The controversial “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” sponsored by young Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, brought a large crowd of students and others to the school’s Sproul Plaza on Tuesday, and the student-run Daily Californian says the climax was a counter-demonstration “that saw hundreds of protesters lie on their backs.”
As we wrote Monday, the event’s sponsors sparked much debate when they decided to protest affirmative action legislation that would allow California universities to consider race, gender, ethnicity and national origin during admissions by holding a bake sale and basing their prices on the race of their customers.
White students would be charged $2, Asians would pay $1.50, Latinos would pay $1, African-Americans would pay 75 cents, Native Americans would pay 25 cents and women would get 25-cent discounts. That plan was changed at the actual event — while the young Republicans continued to make their case against affirmative action, they decided to let customers set their own prices. They “sold out of cupcakes and cookies,” the Daily Californian says.
The young Republicans were joined by Ward Connerly, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, “a multiracial Republican who wrote Proposition 209, the state’s voter-approved ban on race preferences in government programs.” Campus police tell the Daily Californian there were no incidents, just a lot of intense debate.
Later today on NPR’s Tell Me More, guest host Jacki Lyden is due to talk with Shawn Lewis, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, and Vishalli Loomba, student body president at the university. Loomba has been on the record in opposition to what the young Republicans did. We’ll update this post later with some of their conversation.