Once again, a politically correct university has shut down conservative speech on campus.
On Wednesday, October 7, the College Republicans at the University of Washington struck at racial preferences by holding an Affirmative Action Bake Sale. We priced cookies differently for people, depending on their race. (A black student could buy a cookie for 30 cents, while a white student had to pay a dollar, etc.). We priced the cookies according to the same categories the University of Washington uses in its admission application. With a little flour, sugar and a dash of street comedy, we set out to show the campus that Affirmative Action, which judges people based solely on their skin color, is inherently racist.
We succeeded in creating a discussion on campus, as word spread around campus of what we were doing,. For a few hours, we had heated-yet-civil discussion of Affirmative Action policies. Well over 100 students gathered to voice their opinion son affirmative action policies, and literally dozens of conversations took place on issues of national importance broke out.
Early in the afternoon, we were warned by a few students that we had just ten minutes to shut down our booth “or else.” We declined to heed their ultimatum. Approximately 150 students were gathered around our booth discussing the issue by about 12:30 in the afternoon, when our booth was finally attacked by leftists. These "sensitive" left-wing students tore down our signs, threw our baked goods and literature off the table and attempted to tear down our tent. One College Republican tried to salvage a few boxes of cookies from the table, but the "peaceful" activists got to the goods first and struck the Republican in the head with a flying cookie.
Fortunately, a College Republican had called the police a few minutes prior to the attacks, when a few conversations had become heated, afraid the Left would incite violence (and the Left did not disappoint). Rather than step in and arrest our attackers, the police stood by while the University said we, the peaceful ones, had to be shut down because we had created an unsafe environment. I explained that the attackers, not the College Republicans, had engaged in vandalism and assault with a deadly pastry; we simply tried to get a dialogue started, a task we had undertaken successfully before the two misfits interrupted. Our protests fell upon deaf ears, and the university forced us to close shop, just as the Southern Methodist University bake sale had been shut down.
Regardless of the administrators' best attempts to stifle our right to free speech on this leftist university, we will continue our fight. We are protesting the fact that we were physically attacked and then shut down, a perfect case of blaming the victim. We will call upon the university to grant us our First Amendment right to assemble peacefully, to make certain we are kept free from molestation by violence-prone leftists and to take action should we ever be physically targeted in the future. The College Republicans will do everything we can to stir dialogue on this campus -- something the university should applaude. The fact that it has chosen to shut us down rather than encourage our efforts, to punish the idealists rather than the activists, only shows how much the campus environment needs academic balance.
Jason E. Chambers is president of the University of Washington's College Republicans.