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Black Pastors Sue Coca-Cola For Racism - Company Fights Back

Drinking too much soda is bad for you. That’s not much of a news flash for the overwhelming majority of fully functioning human beings, as too much of anything is rarely a good thing.

Abusing the fizzy stuff can lead to all sorts of problems, the same way that ingesting far too many other treats can. While most folks acknowledge this fact and treat it as a matter of personal choice, a pair of pastors from Washington DC want to hold soda makers accountable for people that drink way too much soda and have gotten sick as a result.

As CBS News shares, the pastors have singled out Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association for what they claim are “deceptive marketing campaigns.” What’s more, the pastors feel that Coke and friends are targeting the black community.

"The background of this lawsuit is that there's an epidemic of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a range of other degenerative diseases in the black and Latino communities, and really throughout America,” says Delman Coates, the pastor at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland. “For me, as a pastor, I see the toll it takes on families and children when they lose their parents much too soon."

Alright. That is a true shame, but exactly who is forcing these folks to drink so much soda that they develop health problems? Is it the commercials? That appears to be the reasoning behind the suit.

"It is a matter of life and death in our communities," according to William Lamar, the senior pastor at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.

It’s obvious that Coates and Lamar feel pretty passionate about this problem, but wouldn’t they be better served extending the effort to help educate their communities about making healthier choices? Nah, there’s no headlines in that.

"It breaks my heart and I'm saddened by the way in which we're losing so many people,” Coates says. “I'm losing more people to the sweets than to the streets."

And this is Coca-Cola’s fault?

"It's almost as if they are selling joy. They are equating this product with the things that people are hoping for – joy, smiles, family,” Lamar adds. “But this product will not deliver that. It delivers the exact opposite. Silence around this issue is violence."

There’s actually a whole bunch of real violence out there that Coates and Lamar should be far more concerned with, but that’s another story for another day. Coca-cola and the ABA have both released statements on this unfathomable waste of time.

"The allegations here are likewise legally and factually meritless, and we will vigorously defend against them," a statement from Coca-Cola reads in part.

"Unfounded accusations like these won't do anything to address health concerns, but the actions we're taking, particularly in areas where obesity rates are among the highest, can make a difference," the ABA’s response reads in part.

In a perfect world, this case would be laughed out of court before it even hit the docket. That’s not going to happen, and a ridiculous amount of time and money will need to be wasted to see it through. All because some folks want to drink obscene amounts of soda and then blame others for it.

That’s a gigantic loss for the concept of personal accountability, but perhaps this pair of pastors can provide some much-needed guidance on that as well.

Source: CBS News, The Blaze
Photo: Oregon Department of Transportation/Flickr,, YouTube, Marco Verch/Flickr, Mike Mozart/Flickr

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