Monday, November 28, 2016

How to handle an Affirmative Action Brownie Sale

Houston Chronicle: Bake sale at University of Texas

Occasionally you will see a conservative group selling cookies or brownies at different prices to make a point about affirmative action.  They will offer the same brownies at different prices for male, female, Black, Hispanic/Latino and White customers. For example, the brownies is $1.00 for White men, $0.50 for Hispanic women and $0.25 for Blacks.

They are trying to make the point that Affirmative Action gives people "free" things they did not deserve. They are wrong for three reasons.

1) They are making broad generalizations about groups of people while ignoring the fact that each individual had a unique struggle to make it to the University of Texas

2) They also miss the idea that a diverse student population increases the richness of the campus experience. Diversity improves debate, strengthens ideas and encourages understanding.

3) Finally, they are also ignoring the long history of educational, political and economic oppression of minorities in the US.

Most people see how mean spirited and shallow the brownie sale argument is and do not take the young conservatives seriously.

How to respond

The best way to respond is a large anti-racism protest. The more people the better.  A large show of numbers is critical. You need, as the police say, "An overwhelming show of force."  Chanting "no to racism, yes to unity" and "racist" works great.

Try not to ridicule the anti-affirmative action protesters since it breeds resentment.

Short of jumping up in someone face and screaming "You don't know me," the second best response we found was is to set-up an alternative stand near by with free food items.  The stand would promote an alternative point of view. For example:

1. The graduate and professional students of color at University of Illinois organized a White privilege popcorn sale.  White males get a full bag and everyone else get a 1/3 of a bag. You can read the story in the Daily Illini.

2. You can also give away free cookies while also promoting "Cookies under Socialism."  While giving away the cookies, explain that racism, class, ignorance and selfishness are natural byproducts of capitalism. And that capitalism encourages racism.

Other alternatives are:

3. A booth on slavery or murders by police with graphic photos. A photo of a lynching or a whipped slaves' back is pretty effective.

4. A booth on poverty in the US, the minimum wage or income inequality.

5. Bake White privilege cookie which is costs 4 slave hours in 1860; 3 Jim Crow hours in 1930 (15 cents); 1 hour at incarceration wage (UNICOR 0.23 cents)

Note: Price Discrimination is when he same supplier charges different groups different prices for the same item.  For example, reduced drink prices on "Ladies Night". Price discrimination is illegal when based on race, gender, nationality or religion


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