This next story is perhaps the greatest testament to why I no longer ascribe to a wholesale progressive belief system. In simple terms, sometimes drastic measures must be considered to take control of a problem if it disproportionately affects a particular community. I would liken this story to what must be done to wrestle control of many crime ridden cities from the urban terrorists that are attacking their citizenry. It appears the latest rub to garner attention on the web concerns what I consider to be an honorable initiative enacted by administrators from famed HBCU, Lincoln University. It's not exactly a secret that our nation's collective waistline is increasing along with its deficit. And Black/Brown communities have been the hardest hit if you concur with the current stats related to obesity. In an effort to gain control of this grave health issue, Lincoln has essentially developed a course requirement for students with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above.
The course, entitled “Fitness for Life,” must be completed in order to graduate and as expected some students are reluctant because of claims of discrimination or of being "singled out" based on weight concerns. As I alluded to at the beginning of this discourse, sometimes drastic measures are necessary in order to concretely deal with a problem...especially a disproportionate one. I have thought for a long time that if the government were to intervene in addressing some of the criminality and gang warfare that afflicts communities of color, a modified State of Emergency (if not Marshall Law) should be considered. Again, a sense of urgency must be employed to truly protect the innocent residents that have historically dealt with being considered "collateral damage" during violent events. Now Lincoln U is propagating a necessary tool to address another deadly issue and those claiming victim status refuse to comply. For your further edification, check out this excerpt from Examiner.com:
Dr. James DeBoy, chairman of the school's Department of Health and Physical Education, explains that the class involves walking, aerobics, weight training and other physical activities, as well as information on nutrition, stress and sleep. It is considered an easy one unit of credit meeting three hours per week. It requires attendance and participation, but is one which addresses the obesity epidemic which plagues the U.S. presently.
Tiana Lawson, a 21 year old student who hopes to graduate this year, wrote last week in the school’s newspaper she "didn't come to Lincoln to be told that my weight is not in an acceptable range. I came here to get an education."
She told CNN that she had been putting off getting her BMI tested until this year, and recently found out she would have to take the class. While angry at first, she describes herself now as more “confused” about the requirement.
Lawson commented that she felt larger students were being singled out. "If Lincoln truly is concerned about everyone being healthy, then everyone should have to take this gym class, not just people who happen to be bigger,".
All undergraduate students must take a semester class of health, physical education and recreation (HPR) as a part of their core curriculum. The “Fitness for Life” course is added to focus upon the obese individual.
Dr. DeBoy stresses that students are not required to lose weight or lower their BMI. They must only pass the class through attendance and participation.
Obesity increases a person's risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, some cancers and other ailments. African-Americans were 1.4 times as likely to be obese as non-Hispanic whites in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese, the agency said.
And if your not convinced, as many in our community mistake acceptance of obesity as cultural entitlement (if not empowerment), take a look at the toll the human body takes when being overweight goes unanswered.
For the remainder of the Examiner piece, click on the link below:
Students ignore own obesity - may not graduate from Lincoln University