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Rightwing Student Group Sparks Outrage After Hosting 'Affirmative Action Bake Sale' At Clemson

The Clemson University branch of Turning Point USA held the event on the first day of Black History Month, pricing cookies differently based on a customer's race.

WSPA 7 News screenshot of the affirmative action bake sale at Clemson University
WSPA 7News/YouTube

The Clemson University branch of the rightwing student group Turning Point USA is facing heavy criticism for hosting an "affirmative action bake sale" on the grounds of the South Carolina university on the first day of Black History Month.

Turning Point USA members priced cookies differently based on a customer' race, according to a photo of the sign posted on the table for the bake sale, a range of prices listed in descending order by race: Asian, White, Hispanic, Black, and Native American.

Asian students would pay the most, while the price for Native American students was listed as free.

You can see news coverage of the bake sale below.

Many decried the stunt as unequivocally racist.

In a statement posted on Instagram on Thursday, February 2, TPUSA Clemson said the bake sale was not designed to sell any cookies and in fact they hadn't sold any.

The organization said the idea was devised to oppose affirmative action and “bring attention to the discrepancy that higher education institutions exhibit towards different races, specifically in the college admissions process.”

Oddly, the branch told local news reporters they do not know if Clemson University factors affirmative action into its admissions process.

Conservative opposition to affirmative action has received considerably more press over the last few months in light of an ongoing Supreme Court case that will determine the future of the policy.

Arguments before the Court are in regard to a challenge against the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill race-conscious admissions process, though the case was originally certified and consolidated as part of Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, which involves Harvard University's undergraduate admissions process which is claimed to discriminate against Asian American applicants.

The case before the Court concerns racial discrimination in affirmative action programs in college admissions processes, specifically the University of North Carolina, which uses socioeconomic factors in administration and is claimed to incorporate race and violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The case seeks review of the Supreme Court decision Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) which validated the use of affirmative action programs in college admissions as long as race is not used as the sole deciding factor.