Thursday, September 29, 2011

More on THAT bake sale

It has attracted worldwide publicity

Despite allegations of being "purposefully offensive," a Republican student group in California held a controversial bake sale on Tuesday in opposition of pending legislation that would allow universities to consider race, gender and ethnicity in the admissions process.

California Senate Bill 185, which was passed by the state Legislature and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature, would authorize the University of California and the California State University to consider those and "other relevant factors" during the admissions process.

If signed into law, S.B. 185 would be in direct opposition to Proposition 209, also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative, a ballot proposition approved in 1996 that amended the state's constitution to prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex or ethnicity during the admissions process.

Though Proposition 209 bans awarding admissions decisions based on race and ethnicity alone, S.B. 185 would allow admissions officials to view ethnicity as part of the student's background as a whole, Jesse Choper, a UC Berkeley law professor told The Daily Californian.

The bill would only authorize UC and CSU to consider race, gender, ethnicity and other factors in admissions decisions, but will not mandate them to do so, the newspaper reported.

Shawn Lewis, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, which hosted the "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" at a campus plaza, said the event was intended to oppose any policy that treats one racial group different from another.

The bake sale, which was held just yards away from a phone bank event urging people to call Brown's office in support of the S.B. 185, charged all white men $2 for cookies and other baked goods, while Asian men were charged $1.50, Latino men paid $1, black men 75 cents and Native Americans 25 cents. All women received 25 cents off those prices.

"After the UC Berkeley student government endorsed the bill, we decided a response was needed," Lewis wrote on the group's website. "Thus this bake sale was formulated ... If preferences based on skin color are ok [sic] for college admissions, they should be ok [sic] for other aspects of life. We agree that the event is inherently racist, but that is the point."

Lewis said the bake sale, which has led to threats and intimidation, is in direct response to the Associated Students of the University of California's sponsoring of a phone bank with a goal of more than 1,100 calls to Brown's office. It is scheduled to be held until 2 p.m. local time.

According to The Daily Californian's live blog of the event, roughly 300 people participated in a silent protest of the bake sale. Several campus police officers monitored the event, the newspaper reported.

Earlier, political science professor Wendy Brown told the newspaper that she tried to buy all of the group's baked goods but was not allowed to do so. "I thought the Republicans were free enterprise, but they won't let me buy all the cupcakes," she told the newspaper.

Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Gov. Brown, told that the governor has not taken a stance on the bill and generally does not comment prior to taking action. He has until Oct. 9 to sign or veto the bill, Westrup said.

Meanwhile, University of California Student Association President Claudia Magana said having knowledge of an applicant's racial or ethnic background will allow university officials to make a "more informed" admission decision. "UC students strongly support this bill, and we will be taking action to let the Governor know that we expect him to sign it," Magana said in a statement released on Monday.

S.B. 185 does not mandate quotas nor allows individuals of different ethnic groups to be held to different standards, said Magana, adding that it will also not repeal Proposition 209.

"SB 185 is an important step in the right direction," her statement continued. "In part because of the extensive institutional racism that persists in our state and nation, it is critical that our University is aware of the race of applicants, in order to fully understand and contextualize an individual's background and experiences."

Joey Freeman, external affairs vice president at UC Berkeley, said the bake sale does not further a "productive dialogue" and instead harms the campus climate.

"We welcome all students to participate in dialogue about the best ways for us to increase diversity and ensure that our University is accessible to all Californians," Freeman said in a statement. "Still, we hope that such dialogue can occur without purposefully offensive to specific groups on our campuses."

Neal McCluskey, an education analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, said a "reasonable reading" of S.B. 185 would find it unconstitutional since the state bans discrimination to any individual or groups on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the "normal operation" of public employment, public education or public contracting.

"It certainly looks like it would be in violation of the state's constitution," McCluskey told "That said, I'm familiar enough with affirmative action and you can guess what their argument will be -- that this is part of 'normal and necessary' operations of public colleges and universities."

McCluskey said he's not surprised at the charged reactions on both sides of the issue. "This has been a problem in this country for decades, centuries I should say, where distinctions made by government based on race, sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity, when a government sides one way or another based on one of their group identities, then it is hugely controversial because this is the government choosing winners and losers and not on merit," he said.

"And that completely flies in the face of the idea of the United States where individuals succeed or fail based on their own merits," he continued. "We shouldn't be shocked at all when this leads to constant conflict because nobody wants to end up on the losing side because they weren't born with the characteristics the government decides to favor."


Why I aprove of Berkeley’s “racist” bake sale

by John Stossel

Some College Republicans want to satirize California’s proposed affirmative action law, which would direct California public universities to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national/geographic origin when admitting students. They need a new law? I assume the schools do that anyway.

Affirmative action may be a good thing—a way to compensate for past discrimination. While that may have been useful when I attended college, I think it’s no longer helpful today. Affirmative action is now part of the minority special privilege machine, a component of which is perpetual victimhood.

