UT Students Vilified After Criticizing Affirmative Action With Bake Sale

by Jennifer Kabbany - Associate Editor on October 1, 2013

OPINION

Conservative college students at the University of Texas have been wrongly vilified for creatively and deliciously pointing out the inherent flaws of affirmative action through their recent “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” at the Austin campus.

The crux of the bake sale controversy is the Young Conservatives of Texas-Austin’s pricing sign that listed the brownies and cookies as follows: “$2 white,” “$1.50 Asians,” “$1 Latino,” “75 cents Black,” and “.25 cents Native American.” On the side of the sign it read: “25 cents off for all women.”

Clearly the conservative students at the University of Texas aimed to illustrate the absurdity of giving preferences – monetary and otherwise – based on race, ethnicity or gender.bakesale1

But Dr. Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, swiftly denounced the conservative students’ obvious political statement, calling it “inflammatory and demeaning.” The student newspaper chimed in by giving Vincent a “horns up” for taking on the students. Some comments on the conservative students’ Facebook page are downright disgusting, calling the group “attention whores” or “backwards a**holes.”

Vincent, in his statement, argued that “the choice of a tiered pricing structure creates the misperception that some students either do not belong at the university or do not deserve to have access to our institution—or worse, that they belong or deserve only to a certain degree.”

OK, essentially that’s a backhanded way of calling these students racist. As an administrator of the campus, that is a shameful abuse of power and wholly inappropriate.

What’s more, he’s dead wrong. The students – at the campus at the heart of the recent Fisher v. University of Texas Supreme Court decision that did not look favorably on affirmative action policies – clearly just aimed to illustrate that racial preferences are so obviously flawed that a simple bake sale demonstration proves that out.

“Although it is their right to do so, it is deplorable that a few students took advantage of this open forum to direct negative sentiment toward their peers,” Vincent wrote.

What’s actually deplorable, however, is that people are still judged today by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. That the larger point these kids made has instead been lost in ad hominem attacks against them.

“The YCT’s approach to this issue also ignores the fact that demographics are just one of many criteria taken into account when applying for admission to UT, a fact that the university has repeatedly and staunchly defended in the Fisher v. UT case,” Vincent wrote.

Are just one of many criteria? By “demographics” he’s partially referring to race, and it shouldn’t be a criteria at all.

The Supreme Court, in a 7 to 1 ruling in the Fisher case in June, avoided making a sweeping ruling on affirmative action in college admissions in a result described as a partial victory for opponents of racial preferences.

Justice Clarence Thomas even wrote in a separate opinion that the court should have taken the opportunity to make a more comprehensive ruling, saying: “I write separately to explain that I would overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, and hold that a State’s use of race in higher education admissions decisions is categorically prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause.”

Jennifer Gratz, a well-known civil rights activist and CEO of the XIV Foundation, said at the time: “The Court once again confirmed that universities must be moving to end these policies and that they must first attempt to achieve diversity through race-neutral means.”

Underscoring all this, what is perhaps the most striking of all in regard to this embattled UT bake sale – is the pictures of these Young Conservatives of Texas making their brownies and cookies and selling them on the campus’ West Mall. Despite clearly having a diverse mix of members – Latino, white, Asian and so on – they came together as Americans. They see far beyond color lines and ethnicity charts.

I called Lorenzo Garcia, the student chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas-Austin, for a comment. He said the group is set to put one out later this week.

Until then, bravo, Young Conservatives of Texas, for standing up for America, common sense, and the belief that all individuals can achieve great things without special treatment or government handouts.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

IMAGES: Facebook screenshots

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  • Cyberguy64

    So, women Native Americans get free brownies? The flaws become readily apparent with this system.

    …Which of course is the ENTIRE POINT! Vincent must have ducked to have this obvious point go so clearly over his head. Next time, the students should make their point a little lower. Then, if he ducks, he’ll still get hit, and if he stays standing….

  • Wyck Holland

    Conservative students using leftist tactics — very effective.

  • NorthCack34

    Bureaucrats and leftists who don’t get satire? Noooooo. Surely you jest.

    • Cyberguy64

      I’ve found that satire is A-Okay for the left to use, but when the right uses it, it instantly becomes ignorant and offensive.

      Is being a hypocrite just required to be progressive?

      • Gayle Spencer

        They can dish it out but they can’t take it. Our solution – keep dishing it out to them.

        “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
        ― Voltaire

      • Finrod Felagund

        Is being a hypocrite just required to be progressive?

        A complete lack of shame is also required.

  • Guest

    I am the author of the Facebook comments quoted in the fourth paragraph of your article. While I admit that I used vulgar language to express my disgust with the bake sale (to a Facebook audience, let me remind you), I also made an argument. The substance of my comment has gone unmentioned, while the part you actually did manage to quote is inaccurate and out of context. I am publishing a photo of the actual comment thread for your readership. I hope you will remedy the situation as any serious news organization would–by publishing a correction and apologizing to me.

    • JFSanders

      So you respond here just to reinforce the opinion of the author that you are a foul mouthed ignorant backward jackass…

    • Cyberguy64

      Heh, I can see myself in that screen shot. Go to the page to see me put this goof in his place.

