Comparing Oppressions — a follow-up

So this is a follow-up post to my last post, which linked to the thread on my “home” messageboard ranting about fat people using the power carts at Wal-Mart.

A woman who is tentatively FA messaged me through the board about the thread. I didn’t include her name for privacy reasons.

I’m on your side, I really am.

However, you’re not helping your case with hyperbole.

There are no death camps for the obese. No one is tattooing you and shoving you into a gas chamber.

I lost family in the camps. The comparison doesn’t come close.

You might try using another example of discrimination rather than that.

Of course, you’ve already characterized all Obama supporteers as brain-dead idiots, so take this as you will.

Good luck with your cause.

And my response:

Hi [name deleted],

You’ve mischaracterized what I’ve said, and also made false assumptions. I’ve already explained that we’re not going through a Holocaust, and that what is happening now is not what was happening then. I could have also made the case (which can be shown, independent of charged emotions) that all oppressed groups go through very similar initial characterizations — like they are lazy, stupid, immoral, and what have you. Different groups meet different answers to those characterizations, like you noted (fat people aren’t in concentration camps, and did not ever have to undergo slavery and its long aftermath, or any kind of genocide).

However, to unequivocally believe that we’re not supposed to *learn* lessons from history and past forms of discrimination, and that unfair groupings are no longer happening and that horrible events like slavery, the Holocaust, genocide, physical mutilation, and so forth *can’t* ever happen again, or aren’t currently happening to some groups in some parts of the world, is fallacious.

In fact, a recent _60 Minutes_ piece aired the wonders of gastric bypass surgery, which is the mutilation of the stomach organ in order to, in most cases, force a state of chronic bulimia. The reporting was shoddy (they only looked at 6 people an average of 7 months after the study, still well within the weight-loss “Honeymoon” period of the surgery), and they downplayed the mortality rate making it far lower than in reality, and didn’t mention the horrible side-effects that the majority of patients experience which result in a markedly lower quality of life and end up, in about one-third of the cases, in much earlier death than if they’d just remained fat.

Sanctioned mutilation of an organ to attain unhealthy thinness, trumpeted by a normally serious show like _60 Minutes_ — is that *not* extremely chilling and forboding? It’s not genocide, it’s not murder (though there are arguments to this effect), but it’s using scare tactics and misinformation to make people who are socially unacceptable into people who are socially acceptable, and ruining their lives in the process. And while gastric bypass used to be reserved for only the very morbidly obese (400, 500+ lbs), it is increasingly used on lower and lower weights, with a surgeon in the UK actually proposing it for barely obese people and children as young as 10! A mother in the US took her teenage daughter to New Mexico to get the surgery, since the girl was “unpopular” at school and their doctors had scared them into thinking the then-healthy girl would soon get ill and die of her fatness. I consider this child abuse, yet I think many people would consider this mother as going to the extremes to do the best for her child, in the current fat-fearing, fat-hating environment.

So no, fat people aren’t undergoing gas chambers and genocide, *and I never said that.* What I said is that there is a common pattern of alienation imposed upon undesirable social groups, and fat people were merely having this same pattern imposed upon them. I’m sorry you took offense, but you did not interpret my comparison and later qualifications correctly.

As for Obama-supporters, I never said they were brain-dead idiots, either. I also said in another post a while back that I’m sure there were many people who were voting for him based on concrete issues. I was simply repeating what was told to me by a coworker—when pressed, he didn’t have any issues to present with which he agreed, and he is the one who said, “He’s got a certain Messianic quality that I think appeals to people.” And I agree; and that’s not a necessarily bad thing, but whenever you have people blindly following ANY political leader, it is a cause for concern. I’m certain there are people out there who are blindly following Clinton and McCain, too.

Thanks for the message, and I hope I’ve cleared a few things up.

5 comments on “Comparing Oppressions — a follow-up

  1. anniemcphee says:

    I hope you run down the list with her. There was the NIH’s Final Solution for the “obesity epidemic” – in which it was declared that fat is a greater threat than terrorism and must be fought accordingly. Our own government has declared war on us, and is planning on using us in their medical experiments. So there’s that. They’re even planning on mandating bariatric mutilation. I covered this on my blog. Then there are the people who have their children forcibly removed from their care based on the child’s weight. There are entire countries that won’t let you in if you’re too fat. In Japan you must conform (as an adult MALE) to a 33″ waist or lose your job/be heavily fined. Or both. There was the recent proposal to segregate all fat people from being served in restaurants.

    THen of course there is these types of images or

    Compare that with or

    Uh, yeah. The conditions are ripe. It has been *seriously* suggested by some (both at Huffpo and in British newspapers) that the answer to fat is to arrest fat people (we arrest drug dealers, right?) and force them into hard labor and minute rations until they’re thin enough to rejoin society. Children are ALREADY being sent to fat farms like that school in the Sierras, where they’re given 600 calories per day and made to walk for miles and miles.

    MSN money just printed an article about “What if There Were No Fat People?” and how much more money everyone would have if fat people were just eliminated.

    Oh no, no shades of eugenics there. Nope, no sir – we’ll just keep our silly mouths shut until the day they actually COME to put us into those happy fun camps and THEN we’ll complain. THEN we’ll be allowed to draw the obvious parallels – no sense getting all hot and bothered just yet, right? I too know camp survivors. When I show them these things, they are afraid. They see the parallels. They do not get offended when I ask if they see similarities – which in fact they do. So, what the hell ever. You just run down the laundry list of all that’s being done to us already and see if she doesn’t change her tune a little.

  2. anniemcphee says:

    OMG I just left a huge post and it isn’t here. Help!!!!

  3. anniemcphee says:

    (It did have links in it – please rescue it 😦 )

  4. BigLiberty says:

    I got it! Somehow my filter thought it was spam, weird. 😛

  5. anniemcphee says:

    Ah thanks! You rawk.

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