MOSCOW, Idaho -- For white men, the cost of a cookie was $2.
Asian American customers paid $1.75, and the total came to $1.50 for black and Hispanic people.
For women? Just $1, please.
Those were the rules at the University of Idaho Youth for Western Civilization "Affirmative Action Bake Sale," which took place Wednesday outside the Idaho Commons.
Club founder and president Alexander Rowson, an electrical engineering junior, organized the event, which he said was meant to mock the "absurd system" of affirmative action.
Last spring, he was the spokesman when Washington State University's YWC club and College Republicans club erected a fence outside of Compton Union Building to protest illegal immigration.
Affirmative action admissions policies take into consideration factors like race, sexual orientation and national origin in an attempt to benefit underrepresented groups. But Rowson said it ends up hurting everyone involved.
He cited a situation in Dayton, N.J., where the city's police department lowered its standards to diversify its ranks.
"It's unbelievable," Rowson said. "You're promoting people who sometimes aren't qualified. ... It leads to ridiculous and dangerous situations."
He called affirmative action the "last remaining racist program" in the United States.
Rowson was not looking to engage people in conflict -- he said he wanted to make a point.
"We didn't really hold people to the prices," Rowson said. "By the end we were just giving (the food) out for free."
Most people were entertained by the sale and congratulated Rowson and his group members for their audacity, he said. Others were less enthused, however.
"We had a couple of negative reactions," he said Thursday. "One girl said it was degrading, and another girl said it was racist. Then some guy just flipped us off. (But) the majority of people were on our side, I would say."
YWC is a new group on campus, but Rowson said its numbers are growing. The right-wing, conservative group is active across the country, with members dedicated to defending Western culture and values.
"That includes government and policy critiques like this," Rowson said.
He invited anyone looking to get involved to contact him at arowsonwesternyouth.org. The group meets at 5 p.m. every Thursday in the Student Union Building Pend Oreille Room, and Rowson said they would continue to be visible on campus in the coming months.
"We're going to be doing lots more events like this in the future," he said. "We're going to try to be very active this year."
(c)2011 the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho)
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