The University of Washington College Republicans will hold an “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” Friday with prices based upon consumers’ gender and status as “Asian,” “White,” “African American,” “Hispanic,” or “Native American.”
The bake sale price list includes a twenty-five cent discount for females. Those in the Asian category pay top dollar, while Native Americans get the baked goods for free.
|Females –||25¢ off|
According to the event page on Facebook, the UW College Republicans are holding this event to protest Washington State’s Initiative 1000:
“Affirmative action is an inherently racist policy that is now back after the Washington State Legislator [sic] passed I-1000,” the event description says. “We will be protesting this clearly racist change of law by hosting a bake sale that plainly shows the clear discrimination allowed by law now.”
King5.com reported that “Initiative 1000 will allow recruitment goals for minority candidates in state jobs, education, and contracting, significantly loosening existing restrictions on targeted outreach and other forms of affirmative action.” The article also notes “The measure will allow consideration of factors like race, sex, ethnicity, and disability — but not as the sole qualifier for an otherwise less-qualified applicant.”
The group explained that while they oppose racism, their goal is to highlight “the absurdity of racial considerations” in hiring and admissions:
“UWCR denounces all forms of racism and discrimination. The entire point of our affirmative action bake sale is to point out the absurdity of racial considerations in college/job applications etc.” The second and final tweet of the thread concluded, “Some of you tweeting at us today are too stupid to understand this.”
Screenshots on the group’s Facebook page show an email addressed to faculty, staff and students of the UW College of Built Environments—the email signed by the dean of the College of Built Environments and several other individuals expresses disapproval over the affirmative action bake sale:
We share the UW’s commitment to the right and opportunity to present views even when those views are difficult and offensive. However, we believe that the form of speech used to promote this event is divisive and harmful to the culture we try to foster in our college and community. We support the right to peacefully protest, exemplified by America Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Indigenous communities who will be gathering on the Hub lawn and joined by students from CBE and other colleges. We are encouraged by positive events such as First Nations @ UW hosted “Cookie Potlatch” at the HUB at noon.
The CBE Dean and Department Chairs value diversity and inclusion and continue to look for every opportunity to encourage productive dialogue that advances progress towards a more equitable society.