, a social networking site for Conservative students, wrote on the Facebook event page, “If the people are so offended about the race — and gender-based pricing, shouldn’t they also be offended when the Legislature does essentially the same thing for college admissions?”
Because of the blatantly offensive nature of the bake sale, Associated Students of the University of California called an emergency meeting the Sunday before the event.
According to the Daily Cal, the result of the meeting was that the senate approved a resolution stipulating the use of discrimination, whether in jest or seriousness, should be condemned — and I completely concur with this decision. Any sort of racism is uncalled for.
Mellissa Linton is a sophomore majoring in English. Her counterpoint runs Fridays.