Berkeley Bake Sale Priced By Race: Satire or Too Severe?

COMMENTARY | According to an article put out by the San Francisco Chronicle, a Republican students group at UC Berkeley plans to satirize a bill that would allow the University of California and California State University to consider race, ethnicity and gender during the admission process by having a bake sale that will be priced according to race and gender.

Although student senators voted Sunday against discriminatory practices on campus, the Republican group still plans on hosting the controversial bake sale Tuesday, which will sell goods to Caucasians for $2, Asian Americans for $1.50, Latino/Hispanics for $1.00, African Americans for 75 cents, and Native Americans for 25 cents, with a 25 cent discount offered to women.

Berkeley students have responded to the “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” with outrage, with one student, Devonte Jackson, declaring the act as “attacking underrepresented communities by reducing their communities to a cheaply priced good.” In defense of the bake sale, Francisco Loayza IV, the treasurer of the Republican group which is hosting the sale, said “People are being judged by their skin color (in affirmative action policies). I don’t want to be judged because I’m brown. Look past the prices, and see what we’re trying to do.”

But is the diversity bake sale an accurate satire?

According to the student group, the bake sale is an effort to parody the proposal of the inclusion of gender, race and ethnicity in the universities’ admission processes, but is pricing baked goods according to race and gender an appropriate satire of the bill? By protesting the bill in this manner, the Republican students group is saying the price of university education will be different according to race and gender, which is not the case.

Not to defend the bill, but logically the universities are attempting to acquire diversity in their student bodies; by considering race, ethnicity and gender in their admission processes, they are ensured a diverse group of students, which has many benefits to students and society in general. A more appropriate satire of the bill would have the “diversity bake sale” reserving so many baked goods for each ethnic group and gender so that everyone is assured a piece of the pie.

Essentially, that is what the universities are doing. They are not proposing a different tuition price according to race or gender. Everyone still has the same tuition rates.

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