A Florida Congressman said part of the new health care law is racist. U.S. Representative Ted Yoho (R-Gainesville) was talking about a 10 percent tax on tanning beds to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. Yoho said it's a racist tax because it targets people with light skin.
"I thought I might even get to a sun tanning booth twice so I can come out and say I've been disenfranchised, because I got taxed because of the color of my skin," said Yoho at a recent Town Hall event.
USF Africana Studies Chair Dr. Cheryl Rodriguez says race is not the issue.
"Racism makes assumptions that one group of people is inferior to another," said Rodriguez. "If you want to talk about equality in tanning, let's talk about the fact that poor people don't go tanning. It doesn't matter what color they are."
Robert Shanstrom is a tanning salon owner in Tampa. While he does not like the tax, he does not see how it is racist.
"This is a luxury item for someone to do," said Shanstrom. "We have all skin types that tan with us."
A spokesman for Rep. Yoho said the Congressman wants to talk to us more about this issue. He said he'll address it with us later this week.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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