msnbc | January 26, 2013
>>> oldest civil rights group is taking on new york city the naacp and the hispanic federation have joined the soft drink industry in a lawsuit to stop the city's ban on those big sodas. those really big sodas. the naacp in a statement attacking new york's mayor michael bloomberg saying quote, our stand is about basic economic fairness. bloomberg 's ban attacks the little bay while giving a pass to big corporations. the mayor michael bloomberg isn't taking it quietly.
>> the naacp , in all fairness it's the local chapter and not the national, but for them to do this is such an outright disgrace how they can look themselves in the mirror and knowing they are hurting the life expectancy and the quality of life for the people that most deserve. the same is true for this hispanic organization that sold their soul because a lot of hispanic kids are overweight as well.
>> the hispanic federation called the remarks by bloomberg friday, quote, irresponsible. joining me here louis reyes who is also an attorney and also a " usa today k" columnist. i did invite the naacp and hispanic regulation united states because their position puzzled us. we offered them a variety of time slots and neither group could make it work with their schedules, you, however, have been kind enough to join us and based on your recent writings you seem to agree with the groups?
>> actually, i do. in this instance, michael bloomberg , it's a good cause. he has the right idea and i don't doubt his intensions, but the law is bad and the reason the law is bad is because this soda ban is not really a ban. there are exemptions and that's what people don't know about, for example, it xechls super markets , chain stores or convene convenien convenience.
>> in a way it goes too far. that sounds pretty ridiculous.
>> it goes too far. this is something. i support many of his health initiatives with smoking and transfats.
>> but you want your big gulps.
>> you see, craig, with these laws 7-elevens are exempt and you can still get big gulps. if you want to go to starbucks and buy a venti cappuccino and who this affects and that's why the naacp and hispanic --
>> mom and pop shops.
>> the korean grocery stores and delis.
>> these are the obesity rates right now in this country. african-americans, 44%. hispanics, 37.9%. the national obesity rate about 36% and both of those groups above the rates, and considerably. why not do something?
>> oh, i think we should do something because i'm the first to say that obesity, not to mention heart disease , diabetes and any number of other issues, it's a true public health crisis. it's epidemic and particularly in the hispanic and african-american communities and what bloomberg is doing number one is sort of a government overreach and unlike many of the other health proposals like he did with the city council and this came from the board of health so it's arbitrary.
>> but the other ones came to the board of health. the reason why i say it doesn't go far enough is because for most people if you still want to get your big gulp , you can still get it, but who this does affect is people --
>> it affects black and brown kids, too.
>> yes. at the end of the day should the naacp or should the hispanic groups be more concerned about keeping our health and interests and namely coca-cola.
>> i can't speak for them, but i do think the issue is not so much whether these non-profits have an improper conflict of interest.
>> do you acknowledge that?
>> oh, of course.
>> that the conflict is --
>> but the issues, public health , mainly obesity and if he wants to make this ban work and have it be effective and possibly lead the nation and institute it in a way where it will affect all people, why single out one group of people and one group of kids.
>> why single out one group of stores and those are the stores that can least afford it.
>> i do want to get you to at least acknowledge that it doesn't smell right.
>> of course. of course.
>> the fact that the naacp and the hispanic group are both in the pocket to a certain extent of the soft drink industry.
>> they both receive contributions from the beverage industry or from coca-cola.
>> yes. yes. so that doesn't look good, but the big issue is obesity and that's what people should focus on.
>> go get you one of those big gulps.
>> up next, hillary gets heated. the big moments that had