The Unbearable Banishment: Foolishness in black and white

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Foolishness in black and white

The New York Times recently published an article by Alice Randall, who is an educator at Vandervilt, claiming that "four out of five black women are seriously overweight" because, among other reasons, it's "a part of black culture" to be fat. It's a conscious choice they make. She claims that many black men worry that their women's weight will drop below 200 pounds.

They're also making a political statement. A "...fat black woman can be a rounded opposite of the fit black slave." Their fatness is "an explicit political statement and active political resistance."

To her credit, she goes on to say that the black community is in crisis and that weight reduction needs to be made a priority. But I am aghast at this foolish intellectualization of the problem. Only an academic would come up with this kind of dizzy, misguided logic. I'm going to take a walk down to the Fulton Mall in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and ask the fattest black woman I can find if she's worried that losing weight will remind her of slavery.

The quasi-liberal in me is squirming at my keyboard. I've been conditioned to feel that any criticism of the black community equates to racism. Here in New York, you can be the most ardent supporter of Israel (Which I am. It's the only true Democracy in the middle east) but if you hazard to suggest that, perhaps, the West Bank land grab isn't in anyone's best interest, you're made to feel like an anti-Semite. Pretty clever.

The EXACT SAME DAY, the Times printed an article about Katherine Ziegler, who is a Wantologist. Do you know what Wantology is? Wantology is a new psychological practice that therapists and life coaches apply to help their patients figure out what they want in life. Through this miracle of science, "Dr." Ziegler was able to help one of her clients figure out that she wanted a bigger house.

The whole idea of a life coach has always made me kind of snicker, and this Wantology scam is the cherry on top. Do you know who has the disposable income and free time to employ life coaches and Wantologists? Wealthy, white, navel-gazers on the upper east side who have it so soft and easy that they can afford the luxury of introspection. Can you imagine things going so well that you got the blues because you couldn't figure out what you wanted in life? Personally, I'm too busy trying to insure that the mortgage gets paid on time. Once again, the Times distinguishes itself.

 * * * 

This canine has stolen my daughters away from me. I still don't have any warm feelings towards her, but I'm trying.


Blogger Sausage said...

I wanta beer and a sandwich
good luck with your lunchtime questions, remember bob then weave.

June 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

Yeeha! a UB rant, and I didn't know I wanted it until I got it.

June 12, 2012 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

SF: I used to live in downtown Brooklyn so I know all the good escape routes.

Eryl: This post didn't start off as a rant but once that train leaves the station, there's little stopping it until it's out of steam.

June 12, 2012 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

i read that same article and wondered wtf the (white) women of walmart would say to her theory? oh wait, i already know...fortunately, i missed the "wantology" article, i must have been too busy trying to figure out my caloric intake for the day and its political and sociological implications on the continued struggle.... rant on, sugarpie, i enjoyed the read!!! ;~) xoxoxox

June 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

Rant away, my friend, and I'll join you in the chorus. A former neighbour set herself up as a "life coach" and wanted to practise on me. I ws too busy living!

Nice to end a rant with a cute-as-pie pic!

June 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

sav: The wantology piece was a fantastic turd of an article. And I read it immediately after the politics of fat article. It made me want to toss my Hostess Ho-Ho across the room.

Dinah: I actually managed to turn my cute pic into a kind of mini-rant. It's my ninja skill.

June 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

"Wantologist"? Oh, crap. You mean i've missed yet another opportunity to liberate money from the wallets of people with more cash then common sense? Damn.

June 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Dear Dawkins in Heaven, what next?


They're up there with Proctology.

Like the doggie.

June 13, 2012 at 12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fear of criticising fat people, or even using that word, is becoming more common over here too.

June 13, 2012 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: All it takes is a little creativity and you can separate people from their money. It looks fun!

TSB: The history of mankind is littered with all sorts of snake oil salesman. This is the latest, but not the last.

looby: We do walk on egg shells a lot over here. It's understandable.

June 13, 2012 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

Wantology is the most ridiculous thing I've heard about this year

June 14, 2012 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

I think i've just found my next profession when i get laid off from this cushy gig... Wantologist... awesome, i'll tell people how they want to give me their money so i can advise them what to want, not how to get it mind you, but what to covet and lust after... America, what a cesspool.

June 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

nurse: Only in America! By the way, dear, I saw in the news that the dingo REALLY DID take the baby!

kono: First, you'd have to figure out what YOU want. Have you done that? We can't have the blind leading the blind. These people are already troubled.

June 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous alonewithcats said...

One more letter and it would be Wantonology, as in, the study of wantons. Which I think would actually be a more worthwhile way to devote one's time.

June 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


there's another letter that would be more appropriate there.

June 16, 2012 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

What UB rant? Never in this world!
Love to know how your experiment goes.

June 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

Yeah. We share the same employer.

June 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM  

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