Kurly’s Kommentary: Anti-Fatism in America: Time to stop discriminating against girth too

By Steven Kurlander
America is a country where our freedom and liberty are characterized in theory by equality, tolerance and constitutional guarantees against discrimination because of one’s race, sex, religion, or origin.
Our country’s growing emphasis on political correctness propounded by those on the left and its general acceptance by most Americans stems from an acknowledgment of the democratic value to fight against the basic human traits of hatred, prejudice, and ignorance that cause discrimination and bigotry. 
This societal censorship that forbids the use of such basic derogatory terms as nigger, fag, cunt, and other detestable words is not only a result of the raising of the level of decency we show to one another, but sadly to some extent is also a negative byproduct of a liberal fixation to police our feelings, our language, and even our thoughts that has become somewhat overreaching in our daily lives.
What’s really distressing is the hypocritical propensity of those on the left who impose upon us such political correctness with obsession, but nevertheless engage in the similar vile language and conduct against fat Americans.  While anti-fatism attitude and acts should be just as be deemed unacceptable, bigoted behavior just as much as racial, sexist, and ethnic bigotry, it isn’t.
There’s no better poster child for how anti fatism pervades our media and society than Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, whose rising popularity and notoriety has been met along with spiteful, derogatory criticism that seems to always center on his weight. 
Remember, we live in a New York and Hollywood driven society where an irrational prejudice and an obsession for skinny continually dominates our daily lives. Both our society’s health and fashion fixation on weight is so domineering that political correctness that is rendered to forbid the worst in human behavior and language in other regards of our individual characteristics is blatantly caste aside.
Christie is obese.  And he is the subject of continuous fat jokes by late night comedians and unflattering, mean descriptions of his weight by his enemies. 
And while much (actually too much) was made of his recent band surgery he reluctantly disclosed a few weeks back, and significant loss of weight that has occurred since the operation, the media continues to berate a “fat” Christie.
The latest example of this leftist anti-fatism was remarks made by MSNBC “Young Turk” commentator Cenk Uygur.  Uygur decried Governor Christie’s decision to schedule a Democratic primary for August 13 and a special election for October 16 (two weeks before a general election) to allow voters, instead of Christie, to pick who fills the vacated Senate seat left in wake of the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg
“Chris Christie doesn’t give a damn about the people of New Jersey getting to vote a couple weeks earlier,” he said, adding, “All Chris Christie cares about is protecting his own fat ass.”
“As a fat New Jersey American,” Cenk concluded, “I know I live in a glass house, and brother, I’m calling you out on it.”
Both Democrats and Republicans were upset with Christie’s choice.
The Republicans wanted Christie to appoint a GOP replacement right away, which would affect the immediate balance of power in the Senate where a number of very controversial bills pertaining to immigration, food stamps and other issues are pending.
The Democrats, and Uygur as well, were upset that a special election is being held two weeks before the general election when Christie himself races reelection.  Anticipating that popular Newark Mayor Cory Booker will draw out otherwise apathetic voters in an off year election, they claim that Christie made the choice so these same voters don’t necessarily vote against him  two weeks later and reduce his margin of victory.
While Uygur’s criticism of Christie as self serving was probably indeed justified, he senselessly cloaked his ridicule for him in derogatory “fat ass” terms, which not only depreciated his argument, but rendered him another idiotic closeted bigot who picks and chooses when true political correctness should be adhered to. 
Imagine if Christie were Afro-American.  Would he have said “black ass” instead of “fat ass?”  Hell no.
And he obviously knew that the comment was wrong but trying to justify it by mentioning of his own girth. 
Hey, I’m fat, so I’m allowed even more to call you a fat ass. Wrong.
Uygur owes Christie an apology.  And maybe he should spend a little time pontificating how erroneous it is to call people a “fat ass” and to stop belittling people, even himself, for being obese or overweight.  
It’s not the American way.
Foremost, Uygur should urge his fellow politically correct liberals to stop being hypocritical in how they choose to belittle people for their looks and weight-and maybe start policing their own thin ranks as well.
Steven Kurlander is an attorney and a small business communications strategist.  He blogs at www.stevenkurlander.com and in The Florida Squeeze and Huffington Post.  He can be emailed at kurly@stevenkurlander.com




  1. Darliene Howell · ·

    Yes, fatness is a political issue. It is a political issue just as any type of discrimination is a political issue; just as the erosion of peoples civil rights is a political issue; just as denying the rights of a specified group of people by public services is a political issue; just as finding adequate health care is a political issue.

    Which one of my civil rights should be taken from me because I am fat?

    Join the fight for Equality At Every Size. http://www.naafaonline.com/dev2/


    1. Can you post this article on your site?


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