Asian students remain quiet throughout the Berkeley pay-by-race bake sale

After the institution of Prop. 209, which prohibited universities from considering race amongst other factors when it came to admissions, Asian-American enrollment has shot up to 41% in 2010 in Berkeley. In 1995, Asian-American enrollment was roughly a third of the student body which points out that this racial group benefited the most after Prop. 209. So naturally, Asian-American students should be against SB 185, a bill which would allow public universities to use race as an admittance factor, right? I do, but not all Asian-Americans do, as this article points out.

The bake sale organized by the Berkeley College Republicans sold pastries at certain prices for certain races. Prices were as followed:

To be honest, I believe the prices for Whites and Asians should be switched because Asians have much more to lose than Whites if SB 185 were to be passed. Let us not forget that Asian-Americans make up 5.6% of the United States population according to the 2010 Census. Pretty sure that qualifies Asian-Americans as a minority so why charge them extra compared to Latinos and African-Americans? Because of the model minority myth that deems Asian-Americans as privileged. “You’ve done great for yourselves guys, but you’ve doing a little too good so we’re gonna have to even things out”.

Even the Asian-American students that do support SB 185, do not support it because it directly benefits them.

Klein Liu, a 4th year tech director of the California College Democrats, asserts: “This policy will not directly benefit [Asian Americans]. You are supporting this policy to stand in solidarity with your fellow students of color.”

Other Asian-American students oppose SB 185 for various reasons.

Jay Reddy and Gina Youn, two freshmen from Pleasanton, sat by the bake sale eating lunch. Both said they disagreed with the principles behind affirmative action.

Reddy compared affirmative action to the forced caste diversity demanded within the Indian government.

“It’s kind of the same thing… [because it’s forced], the standards are lowered; it’s not fair.”

“I don’t support this either,” Gina said. “Affirmative action sets races against each other.”

I feel that admittance into schools or even employment should strongly focus on merit and what that individual has done for themselves. Being born Asian or Asian-American does not automatically make you privileged. A family of Cambodian refugees living in the states is socioeconomically different from a 4th generation family of Chinese-Americans. Therefore, it is simply discrimination to assume Asians or Asian-Americans don’t need the same services as other minority groups because of how well they are represented on college campuses.

Long live meritocracy!

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