I typically don't read the AS Review every week but today I was eating lunch in Arntzen and it happened to be sitting on the table. When I got to the last page I knew the fun was about to begin. Unfortunately, the AS Review does not appear to publish their articles online.... so get your copy of the May 23 while it's hot.
In fact, you may want to obtain your copy before reading this, but it's your choice.
The article is by Johanna Landis and is titled "Think before you eat racist pastries" It's so scandalous that I can't decide where to begin.
First of all, it appears poor Johanna was observing us for a fairly long period of time at the bake sale but never actually talked to a single CR. Either that, or she just didn't think our views jived with her thesis. I mean, unless she was using binoculars and earplugs or something...
Second, although she can certainly dish it out, she apparently doesn’t understand sarcasm when she sees it from others. This could end up being a problem for her. She claims the pricing of the foods was supposed to be less offensive than actually affirmative action. But that was honestly never the point. The point was to be offensive. What she ignores is that we were saying that we were offended by it too. I guess we should be glad she was offended, but disappointed that she couldn't catch our sarcastic point that affirmative action is no less offensive as our bake sale pricing.
Third, she makes false assumptions that could easily have been cleared up had she asked any one of us.
We were not trying to hide our intentions or the situation. Our original pricing plan was not shot down by higher-ups in the VU. We were threatened (or maybe just warned) by the Dean of Students and some token minority (I have no clue who he was or why he came with the dean, but maybe that was why. I don't mean it to be offensive. That’s just what it looked like).
But not only by them, but also by I-200 through which affirmative action has been made illegal in this state. Newsflash: affirmative action has been made illegal in this state. Yup, it is 100% illegal. The second assumption was regarding our pricing, which is really laughable because there was no specific implication between what was lower and what was higher price, the thing we were just trying to show was the stupidity of having different colors at different prices. In fact, I willingly pointed out that you could interpret our pricing many different ways and none of them was correct (besides, most of the "white" students bought brownies). Also, as a personal note, I'll argue with you that those lemon bars were easily worth a dollar for 6 of them as opposed to 50 cents for 1 brownie.
Fourth, she refers to our medium items as "swirled white and chocolate." I don't think we had swirled anything… She also referred to our "dark" items as "all-chocolate" although there were nuts in some of them.
Fifth, she "newsflashes" on our suggestion that maybe socioeconomic status should be used instead of race in affirmative action. But her newsflash never does anything to rebut the point.
Sixth, she ignores one of our main purposes in the "building a platform" department. She ignores it because she apparently never came within voice shot. We gave away two pieces of literature. One was the handout she came across somehow, the other was the information about the debate between Dinesh D'Souza and Tim Wise which was happening the following evening. Apparently in her eyes, getting people interested or offended one day and inviting them to come hear a solution the next is the same as providing no "platform" at all.
Landis seemed to miss a fundamental part of this demonstration against affirmative action. Ok, at least six of them. But I can't sit around all day and argue with her. It's funny that with most people during the sale, the same questions and objections popped into their heads, and we feel like we responded to them in an open manner even if we didn't change our overall views, and neither did the ones asking the questions.
Our main goal of the bake sale was to open a dialogue and get people talking, discussing and learning from each other about where our ideas might not be as strong as we thought. Even if it wasn't their intention, I would still have to thank the Anti-Racist White Student Union for being very respectful and working toward that goal. Unfortunately, that seems about as far as possible from Landis' main goal. I would venture to guess that she would rather call Republicans racist than discuss ideas with them. That’s not much of a guess though, because that's what she did.
Also don't forget that you can't sell your own non-racially assigned pastries on Vendors' Row, unless you do it as a club, or you pay $20.