Do You Exercise? You're Perpetuating White Supremacy

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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Do you exercise? Stop it. Put down the kettlebell, get off your StairMaster, sell your mountain bike, and take up a warm spot on your couch while you eat potato chips. You’ve made a positive step toward becoming an “anti-racist.” Your means of keeping in shape are the vestiges of systemic racism. If you’re still exercising, you’re definitely a racist — or at least perpetuating the legacy of white supremacy.


In an article published in Time Magazine on Wednesday, we’re told of a new book Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession, by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela (I think I burned 10 calories just reading her name). She researched exercise in America and has determined that working out has racist origins.

The Time Mag article begins with: “How did U.S. exercise trends go from reinforcing white supremacy to celebrating Richard Simmons?”

According to Mehlman Petrzela, exercise is a product of whites wanting to have more white babies so blacks (or some other race) couldn’t overtake the white race. She claims that in the early part of the 20th Century, women were encouraged to “lift weights” and stay in shape, apparently so they could crank out more white supremacist children, asserting:

“Then you keep reading [research], and they’re saying white women should start building up their strength because we need more white babies. They’re writing during an incredible amount of immigration, soon after enslaved people have been emancipated. This is totally part of a white supremacy project.”

It must have failed miserably because the white population stayed constant at about 89 percent during that time.

Later in the Time article, Mehlman Petrzela claims that women were told to not exercise. What happened to all the white supremacists? I thought they were cranking out white children? The population demographics changed in the last 100 years, and the white population showed a slow but steady trend down, but [white] women were told not to exercise. I don’t get it.


She also talks about Richard Simmons and other gays working out, and “fabulously” getting fit.

“In the 1980s, there’s a huge boom in the fitness industry, connected to this ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. I was also really moved speaking to gay men who had lived through HIV/AIDS and talked about how they exercised to display that they had a healthy body at a moment when there was so much homophobia.”

Mehlman Petrzela continues:

“Another big turning point is 9/11. You see a boom in the CrossFit mentality of almost like militarized fitness and girding yourself and your body for a fight.

Huh? People started CrossFitting because they were…preparing to go to war?

She finishes by saying:

“Today, you see quite a few fat people in the fitness industry, who are operating from a better perspective, which is that your body size does not necessarily dictate your fitness level. We should not presume that because you are fat, that you are not fit or that you want to lose weight. And I think that we probably couldn’t have had that without Richard Simmons.”

What? Seriously, what? I don’t know much about Simmons but I do know he got into shape and started a movement because he knew being fat was a death sentence. One of his “catchphrases” was “Say farewell to fat.”

None of this woman’s talking points add up. White women were told to exercise by white supremacists, then told not to exercise? Richard Simmons hated fat, but if you’re fat you’re in shape. Huh?


Twitter was totally exercised over this nonsense:

This isn’t new stuff.

Be assured. If you are white and exercise, you are perpetuating white supremacy. Stop it. Put the weights down, sit on the couch, and play a video game. On second thought, that’s racist and misogynistic too.

I’m confused. I’m going to walk my dog. On second thought, she’s a Golden. That’s probably racist. Where are the potato chips?


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