On October 25, 2013, members of Young Americans for Liberty from UCLA, UCI, and Cypress College gathered in the middle of the UCLA campus to protest the possible reinstatement of affirmative action with an event known as the Affirmative Action Bake Sale. Different prices were set for different demographic groups to reflect the inherent inequality present in government-mandated affirmative action.
The demonstration was met with hostility throughout the day; students from prominent organizations on campus such as the Student Government president’s office and the Afrikan Student Union organized a counter-protest. One of their methods of counter-protest came in the form of students dressed in all black who lay in the middle of Bruinwalk, the main walkway on campus, and played dead.Their claim was that an end of affirmative action marked the death of diversity.
Other pro-affirmative action protesters from various cultural groups held signs with provocative slogans such “Wetbacks crossing” and “Made With Bigotry” (in reference to the baked goods), which served to falsely accuse YAL members of espousing racism. To add insult to injury, many of the campus bureaucrats stood in solidarity with the counter-protesters and did nothing to remedy the safety hazards and inconveniences that they were causing.
The opposite was plainly true; the members from YAL that came to the bake sale came from a variety of ethnicitie. When questioned about the state of diversity in the UC system, most agreed with the opposition that there could be more diversity on campus, but argued that affirmative action would be the wrong way to achieve this. Instead, members of YAL offered alternative solutions, such as school choice, establishing charter schools in underprivileged areas, and considering an applicant’s socioeconomic background, none of which discriminate on the basis of race.
Our bake sale received extensive news coverage, from local Chinese and Spanish-language television stations to the Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBC and Univision. Media outlets from across the county were eager to report on dramatic campus protest. We at UCLA will build on this event and continue to spread the word of liberty across the valleys of southern California!Published in