Monday, March 28, 2011

Bittersweet Treats

Today, I witnessed first-hand what misinformation and a stubborn attitude can do to positive change: kill it. GWU's Young America Foundation (YAF), and the College Republicans (CR), hosted an Affirmative Action Bake Sale on Kogan Plaza this afternoon. The trend is spreading nationwide. For at least the past two years, conservative organziations on college campuses from the University of Florida to Purdue University have hosted these "fundraisers" charging students of ethnic or racial minorities lower prices for baked goods, while white students pay full price. At today's bake sale, "Asians" were charged the highest, at $1.25 per baked good. There was also a "Human Price", apparently the sponsoring organizations' attempt to equalize the playing field, and symbolize what they were aiming to preach- "equal opportunity for all irregardless [sic] of race" as one student said. Strangely enough, the Human Price was the same as what white students had to pay, so their attempt to appease those in disagreement fell a few steps short of effective.

 The 40+ degree weather chilled the fingertips of members from the NAACP, Black Student Union and Voice Gospel Choir; thier hands ached as they handed out fliers to passers-by, and the bake sale's  sponsoring organizations, inviting them to a panel discussion on Affirmative Action this evening at the Multicultural Student Services Center. Sally Nuamah, BSU co-President, said their main objective was to engage in conversation through an "educational protest." When informed by Student Activities that CR and YAF could not be prevented from hosting the bake sale, and despite a last-minute reschedule from last week's bake sale, Sally and other black student organization officers gathered together to figure out how they would respond. "Their clear intention is to spread ignorance," Sally said. They decided to invite the CRs and YAF to the panel because "our main issue is that they are not giving a complete definition of Affirmative Action."

(left to right) Arielle Ford, Freshman- member of BSU, ACE Magazine, and Voice Gospel Choir; Marcus Hendricks, Senior, member of Voice Gospel Choir; Tori Guy, Freshman, member of BSU; Dominique Bozeman, Second Vice-President NAACP

The Young Americans and College Republicans engaged in lively debates with the protesting students, and insisted that affirmative action is racist. In a perfect world, the Magic School Bus would have appeared right in front on top of the table, and Ms. Frizzle would read her copy of Executive Order 10925, clearing up the common misconception that employers and admissions directors are instructed to select applicants based on meeting race quotas. President Kennedy wrote the order to promote equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin (later added by subsequent Presidents were age, religion, color, and various other elements of discrimination). A few students I spoke with were displeased with what the College Republicans and YAF accomplished. Aleks Marciniak, a junior majoring in Russian, said she has friends who were very upset about the bake sale taking place, and she wished they did something else than this "very simplified version" of explaining affirmative action. CR and YAF explained to her, and any one who would listen that it is affirmative action that creates resentment among students who are not given preferential treatment. But, Gina Bochis, a junior Human Services major, said
she came to the event to see what they had to say and learn more about Affirmative Action, but if anything, the bake sale itself created more division among students.

It was frustrating to have a discussion with folks who were unwilling to hear the rationale behind this policy they so vehemently despise. Michael Tapscott, director of the Multicultural Student Services Center, commended all the protesting students on their dedication to the cause, and despite some pleas to shut the event down completely, he reminded us that "one of the most important things you do in this period of your life, is argue for what you believe in."  Arguments like "my Italian ancestors made their way in this country without affirmative ation, so why should a black kid who has worst test scores get into a university over a white kid who worked hard to get there?" were thrown out in raised voices, and were mostly met with blank stares. I'll be pleasantly surprised if any of the YAFs or CR show up to the panel discussion- all of them turned down the invitations extended this afternoon. Stay tuned.


  1. I attended the protest of the anti-affirmative action bake sale on March 28th. It was great that so many anti-racist students turned out to protest this. History demonstrates that businesses in the US earned trillions of dollars of wealth from enslaving African Americans and exploiting the labor of many others, including white workers. Affirmative action programs barely make a dent in this debt. In fact, white women have benefited from affirmative action more than any others. Groups like YAF just want to create more divisions. We should ask President Knapp to show us his commitment to diversity and inclusion by prohibiting organizations that build racism.


    I love how the left always uses the catch phrases of ignorance and racism whenever a group is trying to advocate against the status quo and the disgusting practice of discrimination in affirmative action.

    (Also, you misquoted what the human special was. I wasn't even at the event but I can read the picture that clearly says "Regardless" not "Irregardless." At least use some attention to detail when you are acting out of "dedication to the cause" lol)

  3. It wasn't a quote from the sign. It was a quote from a person, as indicated by the "as one student said" at the end of the sentence. Just like a righty to cut off the most important part of something in order to make their (incorrect) point.

  4. Another article on the same event - calls out this Karyn Pomerantz person. She's a communist?

  5. Founded by Los Angeles based Pastry Chef Danielle Keene, Bittersweet is a pastry shop offering a modern take on old-fashioned ice cream and dessert creations.


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