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Bake sale's racial pricing rocks campus

09-28-2011 16:05 BJT

SAN FRANCISCO - Student Republicans at the University of California at Berkeley have stirred up the famously left-wing campus with plans for a sale of baked goods priced according to the race and gender of buyers.

A Facebook promotion of the event, set for Tuesday, has drawn cries of racism and misogyny on the social networking site, and student body president Vishalli Loomba called what the Berkeley College Republicans were doing offensive.

The school's chancellor, Robert Birgeneau, weighed in on Monday night with an open letter condemning the planned bake sale as contrary to campus "Principles of Community" that call for debate to be conducted in a respectful manner.

Organizers say their "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" is meant as satiric political commentary on new legislation that would again allow California's public universities to consider the race, gender, ethnicity and national origin of admissions applicants.

The sale is scheduled to take place near a campus phone bank set up by supporters of the bill, SB 185, to lobby for Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to sign the measure into law.

The original Facebook post for the event said pastries sold at the event would be priced at $2 each for white customers, $1.50 for buyers of Asian descent, $1 for Latinos, 75 cents for black customers and 25 cents for American Indians. All women would get a 25 cent discount.

The post said the pricing structure was designed to "ensure the equitable distribution of BAKED GOODS to our DIVERSE! student body".

Loomba said Berkeley "students are talking about this everywhere I go".

"They've been able to get a lot of publicity, but at what cost? They are creating an environment of divisiveness," she told Reuters. "You can't justify doing something this offensive and making students of this school feel uncomfortable."

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: China Daily

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