When the University of Washington Republicans held a “bake sale” in 2019 to make a political point, it didn’t go well.
The Friday bake sale drew an angry crowd and the presence of University of Washington police to try and keep things calm.
One student was removed by UW police after she knocked over cookies being sold.
The message was that affirmative action resulted in discrimination, and the president of UW condemned the demonstration.
“The so-called ‘affirmative action’ bake sale the UW College Republicans are hosting today has no place in such a debate.”
It wasn’t that the message wasn’t political and protected by the First Amendment, but that it “mocked” marginalized students and offended them. While proclaiming herself a believer in free speech, this, President Ana Mari Cauce stated, crossed the line.
“It is the crudity, offensiveness and sheer outrageousness of the message that creates a megaphone that amplifies it.”
But times change, sometimes with surprising speed these days, and with it the “sheer outrageousness” of the message.
Organizers for a Seattle gay pride event say they’re charging white people a “reparations fee” to attend. They have the support of Seattle City Council president and mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez and the Seattle Human Rights Commission.
TAKING B(L)ACK PRIDE organizers say all are welcome to attend. However, “white allies and accomplices” must pay the reparations fee. It will be charged on a sliding scale of $10 to $50 depending on one’s ability to pay. The event location is Jimi Hendrix Park, owned by the city of Seattle. This raises questions about the legality of a reparations fee.
Of course, Seattle Municipal Code prohibits racial discrimination, such that charging a fee only to white people, “allies and accomplices,” to attend an event at a public park would seem to be about as clear a violation as possible. But this is Seattle.
Seattle Human Rights Commission shared its response on Twitter, claiming that Take B(l)ack Pride ‘does not in fact violate any of your human rights as states in the UN Declaration of Human Rights’. The letter made no mention of local, state and federal laws that the event may have breached.
It continued: ‘Furthermore, we would urge you to examine the very real social dynamics and ramifications of this issue.
Apparently, the Municipal Code has been supplanted by the UN Declaration of Human Rights and possibly the Geneva Convention.
Critics question whether race-based admissions fees are appropriate. Seattle Municipal Code clearly prohibits racial discrimination. But organizers have pushed back, calling criticism of their admissions structure “casual violence.”
The critics here were the organizers of Capital Hill Pride, Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, who took issue with turning Gay Pride into a racially segregated event. What that has to do with “casual violence” remains a mystery to anyone for whom words have any meaning.
Seattle City Council president and mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez also jumped into the fray.
Gonzalez supports a ban on gay police officers at a pride event. But question the reparations fee, and you’ve gone too far. So offended by LeFevre and Lipson, Gonazlez canceled her scheduled appearance at Capitol Hill Pride.
Whether it’s a cookie or attendance, is there any difference when the price is based on one’s race? What if it’s a separate charge, a “reparations tax,” if you will?
Located in southwest Minneapolis, Broders Pasta Bar is a local gem. It has a great outdoor patio and the best Italian cuisine in the Twin Cities. We had not eaten there since the pandemic began.
My wife nodded and started to make a reservation on her phone. Then her jaw dropped.
“You’re not going to like this,” she said.
Did they go vegan with the puttanesca? Not quite.
On its website, Broders’ has a notice to customers notifying them of a new 15 percent “benefits and equity” charge they’ve instituted. They justify the charge, first, by explaining that “many states have allowed reduced minimum wages for service staff in the form of a tip credit.”
The restaurant’s second justification is that many tippers are racist and sexist, according to uncited research.
“Studies have also shown that there is inequity and built-in bias in the way consumers give tips,” the statement reads. “In general, Black or Brown servers receive less tips than Caucasian servers. There is gender bias as well.”
Whether that’s true, and there are studies that show otherwise, there is nothing to prevent the restaurant from paying its servers better. But they chose, instead, to shift the blame to their “racist and sexist” patrons.
“In the wake of racial injustice protests and the closures due to Covid, now is the time for Broders’ to reimagine its economics and provide fair pay across the company,” the statement reads. “Our Benefits & Equity Charge is applied entirely to employee compensation. This supplement helps us to set a $16 minimum hourly wage for customer facing employees, $18 minimum hourly wage for kitchen employees… Altogether this allows everyone in our company to earn a real living wage. The 15% Benefits & Equity Charge is not a gratuity.”
The economics of the “fixed pie” theory aside, the political point made by the UW college Republicans, that was so crude and offensive that the self-proclaimed free speech believer president found it too outrageous to permit, has now manifested on the side of social justice, wrapped up in new rhetoric of equity. And anyone who objects to the woke doing the same thing as the unwoke is engaged in the “casual violence” of disagreement with the new acceptable racism rather than the old evil racism.
Is it wrong to charge differently by race or gender? Is it wrong to impose an “equity fee” in reparations of supposed racist and sexist customers? Apparently, the only distinguishing factor is who is doing the charging and whether the same conduct can be tied up in the correct color bow.