Useful or not, affirmative action it is a form of racism, and the bake sale helps make that clear. But I don’t understand the Berkeley students’ price list. Asians, not Whites, should be at the top , since studies show that often, Asian students need significantly higher SAT scores to be admitted.

I once held a similar sale: I stood in midtown Manhattan shouting, “Cupcakes for sale.” My price list read:

Asians -- $1.50
Whites -- $1.00
Blacks/Latinos -- 50 cents

People stared. One yelled, “What is funny to you about people who are less privileged?” A black woman said, angrily, “It’s very offensive, very demeaning!” One black man accused me of poisoning the cupcakes.

I understand why people got angry. But my racist sale led to some interesting discussions. One young woman began by criticizing me, “It’s absolutely wrong.”

But after I raised the parallel with college admissions, she said: “No race of people is worth more than another. Or less.”
But do you believe in affirmative action in colleges? I asked. “I used to,” she replied.

Those are the kind discussions students should have. Berkeley administrators were not happy when they learned of the College Republicans plan, but I’m glad that they will allow today’s bake sale. At Bucknell University, the administration shut a bake sale down. A university is supposed to be a place for open discussion. Satirizing affirmative action shouldn’t be off-limits.


U.K. Schools Ban Witches’ Black Hats for Promoting…Racism Among Children?

It seems nothing — from the traditional dress of age-old children’s storybook characters to the very sheet of paper those stories are written on — is above the scrutiny and condemnation of those seeking to push a politically correct agenda and tie even the most seemingly innocent of things to an assault on racial “equality.”

That’s correct, according to diversity and equality “experts,” the Wicked Witch of the West (or at least witches in general), promotes racism among children simply because she dons a black hat. Likewise, the pale, glistening colors typically worn by “fairies” — those ethereal creatures of middle earth so often portrayed in sweetness and light — are merely calculated, cynical wardrobe choices intended to dupe children into believing that all things light, or white, in color are inherently “good.”

Now, to combat that perceived threat, primary school teachers in Britain are allegedly being encouraged by equality advocates to censor fictional children’s characters, eliminating witches’ black pointed hats in favor of white ones, while dressing fairies in dark colors. Proponents of this technique claim the method will eliminate “racism” in children as young as two.

But that’s not all. Even white writing paper has come under fire. The Telegraph reports:
Another staple of the classroom – white paper – has also been questioned by Anne O’Connor, an early years consultant who advises local authorities on equality and diversity.

Children should be provided with paper other than white to draw on and paints and crayons should come in “the full range of flesh tones”, reflecting the diversity of the human race, according to the former teacher.

These rather drastic-sounding measures to ensure racial equality among children are reportedly outlined in a series of guides in “Nursery World” magazine.

Without providing any scientific proof to support the assertion, the guides posit that young children could possess the inclination to express racist views — and that it is therefore the obligation of nursery school teachers to help the children “unlearn” these undesirable traits.

Eerily, the term “unlearn” conjures images of uninstalling software programs on your laptop — or, perhaps more pointedly — the reconditioning sequence made famous in the movie A Clockwork Orange, in which the protagonist’s mind is wiped “clean” of thoughts deemed socially unacceptable, thereby erasing his free will.

One of the alleged goals of the program is to form positive association with dark colors. The Telegraph reports that this “anti-bias” method was developed in the U.S. as part of special interest group’s multiculturalism agenda.

That method, promising to challenge racism, sexism and ageism, has now traveled across the pond, infiltrating at least a portion of the British school system. O‘Connor has reportedly developed material for Lancashire council’s childcare service:
“This is an incredibly complex subject that can easily become simplified and inaccurately portrayed,” she said.

“There is a tendency in education to say ‘here are normal people and here are different people and we have to be kind to those different people’, whether it’s race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or faith.

“People who are feeling defensive can say ‘well there’s nothing wrong with white paper’, but in reality there could be if you don’t see yourself reflected in the things around you. “As an early years teacher, the minute you start thinking, ‘well actually, if I give everyone green paper, what happens’, you have a teaching potential.

“People might criticise this as political correctness gone mad. But it is because of political correctness we have moved on enormously. If you think that we now take it for granted that our buildings and public highways are adapted so people in wheelchairs and with pushchairs can move around. Years ago if you were in a wheelchair, then tough luck. We have completely moved and we wouldn’t have done that without the equality movement.”

Not everyone is in agreement with color-mania, however. Margaret Morrissey, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group Parents Outloud told the Telegraph, “I’m sure these early years experts know their field but they seem to be obsessed about colour and determined to make everyone else obsessed about it too.”

“Not allowing toy witches to wear black seems to me nonsense and in the same vein as those people who have a problem with ‘Bar Bar Black Sheep’ or ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Children just see a sheep in a field, whether it be black, grey, white or beige. I have worked with children for 41 years and I don’t believe I have ever met a two year old who was in any way racist or prejudiced.”

Meanwhile, it might be worth pointing out that, at least in Technicolor, the most infamous witch of all was in fact the color green.


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