Hypocritical L.A. City Council Practices Food Apartheid

When Domino’s, a private company, decided not to deliver pizza and other fast food to certain dangerous parts of Washington, D.C., based on geographic region, not race, it was accused of racism by civil-rights groups,  sued for discrimination, and demonized by D.C.’s City Council.    

But when Los Angeles’s City Council banned McDonalds and other fast food restaurants from opening in predominantly non-white areas of town where there aren’t any other restaurants, potentially barring residents from eating in a neighborhood restaurant, self-proclaimed civil-rights groups couldn’t care less.  The City Council members claim they are targeting “food apartheid,” but they are the ones practicing it.  What hypocrites! 

A private company that refused to deliver fast food to certain areas of Los Angeles might well be sued under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act for discrimination based on social characteristic (although it would probably prevail in the lawsuit by showing a reasonable economic justification for its actions — a defense that self-styled civil-rights groups have long denounced). 

Yet Los Angeles’s city government outright banned fast food restaurants from certain neighborhoods, in a way that has unmistakeable racial implications, and there is scarcely any criticism of it (other than from Slate’s Will Saletan).  Why the double standard in favor of government bullies?

Fast food doesn’t make people fat.  People are even fatter in places with fewer fast food restaurants, like Southwest Virginia.  And I lost ten pounds when I worked at McDonald’s.  A Richmond businessman lost 86 pounds eating at McDonalds, and Soso Whaley lost 18 pounds.

A Big Mac at McDonald’s is much healthier than the junk food you find in convenience stores in Los Angeles.  But with fewer McDonalds within reach, residents now may end up buying junk food at a convenience store instead.  I bet the new ordinance will make Los Angeles residents even fatter.