Protest Over Bake Sale?!
This week at UC Berkeley there was a huge controversy surrounding an affirmative action-like bill called SB 185 passed by the Senate in California that I think relates a lot to our conversations about class, access, and education so I wanted to share it with y’all.
Basically, this bill would allow public universities in California to consider an applicant’s race, ethnicity, and gender in the application process and on Tuesday, there was a phone bank on Berkeley’s campus to call in to support the signing of this bill. In response, the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) hosted a satirical “Increase Diversity” Bake Sale opposite the phone bank with pricing based on one’s race, ethnicity, and gender. Based on statements the group posted on Facebook (links below), they felt the legislation was intended to increase diversity and fill quotas, which officials say is not true. The bake sale offended a ton of students who then protested in the main plaza on campus.
I read one opinion piece that I felt spoke to some of feelings in our conversations in class. Here are some excerpts and the link to the article:
“This [the bill] isn’t about the promotion of “preferential treatment.” It’s about equal access to opportunities that people of color and women have been and continue to be systemically excluded from.”
“Many of the most egregious laws approving racism and oppressive discrimination are no longer on the books, but negative racial sentiments still persist in more destructive and subtle ways. They take the form of institutionalized barriers. What do these barriers look like? They take form in highly segregated low-income communities of color where local school districts have to teach more crowded classrooms with less funding, schools unable and often times unwilling to offer courses to ensure its students fulfill the A-G requirements and schools who hire teachers without the proper teaching credentials.”
“SB 185 is about accessibility, opportunity and progress. It is intended to ensure that all of our communities will be able to attain the education required to meet the economic demands of tomorrow. It is about taking into consideration the current and projected demographic changes in California, as well as the expansion and growing demands of our state economy.”
Here are a couple links to the BCR’s descriptions of the event on Facebook:
Here are some news and opinion pieces that I found on this event:
Also, the UC Berkeley Chancellor posted a letter against the BCR’s bake sale: