An affirmative action bake sale at Florida State has caused controversy and is now setting the tone for an upcoming debate between the Florida A&M debate team and the sale’s organizers on Thursday, Feb. 24.
According to a Facebook event page, FSU’s College Republicans held the affirmative action bake sale on Jan. 25 at The Union. Cookies were given out for free but portions varied upon race. Blacks and Latinos received a whole cookie, Asians received a half cookie and whites received a quarter cookie.
The event’s controversy has added much excitement and publicity to the debate. As students look forward to the showdown, FAMU’s debaters are motivated because of the ability to tackle such an issue.
Lucas Melton, 22, a senior political science student from Columbus, Ga., and a member of the FAMU debate team, says that he anticipates “the chance to take on another ideological side head-on in a public format with civility.”
The excitement is only additional though, because the sale is not the reason for the debate. The FAMU debate team actually challenged FSU’s College Republicans last semester, but the group has just accepted the invitation. Coincidentally, college Republicans did not formally accept the challenge until early February, after their bake sale.
According to Melton, the debate team intends to only argue politics and not racial issues to symbolize political mobilization. Affirmative action is only one of the political topics that will be debated, and Melton insists that the topic will be argued from a political standpoint.
“Affirmative action was and still is in some respects a United States policy when it comes to legislation, so that’s why it’s being debated,” Melton said. “We’re not debating black versus white. We’re not debating black supremacy versus white supremacy because neither exists.”
Other FAMU students are having difficulty separating the politics and racial issues in affirmative action though.
Alex Davis, 18, a freshman history major from Tallahassee, said that politics and race couldn’t be separated due to historical racial oppression through politics.
While Davis said that he will not assume college republicans intention in holding the bake sale, he argues that “it wasn’t a wise decision” because they should have expected a controversy.
A statement written in the bake sale’s description on Facebook seems to corroborate college republican’s expectations.
“It’s time to make some noise on campus, College Republicans, and what better way to do it than to have an ‘Affirmative Action Bake Sale’ in the Student Union.” Kayla Westbrook, executive director of the College Republicans, wrote.
Westbrook then encouraged participants to stay on point and reiterate what MLK was saying and that the reason why we are holding this event is in protest to the racism that is used in college admissions.
The debate will be held at FSU’s HCB building near the Oglesby Union in room 102 at 7:30 p.m.