Skip to comments.William and Mary Finally Allows Second Bake Sale, but still Distorts and Disregards Truth
Posted on 02/02/2004 2:10:51 PM PST by WilliamAndMary
Victory for Free Speech at William & Mary
WILLIAMSBURG, VA After pressure from and public exposure by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the College of William & Mary (W&M) has reversed course and allowed an "affirmative action bake sale" to proceed without interference. A student group, the Sons of Liberty, saw its satirical protest unlawfully halted by W&M in November; it was one of many such protests nationwide that were shut down on campuses this past fall. While W&M allowed the group's bake sale to proceed without incident this time, W&M President Timothy J. Sullivan issued a statement denying that his administration acted improperly in stopping the same protest just months before.
"We are pleased that W&M has realized that under the First Amendment free speech belongs to all students on its campus," said Greg Lukianoff, FIRE's director of legal and public advocacy. "We are appalled, however, by W&M's continuing efforts to distort the truth about its actions and to evade responsibility for what it has done."
On January 27, the day of the successful protest, W&M issued a statement by President Sullivan denouncing the affirmative action bake sale as "inexcusably hurtful" and "abusive" (precisely the claim that some critics of affirmative action make about racial preferences). Sullivan denied that W&M had wrongfully censored the November protest, which, he claimed, "did not meet the administrative requirements we routinely impose on such activities." This came as surprising news to the Sons of Liberty, who for nearly three months had asked W&M officials for an explanation of the censorship, and who had heard no mention of any violation of "administrative requirements." Readers can view the many unsuccessful attempts of Sons of Liberty President Will Coggin (and others) to obtain an explanation for W&M's repression of free speech, and the administration's actual responses, at www.thefire.org/bakesale.
Coggin recalled, "They couldn't answer our questions because they couldn't come up with a reason that wasn't unconstitutional." FIRE's Lukianoff added, "One can hardly imagine such tactics being used to shut down a protest that administrators found more to their liking politically."
The bake sales have become a widely used form of political parody directed against affirmative action. Organizers prominently display a menu with satiric prices in which black and Hispanic students are charged less than Asian and white students for the same items. The bake sales are intended to spark debate about affirmative action policies, not to raise revenue. Indeed, students report that Tuesday's bake sale prompted pro-affirmative action students to organize a counter-protest and to engage the Sons of Liberty in a debate about this controversial topic. "As is so often the case, administrators need to learn the basics of living in a free society from their students," said Lukianoff.
Coggin contacted FIRE for assistance soon after the November 8 sale. At that time, FIRE was helping students on campuses across the country who had encountered similar problems. On December 12, FIRE began a campaign of public exposure of the suppression of these protests at W&M, the University of Washington, Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of California, Irvine. Read about this rash of censorship here.
When FIRE's intervention prompted many concerned citizens to write critically to W&M's President Sullivan, he responded dismissively, telling one thoughtful defender of free speech, "Some fool has sent me an e-mail and signed your name to it." FIRE wrote an open letter to W&M's Board of Visitors about both the university's unconstitutional censorship and President Sullivan's contempt for those who wrote to him about the fundamental rights of students. FIRE also wrote to W&M on January 23, 2004, seeking President Sullivan's assurance that the upcoming bake sale would not be censored. Read this letter here [64 KB PDF]. This second protest by the Sons of Liberty proceeded unhindered.
FIRE will continue to monitor the situation at W&M closely to ensure that the university lives up to its promise to respect and defend the First Amendment rights of its students.
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, civic leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and due process on our nation's campuses. Please visit www.thefire.org to read more.
Greg Lukianoff Director of Legal and Public Advocacy FIRE: 215-717-3473 email@example.com
Timothy J. Sullivan President College of William & Mary 757-221-1693 firstname.lastname@example.org
W. Samuel Sadler Vice President for Student Affairs College of William & Mary 757-221-3300 email@example.com
Mark Constantine Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs College of William & Mary 757-221-3300 firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please look at the detailed description of the evidence of this case including e-mails, permits, letters, and more, again published by FIRE: (It almost reads as if it were a comedy!)
See also ealier postings:
Simply expressed as " The truth hurts ".
Yep, the university President tells me that I am not allowed in because of my race, then goes on to tell me that my not wanting to be discriminated against is "abusive" and "inexcusably hurtful." Ugh! Moronic liberals are too much to bear at times. This is the new KKK.
Interesting how, when the Liberals cannot deny the truth, they will label it "hurtful" as if that alone warrants suppressing it.
They want us to think their sole concern is to prevent anyone anywhere from ever getting hurt - unless it is by an armed thief or rapist!
"Dean of Student Affairs Jim Caswell told ABC News that "the policy says very clearly that all members of the university community are protected from harassment. Some folks felt harassed by this discriminatory menu."
UW's Board of Regents released an open letter condemning the College Republicans for being "hurtful"
...claiming that the sale was "racially discriminatory"
...the bake sale was "discriminatory and not permissible legally nor justifiable morally."
Columbia College Conservative Club to Hold an "Affirmative Action Bake Sale" on February 5th.
For Immediate Release
NEW YORK, NY -- February 4, 2004
On February 5, 2004 the Columbia College Conservative Club (CCCC) will hold an affirmative action bake sale (add time and location). This bake sale is not a fundraiser; it is a practical satire of race-based preference policies. It is not intended to demean or offend anyone, but to teach by analogy. It would be prejudiced to assume that members of communities historically discriminated against are unable to pay the same price as white males. It is even more racist to assume that they are unable to meet the standard admissions requirements of a prestigious university or the hiring standards of a well-known corporation. Racial preferences and set asides are discriminatory, demeaning and divisive. They have a balkanizing effect on campuses, companies, and the country.
We are holding the bake sale at the same time as Columbia's Diversity Recruiting Conference in Lerner Hall to highlight the racially discriminatory policies pressed by the university.
It is our hope that President Bollinger, famous for his support of racial preferences in the Gratz and Grutter Supreme Court cases, will uphold the rights of free speech and civil protest, he has so eloquently defended in his academic and legal briefs. In 1998, Columbia University used protests by radicals to effectively shut down Accuracy in Academia conference held by the College Republicans. In so doing, the administration not only broke a contract, but also damaged the reputation of the university.
Please join us as we stand up for individual rights and racial equality.
About the Columbia College Conservative Club:
The Columbia College Conservative Club (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/conservative) was founded to promote the ideas of liberty and individual responsibility, which formed the basis of the United States and of our continued freedom and prosperity. For all too many years these ideas have been ignored or attacked on this campus. Our goal at CCCC is to provide the necessary ideological balance to Columbia and to end the 40 years of leftist decline at the university.