‘Increase Diversity Bake Sale’ draws crowds to Sproul Plaza

Shawn Lewis (center), the president of the Berkeley College Republicans, and former UC Regent Ward Connerly (behind Lewis) support the ‘Increase Diversity Bake Sale.’ The bake sale aimed to satirize SB 185 — affirmative action-like legislation — through a proposed price structure based on race and sex.
Randy Adam Romero/Staff
Shawn Lewis (center), the president of the Berkeley College Republicans, and former UC Regent Ward Connerly (behind Lewis) support the ‘Increase Diversity Bake Sale.’ The bake sale aimed to satirize SB 185 — affirmative action-like legislation — through a proposed price structure based on race and sex.

Debates over racism, diversity and affirmative action have taken Sproul Plaza by storm as the highly controversial “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” is now under way.

The bake sale began at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning near Sather Gate and is being held by the Berkeley College Republicans in protest of SB 185 — affirmative action-like legislation currently awaiting signature from Gov. Jerry Brown. Nearby, an ASUC-sponsored phone bank is encouraging students to call for the governor’s signature of the bill.

Since the kickoff of the events, crowds of hundreds of activists, students and community members have swarmed the plaza. The bake sale has garnered national media attention and heavy negative backlash from the community due to the pricing structure it publicized, in which the cost of a baked good varied according to the consumer’s race and sex.

“Yeah, it’s racist, but more importantly, SB 185 is racist,” said former UC Regent Ward Connerly, who has been sitting behind the campus Republicans’ table.

But the Republican group has not been enforcing its pricing structure, instead choosing to let consumers pay what they wish.

Demonstrators in support of SB 185 — including activist group By Any Means Necessary — and the bill’s opponents have clashed throughout the afternoon.

Hundreds of protesters maintain their silence as they lie in Sproul. - Curan Mehra/Staff

A group of about 300 students — mostly dressed in black — gathered on Lower Sproul Plaza and began to move silently at about 11:30 a.m. The group assembled on Upper Sproul Plaza, and as the clock struck twelve, the line of protestors lay down on the ground.

Slightly after 1:00 p.m., the protesters stood up and chanted, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom.” They subsequently dispersed and left the plaza. Members of the protest said it finished early because of the heat.

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  • Babygurl333

    They arent choosing sides! They want people to think about how stupid this bill is. They arent being racist they are proving a point. And they didn’t actually charge different prices, they just posted it. I think its brilliant!

  • Anonymous

    Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) of University of California Berkeley displaces qualified
    for public university education at Cal. Californians for $50,600  payment by FOREIGN students.


    The University
    of California Berkeley,
    ranked # 70 Forbes, is not increasing enrollment.  $50,600 tuition FOREIGN students are accepted
    by Birgeneau at the expense of qualified instate students.


    UC Regent Chairwoman Lansing and President Yudof agree discriminating
    against instate Californians for admission to UC Berkeley. Birgeneau, Yudof, Lansing need to answer to


    Your opinion makes a difference; email UC Board of
    Regents   [email protected]

  • Thwilliams08

    I’d like to think that Californians have learned something since 1996 about how folks are still being discriminated against because of  sex, race or ethnicity . And that maybe Prop 209 should be looked at again, given this “new”information.

    It’s sad that people still don’t understand what racism looks like or how it operates in our society. You can’t possibly think that racism (embodied as slavery, which was one of the major economic and social policies upon which our country was founded) doesn’t still have have some vestiges today. Just look at the extremely low numbers of blacks admitted. Would you care to explain that without resorting to racist explanations?

     And yes, low income folks in general get a raw deal, with most of the low income folks being people of color, proportionately speaking. The thing about thick skin is that sometimes you become insensitive, like choosing to ignore how folks are discriminated against, yes, even today.

    • [It’s sad that people still don’t understand what racism looks like or how it operates in our society.]

      We’re quite aware of what racism looks like. We see it right now by a bunch of spoiled cybabies who think their particular pigment of skin gives them the right to shut down free speech that offends them.

  • Soup

    Did anyone one buy any baked goods?

  • Fun Facts

    An interesting side note is that the Republican protest brought hundreds of people to campus and presumably helped the local economy.

    The liberal protest against the tuition hikes, on the other hand, brought hardly anyone to campus and caused significant property damage on campus.

