Gender Studies Professor Suggests Trump Is Responsible For Black Female Obesity

Written by Dana Sanchez
Black Female Obesity
Rutgers Professor Brittney Cooper tried to connect racism, Trump’s policies and Black female obesity on Oprah’s “Black Women OWN the Conversation”. Image: OZY videoOZY video, Twitter

Rutgers University Professor Brittney Cooper tied racism and Trump’s policies to Black female obesity during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Black Women OWN the Conversation”.

Conservative newspapers were all over it.

An expert on women’s and gender studies, Cooper addressed a room filled with 100 Black women.

“I hate when people talk about Black women being obese. I hate it because it becomes a way to blame us for a set of conditions we didn’t create,” she said. “We are living in the Trump era and those policies kill our people. You can’t get access to good healthcare, good insurance.”

Cooper said there’s research that shows Black women lose less weight and lose it slower when on the same diet as white women.

“What public health practitioners think is that our stress responses in the body change our metabolism. It’s literally that the racism that you’re experiencing and the struggle to make ends meet, actually means the diet didn’t work for you the same.”

Actress Tina Lifford, who shared the OWN stage with Cooper, responded, saying Black women “have the power to choose how we see ourselves. We will be fortified to fight all of these other external issues when we pour into ourselves enough to say: ‘I love me. I am not the conditions that surround me.'”

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Conservative watchdog Campus Reform, which claims to “expose liberal bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses,” followed up with Cooper, who spoke more about the research that formed the basis for her remarks.

“I wasn’t making an argument about Trump admin policies and weight,” Cooper said. “Dr. Arline Geronimus’ research from the 1990s argues pretty convincingly that Black women have physiological stress responses to racial stimuli and this affects our long-term health. I was citing this body of work and the president’s status as a racially polarizing figure that contributes to issues of racial stress for people of color.”

Geronimus is a public health research professor at the University of Michigan.

This isn’t the first time Cooper has been critical of Trump, Fox reported. During an August appearance on MSNBC, she said she was worried that Trump would be “absolutely willing to start a physical war” to boost the economy.

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“One of the ways we got ourselves out of the slump of protectionism in the 1940s was, we entered World War II,” Cooper told host Al Sharpton.

WBSM talk radio host Barry Richard opined that it’s “frustrating to witness the extent to which we as a society are ready to blame everything wrong in our lives on something or somebody else.”

“What about fat white or Hispanic women? What’s their excuse? Or mine?” Richard asked.

There was support for Cooper on Twitter.

“Public policy can contribute to obesity. For instance, if a community is poorly served by public transit or less walkable, making driving the only means to travel, obesity will likely be prevalent in that community. And some of these policies are racially motivated.”

… and criticism of Cooper on Twitter:

“And she has a PHD???? 😮 Just throw the whole college away,” one person responded.

“This is very dangerous,” another tweeted. “You’re telling women that they bare no responsibility and have absolutely no control over their lives. Yes stress doesn’t help!! I have a stressful job, but I eat right and exercise. I’ve lost 12 not cuz of the prez, but me.”

Campus Reform asked Cooper how she promotes her values in her professional life.

“What I hope my students learn in my classroom is how to be good scholars, critically informed thinkers able to come to well-researched and accurate conclusions, and discerning evaluators of what are credible versus less credible news sources.”