A Math Problem

The local fishwrap has a story about an Affirmative Action Bake Sale at SMU Tuesday. There have been a bunch of these, and it never fails to set people off.

The sign said white males had to pay $1 for a cookie. White women: 75 cents. Hispanics: 50 cents. Blacks: a quarter.

I would have been a little more subtle, and males should have been penalized more uniformly, but other than that, they stuck with the program.

It was a conservative student group’s attempt at making a political statement, and it caused such a stir that SMU shut it down after 45 minutes.

The Young Conservatives of Texas chapter ran its so-called affirmative action bake sale to protest the use of race or gender as a factor in college admissions. Conservative groups have held similar sales at colleges around the country since February.

Group leaders say they were only making a point while exercising their freedom of speech, but a black student who filed a discrimination complaint with SMU said the bake sale was offensive. SMU officials said they halted the event because it created a potentially unsafe situation for students.

Take note — when they say “potentially unsafe situation” that is newspeak for “leftist totalitarians attacking other people for exercising free speech.”

“This was not an issue about free speech,” said Tim Moore, director of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. “It was really an issue where we had a hostile environment being created that was potentially volatile.”

During the bake sale, students were crowding around the table outside the student center, and several began to get into a shouting match, Mr. Moore said.

David C. Rushing, a second-year SMU law student and leader of the conservatives’ group, said the event didn’t get out of hand and that at the most, a dozen students gathered around the table of sugar and chocolate chip cookies and Rice Krispie treats.

As much as I would like to believe Moore and say that the leftists were getting ready to rend them limb from limb, I think the second accounting is probably closer to reality.

Mr. Rushing, 23, said the events strive to give students a sense of the inequality he says is created by unequal college admissions policies for whites and minority groups.

Matt Houston, a sophomore, said the group’s sign, which listed prices for the treats by the race and sex of buyers, was not a learning tool. It was offensive, he said.

“My reaction was disgust because of the ignorance of some SMU students,” said Mr. Houston, who is black. “They were arguing that affirmative action was solely based on race. It’s not based on race. It’s based on bringing a diverse community to a certain organization.”

Someone has a problem with the English language. This isn’t too surprising after a lifetime of Doublespeak, but I was hoping that SMU students might be a cut above the norm.

They: affirmative action is based on race
Him: Affirmative action is based on a diverse community (i.e. race)

He and Kambira Jones, a 20-year-old junior, both expressed their concerns to SMU officials. “When I saw this, I was like, ‘I can’t believe they let you guys post this,’ ” she said. “I felt they were attempting to make Hispanics and blacks feel inferior. We jumped over the same hoops to get there.”

You know, I want to believe you, Kambria, but I just don’t know. You see, you might have been able to jump the same hoop that the white men jumped, but you weren’t given the opportunity. There are two possibilities: 1 — you did jump just as high, and weren’t given credit for it, or 2 — you didn’t jump as high, but now you want credit for it. There isn’t any way for you to win with Affirmative Action in place.

As for not being able to “believe they let you guys post this”, it is called free speech. Free speech means letting people say things you don’t like. People will always be able to say the popular thing — it is the unpopular things that need protection.

For the record, the SMU sale was a flop, at least financially. The group ended up selling just three cookies, raising $1.50.

This is what puzzles me. Which three were sold? Two blacks and a white man? Three hispanics? A white woman, a hispanic and a black? Damnit, I’m curious!


  1. I’ve been wondering the same thing. We really need to find out. Another question is whether any cookies were stolen.

    One thing is mathematically certain: at least one member of a Favored Group purchased a cookie.

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  3. P6 says:

    If they raised $1.50, logically that means they collected $1.50 more than they spent on the cookies. So there’s no mathematical certainty that a non-white male bought a cookie.

    Even if they mean they collected, rather than raised, $1.50, that could (and frankly, most likely does) mean two white women bought the cookies.

  4. P6 says:

    Forgive me, I just noticed they sold three cookies. So if you do investigate, I’m sure you’ll find they actually LOST money unless thay had an “on-demand” cookie production facility.

  5. Phelps says:

    My understanding from other accounts is that they had very little product, and that a black man with $20 could have shut them down. If that had happened, they probably wouldn’t have gotten as much press. I love it when a free market solution presents itself.

    My experience with bake sales is that the product is donated and not considered an expense, so collected and raised means the same thing.