It seems that the KU College Republicans, after hearing that similar bake sales were being held on college campuses, decided to have their own. While it was encouraging to see them raise awareness of Affirmative Action, holding the event during Black History Month may not have been the smoothest of choices.
The idea of Affirmative Action Bake Sales, evidently, is not to be a fund-raiser. It is to mock the practice, in this case, of who gets what financial aid. Those at the booth selling brownies, cookies, et al are to charge White People $1 for something, 25 cents for Blacks, Hispanic, Women, and other minorities. In some case, women would get their goodies for free.
In theory, I can understand why presenting controversial thought is a good way to get discussions going. However, the Morning Call (Allentown, PA) article said that Kutztown has been experiencing racial tension lately. It also gave some other relevant fact like 75% of the Kutztown students receive financial aid, with most of those receiving it are NOT minorities. It also said that Kutztown has the highest percentage of minorities (13%) of colleges in the State of Pennsylvania (there are 14 state schools in PA). I can also appreciate that colleges are, or at least should be open to entertaining the free expression of thought. However, many colleges across the U.S. have prevented or prematurely ended these bake sales because of racial tension-related concerns. I guess that freedom of expression can be curtailed if it potentially makes people uncomfortable ideologically. I wonder how far we would have gotten as a country if we decided not to step on the political toes of English rule when were first came to America.
College should get people to think, right? Learning goes well beyond the classroom, and the lesson we take away from that will make all the difference. I think we need to challenge ourselves to hear the other viewpoints. How exciting would it be to never have anyone around you hold conflicting ideas, especially going to college? I would think that as long as you aren’t going Gitmo on anyone, you should be free to hold and share controversial ideas.
I think that we can only progress is if we continue to challenge ourselves. Let the mental wedgies begin!