To Tackle ‘White Privilege’ Seattle Mayor Proposes Soda Tax Including Diet Drinks

Feel free to scratch your head about this one, because I still am! In order to tackle “white privilege” (yeah, apparently that’s a thing), the mayor of Seattle proposed a soda tax to include diet drinks as well. This is part of an attempt to pay for education for minorities, and to do so, he wants to tax drinks that are drank primarily by white people.

I honestly wish I could say this is a joke, but it isn’t.

Mayor Ed Murray of the staunchly liberal Seattle city originally proposed the soda tax during his state of the city address in February. Under his initial plan, distributors of sugary drinks would have to pay 2 cents per ounce.

The tax would cover any type of sodas, such as Coke and Pepsi products, as well as energy drinks, fruity drinks, sweet teas, and even bottles coffee like Starbucks.

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The Mayor claimed the tax would bring $16 million in revenue that would be spent on education programs aimed at reducing disparities between the city’s white students and students of color.

But the mayor has updated the plan after the staff of the mayor’s office told him that the tax would actually disproportionately fall on poor minorities, who have higher rates of soda consumption than white residents.

The drinks have apparently come an “issue of equality” since they are no calories and thus do not contribute to obesity. However, since they are more likely to be consumed by richer, white people, he feels they should put a tax on it to right the “white privilege.”

Murray changed the bill, lowering the levy to 1.75 cents per ounce and included diet drinks because they are by favored by affluent white city residents, despite the fact that most diet drinks have no calories and therefore don’t contribute to obesity.

According to Reason, taxing diet drinks has become “an issue of equality” to the mayor because they more likely to be consumed by “upper middle class white people” and therefore must be taxed as a way to fight “white privileged institutionalized racism.”

The white privilege tax may be a distraction for Murray, who’s facing accusations from four men that he paid for sex and sexually abused them in the 1980s when they were teen boys. A high profile lawsuit from one of the men filed last month claims that Murray “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old high-school dropout. Murray has denied the accusations.

It sounds like a bunch of BS if you ask me. Even if white privilege was a thing, how the heck could taxing soda, because it may be drank by white people, help?

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Keely Sharp

Keely Sharp

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