Juneteenth plus 155

by | Jun 19, 2020

It has been seven-score plus 5 years since that initial Juneteenth in Tejas.

Do I support a national day of remembrance or a Federal Holiday for this date? You betcha. I feel that we need MORE special days, more Bridges and even more statues. Conversely, I remember and believe in Peggy Noonan’s and Ronald Reagan’s challenges to tear down walls and fences.

Like millions of others, I am using this day to contemplate slavery’s “end” as stated in General Granger’s General Order #3. And, I extend this dwelling on matters important to me to another weighty matter.

#BlackLivesMatter. And other colors of our national rainbow Matter too (my view). I shared with a Sri Lankan immigrant recently, that “E Pluribus Unum” can and justly should be more that a slogan on America’s currency. We Americans are “UNUM” in my book and [hopefully] in my practice. In my days wearing the fabric of our country, I knew that naval ships and aircraft were colorblind to their officers of the deck and pilots. I hope that I walk the talk of being colorblind – and even more – colorbrave (as shared by Mellody Hobson in a 2014 TED TALK) in this context today and everyday. A quick side note from your Koach as an amateur “etyology” fan of word origins:

UNUM and ONUS are synonyms of ONENESS. An onus, or obligation of each American should be on group hugs (when allowed), and highlighting other actionable symbols for UNUM like building bridges to connect, instead of separating us human beings.

In a timely provocative article, July’s Scientific American speaks of another big injustice with big societal implications.

It is a credible concern of great magnitude that women of African American heritage have great “barriers” to their health. SciAm’s article, titled “The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity” by S. Strings and L. Bacon is a serious “read!” A mere prescription to “lose weight” doesn’t cut it for certain ladies…”regardless of income, black women consistently experience “weightism” in addition to sexism and racism.” Oy for their potential triple whammies.

Living long and living well is hard enough without added cultural stigmas. Of note is that Weightism has been discussed online for a decade, and in direct relation to health care. Ponder this alarming note, “bias against obese patients likely affects their care. A study by Adams et al. revealed a majority of obese patients were reluctant to undergo a pelvic exam and that 87% of physicians were reluctant to perform a pelvic exam on an obese patient.10¬†Amy et al. showed a discrepancy in rates of pap smears when examining different BMI groups [of ladies]…” This is plainly NOT good for our “UNUM” of females and us males too.

I hope that I am fairly objective in my personal and professionals dealings with overweight and obese individuals. My hope extends to folks of all socioeconomic groups. Yet, the above cited article acknowledges that even health care professionals can have biases for weightism… So I openly acknowledge imperfections.

I hope and pray that I can do my part – as my onus – to tear down facades, walls and barriers. Weightism, Sexism, Racism are chinks in our American fabric. From a trainer’s vantage as I keep workin’ it – Motion matters most! Not a rainbow hue of one’s epidermis.

Be well,



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