The university that has repeatedly defended the practice of affirmative action before the Supreme Court called a mock bake sale in which the prices of goods varied by the race of the customer “inflammatory and demeaning.”
A group of conservatives at the University of Texas, Austin held the affirmative action bake sale on Wednesday, drawing the ire of their fellow classmates and university administrators alike.
The students, who are a part of the Austin chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas, charged Asian male students $1.50 for baked goods, in order to reflect palpable discrimination in university admissions against that demographic, while Asian females were charged $1.25.
White males were charged $1 per store-bought cookie, while white females came in at 75 cents, according to a picture of the bake sale’s menu. Black and Hispanic males were each charged 50 cents, while their female counterparts only had to cough up a quarter for a baked good. Native American students received free cookies.
The young conservatives said the purpose of the bake sale was to demonstrate the immorality of discriminating on the basis of race in any setting.
“YCT is a truly colorblind organization and believes that all government institutions are constitutionally prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race in all circumstances, including affirmative action,” the group’s Facebook event page read.
The University of Texas, which defended the practice of affirmative action in a pair of landmark cases before the Supreme Court, both titled Fisher v. University of Texas, called the affirmative action bake sale “deplorable.”
The school said the practice of discriminating on the basis of race in the sale of baked goods — but, apparently, not in university admissions — creates “an environment of exclusion and disrespect among our students, faculty and staff.”
“The West Mall is a place where free speech is exercised by all students, and rightly so, because it is meant to be an arena that inspires dialogue from diverse viewpoints,” the UT Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement said in a statement. “However, it is also meant to be a space where students exhibit respect for each other while holding those viewpoints. 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.”
“In seeking an audience for their ideas, the YCT resorted to exercising one of the university’s core values to the detriment of others,” the statement continued. “Such actions are counterproductive to true dialogue on our campus, and it is unrepresentative of the ideals toward which our community strives.”
Students at the Austin campus were similarly outraged.
At the height of the stunt, the one-table bake stand was surrounded by hundreds of angry students shouting “Check your privilege!”