The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Speech is free, even at sale

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

Issues of race and favoritism have the immediate effect of turning a friendly atmosphere into a nuclear war zone. Even today with a black president, racial issues are a hot button most people avoid.

But we can’t leave them alone. A hot-button topic is often one central to our identity that has not been settled yet. As such, it must be faced and hashed out, sometimes in calm, respectful conversations, sometimes in loud, harsh shouting matches and, regrettably, sometimes in violence. Only then can our society unify and move on.

Free speech is an essential part of this hashing process. Different sides must express their view without fear until we find similarities, compromises and answers.

Keep this in mind when considering protests like the pay-by-race bake sale hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans club to protest a California bill allowing colleges to consider race, gender and national origin during the admission process. The posted price of a uniform item was determined by the buyer’s race with white males paying the most at $2, then Asian males next at $1.50 and so on down to Native American males at 25 cents. Women pay 25 cents less than their race’s price. But before the sale, the club said they would not enforce the price stratifying when actually collecting money.

The sale was intentionally racist, the club said, but no more racist than giving some applicants an advantage solely because of their race. The group wanted to provoke indignation and thought about the bill’s implications.

The sale took place on the central grounds of the college. A lay-down protest supporting the bill took place the same day at noon. Near the bake sale, another student organization hosted a phone bank where students could call the governor and voice their support.

There was no violence that day, only lots of conversation including some angry comments.

Were the bake sale and rival protests something to be afraid of or suppress? No, they were democracy at its best. People with different opinions gathered together, supported their side with action, exchanged ideas and upheld convictions. This is what happens every day in government, businesses and homes. This is how we overcome, how we break down walls, how we solve problems.

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