Thursday, January 24, 2013

New York City's Soft Drink Ban Racist?

I heard something on the car radio yesterday that was so unbelievable I had to check for myself when I got home.  It seems there is a new group who opposes New York Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large, sugary soft drinks.  Only this time there is a new twist to it.

According to the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation, the ban on large, sugary soft drinks could be racist as well.  That’s right – racist.

“The NAACP’s New York state branch and the Hispanic Federation have joined beverage makers and sellers in trying to stop the rule from taking effect March 12. With a hearing set Wednesday, critics are attacking what they call an inconsistent and undemocratic regulation, while city officials and health experts defend it as a pioneering and proper move to fight obesity.”

“The issue is complex for the minority advocates, especially given obesity rates that are higher than average among blacks and Hispanics, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. The groups say in court papers they’re concerned about the discrepancy, but the soda rule will unduly harm minority businesses and “freedom of choice in low-income communities.”

“The NAACP and the Hispanic Federation, a network of 100 northeastern groups, say minority-owned delis and corner stores will end up at a disadvantage compared to grocery chains.  This sweeping regulation will no doubt burden and disproportionally impact minority-owned businesses at a time when these businesses can least afford it,” they said in court papers.”

Now I can certainly agree with the part about undue harm to the freedom of choice – but for low income communities?  Is this law not harming freedom of choice for all communities? 

And maybe I don’t understand the whole racist thing but it seems to me if obesity rates are higher among blacks and Hispanics – wouldn’t it be racist to restrict large sodas in white neighborhoods while still allowing them in the minority communities?  I could understand if that was the case.

I’m not in favor of Bloomberg’s nanny administration outlawing Big Gulps for anyone (It seems 7-11 is exempt from the law, by the way) but if indeed he’s doing it to help reduce obesity how is that racist toward anyone?  Biased against obese people but where does skin color and/or ethnicity come into play?

The suit also says it will hurt minority owned businesses.   So it won’t hurt non-minority owned businesses?  Are they trying to say that Caucasians don’t own convenience stores or gas stations?  Certainly there is a long standing stereotype that convenience stores are all owned by foreigners but this suit seems to indicate that it’s may be true.

The law itself has some interesting exceptions that scream of bias and favoritism.  As I said earlier – 7/11, the home of the “Big Gulp”, is exempt, as are supermarkets and some other convenience stores.  That makes no sense to me.  If sodas over 16 ounces are banned from some stores why are they not banned for all?  What’s up with that?

Anyway – I’m having a bit of trouble understanding how this can be turned into a race issue.  It seems everything today has some sort of racial overtone to it, from politics to Big Gulps.  Racism was supposed to be a thing of the past beginning on January 20, 2009.  Instead it seems to be growing worse and the “R” word is tossed into everything. 

The soft drink ban isn’t about racism.  It’s about more government control.  Mayor Bloomberg is slowly but surely turning New York City into a personal rights free zone.  If it continues I see a mass exodus from New York City in a few years.  Their tax revenues will dry up and the poor mayor will be wondering how it happened.  Hey Mr. Mayor…  you better pay attention to California.  Just sayin’…eir son

No comments:

Post a Comment