Sunday, September 25, 2011

Is the Berkeley College Republicans‘ ’Diversity’ Bake Sale Racist?

The UC Berkeley College Republicans are planning a bake sale — where the price of a cupcake depend on your race.

The “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” is meant to satirize an affirmative action-like bill in California that would let the university system consider ethnicity in student admissions.

“Just like the CA Senate Bills 185 and 387 the phone bank supports, we will be considering race, gender, ethnicity, national/geographic origin and other relevant factors to ensure the equitable distribution of baked goods to our diverse student body,” the College Republicans wrote in a Facebook announcement publicizing the event, set for Tuesday. “Hope to see you all there! If you don’t come, you’re a racist!”

But with a price structure that includes $2 for “White/Caucasian,” $1.50 for “Asian/Asian American” and $.0.75 for “Black/African American,” some aren’t finding it very funny.

“I’m ashamed to know that I go to the same school with people who would say stuff like this,” student Skyler Hogan-Van Sickle wrote Facebook. “I’m really trying to figure out how someone can be this hateful.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 200 students responded to the event, mostly in opposition. One threatened to burn the table and set the cupcakes on fire. At least four student groups sent complaints to campus administrators, and a student-only meeting was set for Friday evening to discuss it.

“It’s offensive because of the tactics that they chose,” Joey Freeman, Berkeley’s student government vice president told the Chronicle. “This should be done for constructive dialogue and debate. But not in a way I thought was, frankly, racist.”

In a separate Facebook post, the College Republicans doubled down on their intent to hold the bake sale:
The Berkeley College Republicans firmly believe measuring any admit’s merit based on race is intrinsically racist. Our bake sale will be at the same time and location of a phone bank which will be making calls to urge Gov. Brown to sign the bill. The purpose of the event is to offer another view to this policy of considering race in university admissions. The pricing structure of the baked goods is meant to be satirical, while urging students to think more critically about the implications of this policy.

Gibor Basri, Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, told the Chronicle the Facebook posting does not violate any campus policy.

“The only policy it violates is the principles of community,” he said, adding that a campus-wide letter will go out Monday. “We can use this as a teaching moment.”

Shawn Lewis, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, said he was surprised by the number of critics and their harshness his organization has received. He said agrees that race-based pricing is discriminatory.

“But it’s discriminatory in the same way that considering race in university admissions is discriminatory,” he said.


Christian activity no longer avoided like plague by University of Montana work-study program

University prohibited work study at community center only because religious youth activities sometimes occur there; ADF letter prompts UM to reverse course

University of Montana officials agreed to allow students to be employed through a work-study program at a Missoula community center after a letter from the Alliance Defense Fund explained that allowing employment at the center, where religious student activities occur, would not violate federal law.

The letter explained that denying such a request merely because several religious youth activities take place within the massive City Life Community Center complex is unconstitutional.

“University students should not be prohibited from taking part in a work-study program merely because religious activities would take place before or after their shifts in the same building,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “The university got it right by ending its quarantine and allowing students to work at the community center. They can be confident that the Constitution does not equate nearby religious youth activities with asbestos in the ceiling tiles.”

Last year, the 34,000-square-foot City Life Community Center for teens was used by 43 diverse not-for-profit or youth-based programs. Because some of these were religious in nature, University of Montana officials banned students in their work-study program from seeking employment at the center, fearing that it would violate statutory and regulatory provisions governing federal grants for such programs. The ADF letter explained that the concerns were unwarranted.

“The work-study statute and regulation, properly interpreted, do not require you to forbid work-study students from working at City Life on the ground that religious activities sometimes occur there,” the ADF letter stated. “Indeed, the law likely forbids such an approach.”

City Life facilities are used by numerous community organizations, including Missoula Parks and Recreation, District Youth Court/Drug Court, Missoula County Public Schools, Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Sentinel Kiwanis Club, Missoula Rotary Club, Missoula City Fire Department, and many religious and athletic organizations. It has a full-service sandwich and coffee bar; a gymnasium equipped for basketball, volleyball, and fencing; a student center; a teen activity center for ping-pong, air hockey, video games, darts, and other recreational/social activities; and a paintball facility.