    Once again, Republican intervention is good for business, and Liberal intervention is harmful.

  • Kenneth

    I think it is safe to say that all the Republicans,Blacks Whites Native Americans and others that were around in the early 1860’s are no longer with us.

    In the time of Lincoln, it is also safe to say, people of different races did not enjoy the same opportunities to enrich themselves among other things.

    In the 1960’s things were pretty much the same.

    Approximately what year, Berkeley College Republican supporters, did Blacks or other members of the under two dollar cup cake crowd realize parity of opportunity in America?

    Is anyone strong enough to respectfully answer this rhetorical question?

    • If you think that things were pretty much the same in the 1960’s as in the 1860’s, you’re clearly not playing with a full deck. If you think that the opportunities for “people of color” today are no better than 50 years ago, then you’re spouting total BS, and nobody with a clue is going t0 take you seriously. Why don’t you thing for yourself, instead of blindly repeating the same tired old crap by a bunch of geriatric ex-hippies with an agenda to push?

  • cupcake

    wow those are definitely store bought cookies BCR. to call that a “bake sale” is totally misleading and unethical – just like everything else that comes out of your mouth! whomp whomp

    • Andrew Glidden

      The cupcakes were homemade.  The cookies were only storebought because the ASUC will not issue food permits for anything from an “unapproved” kitchen, which is to say, any non-commercial kitchen.

  • Donna Stern

    If you lie down, people will walk all over you. Stand up and fight and demand an increase in minority enrollment!

    • Who are you to “demand” anything out of anyone?

      Some of you people need to grow up.

      • Kenneth

        Donna is not demanding anything thing. She is encouraging others to do so. 

         You are reacting. Try this order : comprehend, think, write.

        • For starters, “Stand up and fight and demand an increase in minority enrollment!” is a command, not a suggestion. Secondly, nobody other than yourself is impressed with your silly semantics games.

  • Nothing like lefty protesters making fools of themselves. Gotta hand it to the Berkeley College Republicans, they know how to give the kooks a forum.

  • Nick Girard

    I’d stand with those of you who want budget reform (although an economic crisis IS NOT the time to do it)  but affirmative action helps those students in need. They’ve come from lower income families and race has definitely been a factor in the poverty they have come from. Affirmative action is a method of slowly bringing races in the united states to equal standing. We’re all immigrants, and we are stronger when we are united. 

    • Anonymous

       Affirmative Action is racism.  Why should wealthy people of color such as Charlie Sheen or President Obama be able to put their children ahead of poor white and Asian applicants?

    • So it’s OK to allow sub-standard students into UC Berkeley because they are members of a particular minority?

      • sickandtired

        No one is asking for the admissions requirements (i.e. GPA, SAT scores, extra-curricular activities) to be lowered for minority applicants. Get educated on the issue before you share your thoughts!

        • [No one is asking for the admissions requirements (i.e. GPA, SAT scores,
          extra-curricular activities) to be lowered for minority applicants.]

          BS. That’s EXACTLY what they are doing.

  • CurseoftheBlackPearl

    I guess all the fat black people couldnt stand the heat to protest … only people who got in through affirmative action would think wearing black on hot day is a great idea

    • guest

      talk about racism^

    • Guest


    • sickandtired

      Just as ignorant as ever! First there aren’t only Black people protesting so your ugliness of racism towards Black people specifically is too prevalent for comfort. Second, none of these students were let in on affirmative action so don’t belittle their competence. Clearly the CHOICE to wear black was for symbolic purposes or are you not able to critically think about situations despite your disposition. The nerve of people these days. SMH!

      • [First there aren’t only Black people protesting]

        Nor were all black people protesting. The qualified ones were most likely too busy studying…

  • Jim

    Oh how liberals HATE it when you hold up a mirror and show them how hypocritical they are.

  • Steve32927

    They do have a point.  Government should have stopped taking race information long ago.

    • Enpiedelucha

      yeah you mean after slavery or right after millions of indigenous people were killed by the colonizers?

      • You know, slavery and genocide STILL happen to this day in Africa, and – hint, hint – it’s not white Republicans doing it. Where’s your outrage over that?

  • bill451

    Not sure how this is racist…they are making a point about a racist bill