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California students walk the line

October 6th, 2011

Even though he definitely would not be ideologically in tune with them, former World News Editor Sean Webster must be proud of the political activism of a few students on Berkeley College’s campus in California. The students belong to a Republican student group and are raising money in the timeless fashion of a bake sale.

Known as the “Increase Diversity Bake Sale,” they are charging different races different rates. $2 a cookie for whites, $1.50 for Asians,  $1 for Latinos, $0.75 for blacks, and a quarter off for every woman.

It is incredibly racist – and the students running the sale will be the first to tell you so.

They are using the sale as a political satire of sorts in protest of California Senate Bill 185 that would allow the University of California and California State University to consider “other relevant factors” in selecting students for admission. In other words, the bill gives permission to state universities to take into account race and gender during the admissions process.

The sale is seen as a direct metaphor by the students as how they, and many others, see the bill. Goods or services are being offered to others based solely on race and gender. They, in turn, are doing the same thing with their “Increase Diversity Bake Sale.”

Although the sale might be an extremely clever and accurate satire, the only argument I can think of against it is it may not work effectively as they may want.  Instead of the spotlight being on Senate Bill 185, it will be on how a bunch of conservative college kids protested in a socially divisive manner.

I do not believe it should be interpreted as so, but I do understand why it is seen that way by a majority of people.

But what is admirable about this is this student group had the gall to do this on a very liberal college campus.  Seeing conservative activism is nice for a change – a breath of fresh air in the not-so-diverse political culture surrounding the average college student. Conservatives are incessantly portrayed as ‘the Man” by our demographic, politicians that only care about big corporations and oil.

Yet these young conservatives have chosen a noble fight that is truly an injustice.

Now, true, there are high school students applying to schools that are short on funds should receive some financial aid. Whether they get in or not should not be based on solely their sex or ethnicity. That is an injustice, akin to separating whites and blacks from the same drinking fountains during the Civil Rights era.

Diversity is often a misconstrued concept, especially on college campuses. Forcing diversity is in effect doing the opposite of what is intended – it divides and creates injustice.

Of course there is nothing wrong with being white, black, a woman, gay or hispanic. Giving preferential treatment to any of those is as unjust as denying any of them rights you would give to any of the others.

These students and their university, for allowing it to happen, should be applauded for recognizing the validity behind the bake sale’s point in a world forever increasing in unnecessary political correctness.