The Students for a Stateless Society criticized University Democrats for their actions during the affirmative action bake sale hosted by the Young Conservatives of Texas on Oct. 26 in an open letter this week, saying encouraging students of color to vote at the protest was not helpful to the protesters.
The letter was posted on the organization’s website and said the actions of UDems at the protest sought to normalize the actions and consequences of the bake sale, which many students of color found to be inherently racist.
“Voting at that minute would have and has done nothing to respond to a local and immediate act of racism,” the letter said. “To vote alone would mean to tolerate intolerance and welcome it back onto our campus. Clearly the University Democrats don’t mind if that is what’s at stake, because in their Facebook post responding to the event they claimed that what was ‘really at stake’ was the election.”
The S4SS said students of color were just “badges” for UDems and said the calls of UDems members to “go vote” during the protest is indicative of prioritization of elections over the needs of students of color.
UDems President Ashley Alcantara said the letter was the first time anyone had voiced this concern to the organization, but that the concerns addressed in the letter were valid.
“I think their concerns about our behavior during the bake sale were very valid, because the fact is, we screwed up,” said Alcantara, a government and Plan II senior. “We should’ve stopped trying to encourage people to vote and not kept our table set up as soon as we realized people were going to protest the bake sale.”
Alcantara said she intends to work more directly with people of color and apologized to students who may have been adversely affected by their actions.
Former UDems President Huey Rey Fischer, a former candidate for State House District 49, posted the letter on Facebook and received backlash for supporting the thoughts in the letter.
“The letter was full of gross and unnecessary attacks that distracted from an important takeaway: We as Democrats need to start prioritizing social change over winning elections,” Fischer said. “I don’t endorse the letter but it is an important critique for us to consider.”