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UC Berkeley Says You Can’t Garden Here if You’re White

A community farm operated by UC Berkeley has banned White people on Saturdays to create a "safe and sacred space."

The Gill Tract Community Farm, operated by the University of California at Berkeley, is segregating its volunteer days, reserving Saturdays exclusively for “people of color.” This setup, according to a federal complaint lodged by the Mountain States Legal Foundation, reeks of racial discrimination, a clear violation of Title VI which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal funding.

The actions of the Gill Tract Community Farm are a profound statement about where UC Berkeley stands on inclusivity versus exclusivity. The farm, which prides itself on being a hub for ecological farming and food justice, is sowing seeds of division instead. The farm manager’s texts, referenced in the complaint, suggest a deliberate effort to create a “safe and sacred space” by excluding White volunteers on Saturdays. These people aren’t making a “safe and sacred space.” Instead, they’re dragging us back into an era of segregation that we’ve worked hard to leave behind.

Dan Mogulof, speaking for UC Berkeley, expressed a commitment to investigating these serious allegations. However, the broader trend is impossible to ignore, with universities across the nation weaving racial considerations into their agricultural and environmental programs, often under the banner of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Whether it’s the University of Michigan appointing a DEI manager for its botanical gardens or San Diego State University investing in a racial healing garden that’s barely used, the focus seems to be drifting from agriculture to ideology. 

UC Berkeley, with its rich legacy of civil rights activism, ought to be a beacon of unity, not a source of segregation. Yet, here we are, facing a scenario where exclusion is somehow deemed acceptable, provided it’s White people on the receiving end. It’s a perplexing double standard that undermines the very principles of equality and inclusivity these institutions profess to uphold. Will they answer the call to champion true unity, or persist on a divisive trajectory that serves to further alienate?

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.