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Dr. Regina M. Benjamin for Surgeon General

July 22, 2009

ab-DrBenjamin.sflbWhen I first read this article, I imagined all the commentary I could make such as pointing out particular aspects of fat acceptance and fat hating. Moreover, I thought about creating a pictorial montage of all the fat men (Newt Gingrich and Ted Kennedy come to mind) who have been given influential positions without anyone questioning how their fat will affect their ability to govern the people. Then, I considered limiting that pictorial montage to previous male Surgeon Generals, who were not all thin. Finally, I said fuck it. You know why? Because skinny (and skinny-identified  people) has been the face of approval and authority since the beginning of when, and still obesity has climbed to a record-breaking 34%. In other words, obesity increased on the skinny folks watch. That’s right. Obesity has increased under the rule of the skinny and the skinny-identified.   So how is it that the skinny folks think they have a right to demand by manufactured outrage that the next Surgeon General be thin as well? It is like hiring a CEO who has bankrupted all  the previous companies that he was CEO of, to get a new company out of debt.

If obesity is so bad, and I am not using this as an opportunity to debate the merits or faults of obesity, just saying/asking if obesity is so bad, then why would I ever cosign to hiring someone from a group (skinny people) that  has obviously failed to stop obesity from increasing when they were on watch?

I know nothing of Dr. Regina M. Benjamin politics; however, she has my full support, —just because.

Critics and supporters across the blogsphere (sic) have commented on photos of Benjamin’s round cheeks, saying she sends the wrong message as the public face of America’s health initiatives.


  1. Level Best permalink
    July 22, 2009 11:44 am

    She looks radiantly healthy to me and doubtless is; if any of her idiotic critics would bother to look around the internet they could find plenty of fact-based evidence that a person’s level of activity is much more of an indicator of health than weight. Plus she’s superbly qualified and deserving of the post! Body fascism passes for morality and character these days.

  2. atheistwoman permalink
    July 22, 2009 1:36 pm

    She has my full support too. Oh and from this point on everyone must walk around with their cheeks sucked in, babies too. I mean come on, we don’t want to be sending the wrong message, right fellas?

  3. July 22, 2009 2:05 pm

    Here’s another thing: What if she ISN’T healthy? Why should that disqualify her? What if she has diabetes or hypertension or heart disease? Why would that mean she can’t do a good job? I mean, don’t people live in the same world as me, where I see fat people and/or people with chronic illnesses doing work successfully all day long? Why is it her appropriateness as poster child for some conformist ideal of “health,” and NOT her skill/ability/experience, that is on trial here?

    (I mean, I know why, I’m just sayin’.)

    Great post, Kitty.

  4. July 22, 2009 2:37 pm

    Exactly, Amy. Why is it assumed that the best person for the job is someone who’s had little need to involve themselves with the medical establishment? It makes no sense.

  5. July 22, 2009 3:54 pm

    Well, right! Mightn’t experience with illness and the “health care” system actually give one empathy and insight into how things need to change?

  6. July 22, 2009 4:18 pm

    It is the gold star approach. Can’t you just hear it now? “Why, give that fella a gold star, he has never been to the doctor!” Hee Haw! And of course since he did not come up through the ranks waiting an hour for his prescription (if he is able to get into a prescription program if he is uninsured, or if insured a prescription program that will allow the medicine his doctor prescribed) or struggling to pay a $30 co-pay for a specialist instead of the $10 that he pays to his PCM just to be greeted by an RN instead of you know, a fucking specialist, he will get a gold star for not adding to the problem (because the people are always the problem, never the system!). One would think after jumping through hoops to see a specialist you would at least see a fucking specialist not her/his nurse! However, even that desire is being a little bit uppity. Some people would kiss the ruby ring to see the RN much less complain about having to see an RN.

    You know, I read through many of the comments, and of course I am not allowed to say the reason they really don’t want Dr. Benjamin. No, can’t say it, because no one said anything about her skin color or her sex, no, no need, not when they have a socially acceptable reason to divert from their real fear. Oh, and don’t think I didn’t notice a few folks highlighting MISSISSIPPI, yeah, MISSISSIPPI. See, nudge nudge, wink wink, you should understand what I am saying just by saying she is from MISSISSIPPI.

    If I need to spell it out, I will. How in God fearing white America do we supposed to think a black woman from Mississippi will be competent to oversee little white Johnny (Yes, I am talking to you too you snobby East Coast latte liberals). I just went there. She is a three for one with a socially approved out to hate. What better way to criticize a black (racism) woman (sexism) from Mississippi (classism) than to say “Nuh-uh, no body even noticed she was a black woman from Mississippi, we just don’t like the fat.”

  7. Level Best permalink
    July 22, 2009 4:29 pm

    “Here’s another thing: What if she ISN’T healthy? Why should that disqualify her?”–Amy’s Brain Today

    I absolutely agree. And a commenter named sara at Pandagon said something very relevant: “Health has become a privilege, not a right, and the wealthy look down upon the ill-health of the poor in much the way that the wealthy used to look down upon the crowded and unsanitary living conditions of the poor in the days of Orwell’s Wigan Pier.”

  8. July 22, 2009 4:36 pm

    Oh, so true Kitty, the Mississippi connection. But after kissing Obama’s butt all the way to the white house, they’d look like giant hypocrites if they openly admitted they don’t like black women, now wouldn’t they?

    Not to mention that fat AND certain chronic illnesses have historically run statistically higher in black people than white people. Is that evidence of genetic inferiority or just moral turpitude in “not taking care of oneself”, the latte liberals would really like to know? But either way it contributes to the disqualifying of black people from holding positions of power over white people. And no one ever has to risk the dreaded “r-word.”

    God I’m pissed off today. Last night I had to watch a bunch of white people be all white to a (smaller) bunch of not-white people who showed up rather unexpectedly in their midst. I am still inarticulate with rage.

  9. July 22, 2009 9:54 pm

    Funny, because growing up I was called ” La Flaca”. I am “thinner” than my two lovely sisters. I am a size 8. Guess which one of us has diabetes?

  10. July 23, 2009 12:41 am

    Here is some evidence of right-wingers bashing Benjamin for pretty much the only reason they got — she’s “fat.” Accompanied by well-deserved snark. Jeebus what is this country coming to.

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