With national unemployment figures for black youth at 28% and for Hispanic youth at 18%, ages 16-25, you would think that food writers would focus on the need to get people jobs in the hospitality industry. But no. For the past few months writers like Marc Bittman have been calling for a tax on sugary soda, which is a tax opposed by the NAACP, the Hispanic Federation, and NYC’s Latino and Asian caucuses on the City Council.
By the way, unemployment for white youth is 14.9%.
Here’s a link to a piece about the soda controversy in today’s New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/nyregion/fight-over-bloombergs-soda-ban-reaches-courtroom.html?hpw.
Bittman accuses the NAACP of profiting from its ties to the soda industry, and he accuses the soda industry of, “playing the race card.”
Actually, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
The NAACP does benefit from contributions from Coca-Cola, as noted in the NYT’s article: “Coca-Cola has donated tens of thousands of dollars to a health education program, Project HELP, developed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.”
Further, the article notes: “Mr. Bloomberg’s plan, the brief argued, would disproportionately hurt minority-owned small businesses, which faced competition from larger convenience stores like 7-Eleven that would be exempt from the soda restrictions because of a quirk in New York’s regulatory structure.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the passion and intensity devoted to tax on sugary soda was redirected towards finding jobs for minority youth?
After unemployment among blacks and Hispanics falls to the same rates or lower than the white kids? Yeah, then let’s talk about soda, pops.