Friday, March 19, 2004

Affirmative Action Bake Sale

U of R's College Republicans are holding an Affirmative Action Bake Sale today. If you don't know what that is, it's a bake sale where discounts are given to women and "disadvantaged" minorities (i.e., Blacks and Hispanics). When I went by, there was a good crowd there, although to judge by the stickers they were wearing, most of them were members of the College Republicans. I didn't see any hecklers or demonstrators, which these sorts of things have drawn at other campuses.

While I'll defend the right of the College Republicans to hold these Bake Sales, I'm not a big fan of the events. It strikes me as needlessly insulting, which I guess is the point. Why should you be offended by being offered baked goods at a discount if you aren't offended by lowered admission standards and job quotas? Shouldn't that be considered even more patronizing? (La Shawn Barber has a good post on this today.) Still, it seems to me that there ought to be better ways to get the idea across. First, who is the target audience? Presumably it's those who normally benefit from affirmative action. I doubt it's to get the non-beneficiaries all riled up (and I certainly hope that's not the case). Second, will your target audience be too offended to listen to your point? The thinking might be that they won't listen unless you show graphically how offensive affirmative action is to them, but I'm still unconvinced. And I think many of them have such a low opinion of Republicans that they'll assume that the whole purpose of the exercise is either to get the non-beneficiaries riled up or to insult the beneficiaries, and they'll miss the message the Bake Sale is supposed to convey.

New Post: If you want some information on the Bake Sale itself, I have some pointers above.

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