Cookies for Admissions Equality (2003)

Welcome to another edition of Highlander Archives, these are pieces that were submitted to the newspaper. Many articles were printed, but this one was not.

In February 2003, the Berkeley College Republicans challenged the dominant political establishment on their campus by participating in a demonstration by having an affirmative action bake sale. The bake sale offered baked goods on a sliding scale price structure depending on what ethnicity and gender you are a member. The organization’s president believes that holding people to different standards based on their race is inherently racist. The demonstration at UC Berkeley and UCLA were inspired by the impending Supreme Court case in April regarding the University of Michigan admissions policy retaining affirmative action.

Demonstrations regarding wedge issues do not escape controversy unscattered. Former State Senator Art Torres, chair of the California Democratic Party took offense of the actions of the College Republicans of California. Art remarked that, “Once again we see hard working students of color subjected to racist Republican rhetoric for simply seeking a good education and equal opportunity” and that “These college Republicans have opted to perpetrate the legacy of Trent Lott.” However, Affirmative Action is indeed reverse racism because assumes depending on your race or status you need a leg up. Democrats are not perfect angels either where race relations are a factor. Our Lt.Governor used the n-word accidentally during a Black History Month presentation while presidential candidate Al Sharpton perpetrated racist and anti-homosexual remakes at Kean University in New Jersey.

As a multi-ethnic individual, my father told me before the Proposition 209 era to use the Mexican American ethnicity box in applications for admissions and scholarships, but I thought it was inherently unfair that there were different standards for different ethnicities. I decided to choose white or other on my applications even though my father stated I would blow an opportunity of a lifetime.

Political correctness should not silence the debate of any issue on campus. Individuals demonstration against affirmative action should be given equal access to the first amendment just as how the anti-war demonstrators have been protesting across campuses around our nation. Just because these beliefs have offended liberal ethnic minorities and their allies does not mean that the proponents against affirmative action should have to apologize for their ideas. Free speech is for everyone and not only for the anointed who have the dominant ideas of political society.

Personally, Affirmative Action clouds the issues that face admissions towards our institutions of higher learning. Unqualified individuals no matter what race, gender or income level should not be admitted. We need to implement programs to make sure equality in education is established for those who want to go to our schools of higher education. If one can not read or write for college work and is admitted then it is racist to let their dreams crumble down.

 

 

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