NAACP: New York City Mayor Bloombergs Soda Ban Is Racist

Customers sit with a 21 ounce cup of soda on September 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo: Getty Images)

Accusations of racism are usually hurled by members of the left against small government conservatives, but now the two groups actually have something in common: they both dislike New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “soda ban.”

Their motivations, of course, are still unique. Conservatives and the independent-minded oppose the ban because they believe they can decide how much liquid to ingest– even if it’s more than the now-banned 16 ounces per cup– and groups like the NAACP because they find it discriminatory.

The Associated Press explains:

The issue is complex for the minority advocates, especially given that obesity rates are higher than average among blacks and Hispanics, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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.”

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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. They say the city should focus instead on increasing physical education in schools.  [Emphasis added]

The city Board of Health approved the measure in September, but it doesn’t go into effect until March 12.  The city plans to give businesses until June before they start handing down violations, which could be around $200.

“It would be irresponsible for (the health board) not to act in the face of an epidemic of this proportion,” the city says in court papers.

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