The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

So the anti-affirmative action college bake sales -- where the organizers charge minorities less for cookies than what whites pay -- has appeared on the radar of Yahoo news:

Campus bake sales by conservatives who oppose affirmative-action are cooking up discord — and complaints about restrictions on free speech.

Organizers charge white students $1 for a cookie, while blacks and other minorities pay 25 to 95 cents. Doughnuts are available for 50 cents to everyone except Asian Americans and whites, who cannot purchase them.

Unfair? So is affirmative action, organizers contend.

"It's a good example of what affirmative action does, judging people based on race," said Jason Chambers, president of the University of Washington College Republicans, which held a sale in October that shut down when some students began attacking the booth.

"People were upset. People did feel offended," said Anthony Rose, president of the UW Black Student Union. "You see something like that, you feel itemized."

I feel itemized. I feel deducted. I feel Schedule 34 C'd!

(Note to people who know me personally: I promise not to use the phrase "I feel itemized" more than, say, one thousand times.)

In September, Southern Methodist University shut down a similar event by the Young Conservatives of Texas.

SMU is politically correct? I had no idea. My idea of SMU, formed in my youth, was that just as Prussia was an army with a state attached to it, so Southern Methodist was a football team with a university attached to it.


The UW College Republicans' Oct. 8 bake sale took place about the same time as a step performance by a traditionally black fraternity and drew plenty of attention.

Chambers said students engaged in a couple hours of good, heated discussion, until some began yelling and tearing down signs, even throwing cookies at members of the conservative group.

"I really thought that everyone on campus could maintain their composure and have a civil discussion without getting violent. I was really surprised that it went that far," Chambers said.

Don't throw Chambers into that briar patch! Honest to God, if you're going to make a fool of yourself by rejecting the ideals of higher education, shouldn't you do something less ridiculous than throwing cookies at your ideological opponents?

We have come a remarkable distance in the story without meeting a hypocritical, flatulent university administrator. That is about to change:

In a letter responding to the melee, Board of Regents President Jerry Grinstein expressed disappointment with the sale.

"The statements of the UW College Republicans in putting on a bake sale about affirmative action were tasteless, divisive and hurtful to many members of the university community," he wrote.

Translation: I don't have a leg to stand on, but I have to criticize the Republicans somehow or every minority student group will have my ass. So I'll pretend that the bake sale was one of the tragedies of the modern era, ranking just below the firebombing of Tokyo and just above the sack of Smyrna.

Back to SMU for several more paragraphs in which the words "football," "NCAA", "violations" and "probation" do not appear. Are there two Southern Methodist Universities?

In the incident at Southern Methodist University, organizers described the event as a bake sale — not an anti-affirmative-action protest — in their application for event space, said Jim Caswell, vice president for student affairs.

Had the university known it was a demonstration, a more appropriate location would have been chosen, Caswell said. A staff member thought the friction was likely to escalate, and stopped the event, he said.

"I think it's important to note that freedom of expression was not the issue, it was the hostile environment created by the Young Conservatives' failure to fully disclose their intentions," Caswell said.

Wasn't the hostile environment created by people who weren't able to respect opinions different from theirs? By people who couldn't keep their hands to themselves? Apparently at SMU, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a graduate-level class.

(Link via Drudge's wacked-out red page.)



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