    • Hunter

      You didn’t make a point at all, Carlos; you just cited a bunch of shit. Watch Good Will Hunting, you just look like the asshole Michael Bolton clone. An argument would apply these decisions and rulings to the ultimate point you are trying to make in your own words, thereby leading people in a direction to understand your proofs and logic and allow them to make a judgment based on them. Citing shit just to say that you know about the subject proves nothing to me or anyone else, especially not in the context of this satirical bake sale. Its only attention whoring because you have the lack of self control to disregard it; you are the provider of attention. If you want to be effective and claim you made a point, claim a fucking point, don’t just cite a bunch of shit to make yourself look smart and jump to a conclusion that nobody understands you made.

      How you like them apples.

      • Hunter

        haha excuse me, Carol*

      • ARG

        You know, the key line to your whole argument here is “jump to a conclusion that nobody understands you made” – to me, that sounds like perhaps the idiocy of your target audience which appears unable to understand complex arguments and is simply more inclined to understand your classic conservative one-line punches which so appeal to your demographics. I wonder why this is, perhaps something to do with a lower IQ and therefore inability to stay focused on point while discussing multiple angles or is it perhaps a mix of those people and the rest of you which are generally just self-serving individualists who could care less about the well-being of those who are unable to do better for themselves? Please, enlighten me. Last time I checked, citing precedents is the way in which arguments can be put forth with backing but most conservatives seem unable to put two coherent thoughts together without struggle or fallacy (which you seem to constantly blame the other side of the bench for making, something I find rather comical since it’s usually a diversion so you can continue to make your straw man points).

        I like oranges better.

      • Carol S

        I fear you’ve missed the point. I provided a list of court cases and legal scholars for your reference because their level of expertise and eloquence of argument far surpass any summary I could cobble together on facebook. And I don’t want to spoon feed you my interpretation of their opinions–I want you to read them for yourself and form your own.

        By offering a collection of influential sources on the matter, I only meant to suggest a more robust starting point for the “dialogue about why affirmative action is unnecessary” YCT claimed to want to open. As I think I’ve shown, I am more than willing to discuss affirmative action from a critical perspective. However, low-brow propaganda is not the proper tinder to facilitate such dialogue. My sample of well-researched arguments is a much better place to begin.

  • Gayle Spencer

    Needling the left – always great fun. Predictably brings out their hypocrisy.

    Keep it up, young conservatives.

  • Dpfeferm

    “If you’re going to compare the Bake Sale to Affirmative Action…the only way it would be comparable is if the flour, oven, and all baking materials were stolen from the people that are required to pay the lowest prices. And if the baked goods from all prior bake sales were made for free by the minorities while white students reaped all the profits…which resulted in unequal opportunities to purchase baked goods in the current sale.” – Keith Africano about a similar stunt at UC Berkely in 2011

    • Guest

      “Keith Africano” is wrong. The bake sale is an appropriate representation of Affirmative Action. First, no one at the bake sale has had anything stolen from them, just as no beneficiary of Affirmative Action has had anything stolen from them. But AA people don’t see people as people. They see them as members of a racial, ethnic, tribal, or gender CLASS. And they extend the class members victim status backwards hundreds of years. AA people fundamentally DO believe that class members should have a privileged status based on class grievances, regardless of their personal history, privilege, talent, or work ethic.

      What makes AA people angry is the effectiveness of the bake sale in demonstrating the ridiculousness – and discriminatory nature – of Affirmative Action.

      • Guest

        Likewise, no one has been enslaved in America for 150 years. And even slaves didn’t “work for free.” They received food, shelter, and clothing, at the very least. And while it is true that slave owners “reaped all the profits,” modern minorities have received trillions of dollars in benefits from the American system, including education, medical care, government services, equal protection under the law, and countless other benefits. Their chief grievance can not be that they have not been properly compensated. It can only be that others have somehow benefited MORE, and they find that “unfair.”

  • Brambles

    Wow… the truth always does hit some sensitive nerves, eh?

  • Hunter

    oOoOoOo big words… Must. Mean. Smart. Carol you didn’t form an argument, simple or complex. YOU CITED PRECENDENTS AND DIDNT FORM ANY SORT OF ANALYSIS FROM THEM. That’s the “key takeaway” or did your brain from the gods not note that? IQ of 140 and you don’t even understand the basic components of an argument? My ass. Did you just make a bunch of references and citations on that IQ test, or did you actually attempt to answer a question or two? It’s self-righteous egomaniacal pricks like you that astound me. Here’s a spoiler alert: you aren’t getting an apology or a restatement from anybody, it’s ridiculous to even assume such a thing. For all that intelligence you have, you still don’t understand one small very simple thing: not one person on here gives a fuck about your over-intellectual bullshit opinions. Especially not about some analogical bake sale. I can’t even tell if you are trolling at this point, that’s how ridiculous you sound. I’m done with this I can’t believe I’ve wasted as much time with your dumbass as I have. I’ll end by citing my last Facebook quote: “Get a [fucking] life.”

  • Carol S

    Hunter–for the record, ARG is not me. This is the first post I’ve made since my original one on Monday. This ARG guy doesn’t even sound like me, but I guess when you jump on the keyboard before critically reading what you’re responding to, you miss that kind of detail.