Today there is a bake sale at UC Berkeley.
It’s been officially classified as “discriminatory”. People are protesting. In fact, the bake sale itself is a protest.
Should the bake sale be banned? During Banned Books Week it raises some nice questions.
First all, Berkeley is nutso and if you have never been up there, you are just going to have to take my word on this. A lot of people are working very hard to preserve the culture of the 1960’s and some of them are being exceptionally successful. In a state filled with loons, Berkeley holds its own.
Having said that, let’s take a closer look at the Bake Sale menu.
As the L.A. Times reports, “The event is designed to denounce a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk that would allow California public universities to consider race, ethnicity and gender in student admissions.”
The point of the bake sale is, essentially, that if you consider race/gender when it comes to college admissions, why shouldn’t one consider these things when it comes to other areas of our national life? “They” say (the Berkeley College Republicans, that is), “Hey, we are either living in a color blind nation or we are not.”
It’s a loaded question. But it’s a good question, too. As the GOP’s bake sale asks, if we make accommodations for one group of people and not another – based on gender or race – are we not thus practicing a form of nuanced discrimination? And isn’t that potentially the most dangerous type of discrimination – prejudice that doesn’t even believe it’s being prejudiced?
On the other hand, do we ignore history and the mountains of tangible evidence which basically says, “white males rule and all other sub-categories aren’t finding themselves on a level playing field with these dudes?”
I am interested to see how this works out. But in a way, it’s already worked out for the bake sale organizers. Why? Because what they really want to do is draw attention to their cause. In fact, I bet they were hoping someone would ban the bake sale.
You can also ban Happy Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple and so on, too. But doesn’t banning something just give it more life?
It’s BBW (Banned Books Week). Show ’em some luv!