Sir Ian Botham: bring in corporal punishment and ban reality TV to save today's youth

Ian Botham is one of Britain's greatest cricketers but has also been very active in charity work. As such he is very well-known so his call for corporal punishment to be reintroduced into the schools might just break the ice on that subject

Sir Ian Botham, the former England cricket captain, believes a combination of cricket, corporal punishment and a ban on reality television can help to prevent the kind of break down in law and order that occured in the riots during the summer.

As the England cricket captain he showed ruthless determination and self-discipline on the pitch.

Now, in the wake of the August riots, Sir Ian Botham wants to see today's youth given the same combination of team sports and tough love which he credits for making him a success.

The former all rounder has set out how he believes parents must be allowed to deploy corporal punishment, the cane should be used to restore order in schools, police given respect - and reality television should be abolished.

And he also launched an attack on the previous Labour administration, saying they had to take some of the blame for the breakdown of law and order in the summer, which he found himself caught up in when looting and street violence affected Birmingham.

Sir Ian who has three grown-up children and four grandchildren aged from 18-months-old to 17-years-old, spoke as he launched his own sports initiative, to get inner-city youngsters and young offenders playing a version of his sport known as cage cricket.

The six-a-side version of the game is designed to be played on concrete in cities and towns.

The brainchild of former Hampshire player Lawrence Prittipaul, it is played in a “cage,” with separate coloured zones for scoring, positioning and refereeing, each game takes 30 overs to complete with just six players.

He said: "We desperately need to create an opportunity for youngsters to mingle, release and discipline themselves, play a game and also, make it national. The youth of today won't get bored with cage cricket either – this is when the problems start and carnage can set in as it did with the riots.

"The government can lie as much as they want, but half the playing fields are being sold off. I want to give these kids the opportunity to keep out of trouble.

"And who knows, we could find ourselves a cricketer, who'd never have had this chance, in the systems of schools where most don't play, unless you go to a private school. That is a fact.

"The same goes for those in prison. We give hard criminals a bat and a ball and they are pleased about playing. It's the best way of engaging the most disengaged of our population."

But he said that more radical measures than his own initative were needed. "Britain is in a mess," he said. "I believe in the cane. It didn't do me any harm as a child at school. Bring it back. Youngsters today, need discipline, and to get off their backsides.

"Parents also have to take greater responsibility too. I am afraid, at the end of the day; most of it is down to them."

Sir Ian told the Sunday Telegraph he believes these measures are the only way of solving Britain's deep-rooted social problems following the recent riots, which he was caught up in.

The 55 year-old was forced to lock himself in his Birmingham city centre hotel when rioting flared on the streets. Extra police were called when vigilantes smashed shop windows, looted stores and tried to hijack a bus.

Sir Ian said the experience has made him more resolute to get youngsters from deprived inner-cities off the streets and out of trouble, as well as engage prisoners with something positive.

He said: "Everyone thought Birmingham was going to go AWOL that night. We all sat there in total silence. No one went out. The hotel doors were locked, its shutters pulled down."

He said the experience had strengthend his resolved to get youngsters off the streets and involved in sport - especially after witnessing the racially tensions which followed the deaths of Asian men Haroon Jahan, 21, Shazad Ali, 30, and his brother, Abdul Musavir, 31, in a hit-and-run allegedly carried out by a young black man at the height of the disorder..

He said: "If it wasn't for the dignity of Tariq Jahan's father, I honestly thought Birmingham city centre could have gone up in flames."

Sir Ian ultimately blames the riots on the previous Labour government, holding them responsible for bankrupting the country. He said: "We have Ed Miliband telling us where the Conservatives are going wrong. But hang on a minute Ed. You are the ones who landed us in this situation, and we are in a perilous situation.

He added: "You guys borrowed ridiculously and sold our gold reserves at the lowest price. Have you forgotten about that dumpy thing called Brown? He's now in hiding. The man who was never elected and never to be re-elected. "Then they leave a note for the new Chancellor, saying, 'By the way, there's nothing left in the box. PS -Have a good time."


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