Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Infantilizing Minorities

Los Angeles City Council has decided that poor people are stupid, especially if they are Hispanic or African-American, and have swooped in to rescue them from themselves.

I mean, gawd forbid government leave us alone to exercise any sort of personal responsibility, or to get as fat as we damn well please. 

From this source, all emphasis mine: 

The yearlong moratorium is intended to give the city time to attract restaurants that serve healthier food. The action, which the mayor must still sign into law, is believed to be the first of its kind by a major city to protect public health.

"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said.

Maybe because people in South LA can't afford white table cloth restaurants like YOU CAN? 

Representatives of fast-food chains said they support the goal of better diets but believe they are being unfairly targeted. They say they already offer healthier food items on their menus.

Yes, most offer apples instead of fries, salads, yogurt, ect., especially in children's meals. Dunkin' Donuts is planning to offer healthier breakfasts because of demand.


A report by the Community Health Councils found 73 percent of South Los Angeles restaurants were fast food, compared to 42 percent in West Los Angeles.

An unfair comparison, to be sure. South LA is a low-income area; West LA is an affluent area. Of course there are less fast food restaurants in West LA; the people who live and work there can afford more expensive dining. 

But to hell with that whole pesky comparing apples to apples thing.

South Los Angeles resident Curtis English acknowledged that fast food is loaded with calories and cholesterol. But since he's unemployed and does not have a car, it serves as a cheap, convenient staple for him.

On Monday, he ate breakfast and lunch — a sausage burrito and double cheeseburger, respectively — at a McDonald's a few blocks from home for just $2.39.

It seems to me that the city council should be PRAISING McDonald's for their humanitarian work of providing affordable, energy-packed food at very low prices to the poorest among us! 

"I don't think there's too many fast food places," he said. "People like it."

Others welcomed an opportunity to get different kinds of food into their neighborhood.

"They should open more healthy places," Dorothy Meighan said outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. "There's too much fried stuff."

First of all, who is "they?" 

Secondly, let capitalism work. If a more expensive restaurant opens go there and patronize it. Eat the healthier food. If the diner gets enough business, it will stay open and attract more of it's kind.


The moratorium, which can be extended up to a year, only affects standalone restaurants, not eateries located in malls or strip shopping centers. It defines fast-food restaurants as those that do not offer table service and provide a limited menu of pre-prepared or quickly heated food in disposable wrapping.

The definition exempts "fast-food casual" restaurants such as El Pollo Loco, Subway and Pastagina, which do not have drive-through windows or heat lamps and prepare fresh food to order.

Oh, so a foot-long meatball sub from Subway is waaaaay healthier than a cheeseburger from McDonald's. Gotcha, city council. 

The ordinance also makes it harder for existing fast-food restaurants to expand or remodel.

Really, when a government wants to institute universal health care, then it feels more at liberty to make personal decisions for the People's health. Hey, they (and by they I mean WE) are footing the bill for those cholesterol meds, so why not FORCE a diet on a poor Hispanic or black person? 

How long until they start handing out Soylent to the unwashed masses, for pity's sake? 

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