Big Gulp Racism

Sometimes, when the usual crowd cries “Racism!” they’re right: whatever it is they’ve identified is actual, real, racism.

And sometimes when the usual crowd cries “Racism!” they’re not right, exactly, but you see what they’re driving at.

Sometimes, of course, it’s just a tactic to get the other guy — usually the other Republican guy — to shut up.

And sometimes — and these are my favorite types of this kind of thing — you just scratch your head in wonderment.

Here’s one of those, from Crain’s:

Opponents of [New York City’s] limit on the size of sugary drinks are raising questions of racial fairness alongside other complaints as the novel restriction faces a court test.

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.”

So it’s racist when it harms minority businesses, but perfectly fine when it harms any other business?

When you look at it closely, though, they do have a point:

Alcohol, unsweetened juice and milk-based drinks are excluded, as are supermarkets and many convenience stores—including 7-Eleven, home of the Big Gulp—that aren’t subject to city health regulations.

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.

As usual with government and nanny-state regulations, it’s the little guy who gets nailed. I wouldn’t call that “racism,” though. I’d just call it “liberalism.”