Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The older I get, the more tired I am of hypocrisy.

For example: Mormons who want to show immigrants the borders – taking a harder stand than is the church itself on the issue – are called on the carpet as unsupportive of the prophet by newspapers and by Mormons who espouse more liberal views on gay marriage than does the church hierarchy, and neither the papers nor the liberal Mormons see that they’re unsupportive of the prophet in any way. (In fact, they’re treated like forward-looking champions.)

I admit to this: I espouse the more liberal views.

I just hate the hypocrisy.

So following the racist bake sale at the University of California – Irvine this week has proved interesting. The bake sale – at which prices were charged on a sliding scale based on race, ethnicity, and gender; white males paying the most and Native American women paying the least – sparked an outcry among liberals on campus, who can see the racism (the college Republican group sponsoring the sale admits it is racist) in the sale but not in their own efforts to reinstate affirmative action, which would give similar preferential treatment along the same lines they decry in the sale.

From the article on the story:
"We agree that the event is inherently racist, but that is the point," Lewis wrote in response to upheaval over the bake sale. "It is no more racist than giving an individual an advantage in college admissions based solely on their race (or) gender."

ASUC President Vishalli Loomba said many students who attended a community meeting Monday night expressed disgust that the bake sale would take place.

"As a woman of color, when I first saw the event, I was appalled someone would post something like this on the Internet -- not only a different pay structure, but also to rank the races," she said. "It trivializes the struggles that people have been through and their histories."

Lewis said he agreed a ranking system for races isn't fair -- not for bake sales, and not in other aspects of life.

"The purpose of the pricing structure ... is to cause people to disagree with this kind of preferential treatment," Lewis said. "We want people to say no race is above another race, or no race is below another one. Why put one over the other? Why rank them that way?"
Why put one over the other? Why rank them that way? I don’t know. The argument that such preferential treatment makes up for past and current abuse doesn’t hold water. In my view, that preferential treatment is as trivializing to past and present struggles as is any event as silly as a race- and ethnicity-based bake sale pricing structure. You don’t make up for racism or discrimination based on gender or ethnicity by turning the tables and making the oppressors the oppressed. You make up for it by looking at academic standing, financial need, and – dare I say it – the content of the character over the color of the skin.

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