DCP EP. 97 Belly Of The Beast: Da’Shaun L. Harrison

Transcribed by: Sydney Henriques-Payne

Completion date: January 5, 2022

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:00:03] Welcome to Dear Culture, the podcast that gives you news you can trust for the culture, I’m your co-host, Gerren Keith Gaynor, Managing Editor of Politics and Washington Correspondent at theGrio. [00:00:13][10.1]

Shana Pinnock: [00:00:13] And I’m your co-host, a Pinnock social media director here at theGrio. And this week we’re asking Dear Culture, why are we so fat-phobic? Happy New Year, grio fam. Just so you know, while we are so happy to usher in 2022, we did record this show just before ending twenty twenty-one. Nevertheless, this was an incredible conversation and we can’t wait to share it with you. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a cultural shift in the way we think and talk about weight in our bodies, and even though the body positivity movement has taken off, especially on social media. Did you know that it is still legal to fire someone because of their weight in forty nine states? As today’s featured guest points out, anti fatness is so much more than harmful words and negative stereotypes. In just a bit, we’ll talk with writer and author Da’shaun Harrison about their new book Belly of the Beast The Politics of Anti Fatness as anti-Blackness. [00:01:06][52.9]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:01:15] So, Shana, I’m really glad we are diving into this topic around fatness and fat phobia. And when I was preparing for this episode, I was thinking about my childhood, about the messages that I received, either from the media or from the adults around me about that and that kind of shaped the way I view what it means to be fat. And obviously, I’ve never been fat. And so I had to really like, ground myself and I don’t remember adults in my life like hearing like fat phobic language in my household or my family, per se. There are family members of my family members who are fat. But I do remember as a child, like, you know, you would stay home from school and you watch TV and I would watch like Jerry Springer and the Maury Show. And those are obviously very extreme stories and some of them not so real, actually. But the messaging I got when I think about Jerry Springer, where they had like a really thin guy cheats on his desirable wife on like this fat woman and like that when you read between the lines, the message was always, “How dare this man cheat on his wife with this fat woman? Why would you find her attractive?” And I think about what the classroom where kids always have fat jokes. And it was seen as funny. It was seen as this othering of that people in a way that to shame them for simply existing. And obviously, you know, as an adult, I’m able to look back and recognize how harmful those those messages that messaging was. And obviously, children learn these things from adults. And I’m glad that in Twenty Twenty One, when we talk about the censoring of anti- fatphobia, language and body positivity, although we can get we’ll get into that in the show about body positivity, even that can be misconstrued. But I’m glad we are here… We’re kind of reassessing, you know, what is appropriate, what’s the appropriate way to talk about, you know, each talk about society and say, investigate the ways in which we belittle people and dehumanize people for how they look for their sexuality or their gender, their socioeconomic backgrounds. And I want to ask you, Da’Shaun, to actually like, how has these stereotypes and around fatness shaped how you view yourself? I know for women, especially especially Black women, it has an impact, [00:03:53][158.6]

Shana Pinnock: [00:03:55] Especially for Black women who grew up in a Caribbean household. Unlike you, I have been riddled with fat phobic antifat rhetoric my entire life. It’s and and I don’t think that my family does it intentionally. You know, per se, but it is, it’s something it’s weird and it’s particularly the Jamaican side of my family. My grandmother and my father are really terrible about it. You know, like and it’s so weird, like my grandmother, if she sees a fat person eating, she’s like, like, disgusted like she is. It’s revolting. And I’m like, They’re eating food. Like, What is it like? What is wrong with it? They were eating a salad. You’d still have an attitude like it’s it’s weird. It’s it’s very old school. I’m not sure where exactly it comes from. My dad is —what? My dad is like six feet tall, skinny as a bag of bones; like he’s always been thin as hell. My grandmother, she is also incredibly small. My grandmother was like five foot 10, five foot 11, and she’s now I mean, as she’s gotten older, she hasn’t. She hasn’t always been like a skinny chick. But I’ve seen old school photos of my grandmother like she was a baddie. You know what I’m saying, just long legs and skinny everywhere. My mother is… My mother is has always been a heavier woman. You know, she she was, she was definitely thick. And then I got pregnant with me and then got fat you know, and it kind of is what it is and like my dad like, would make kind of jokes and stuff about my mother. And it would it would always bother me. And I’m always like, I would always get like, pissed off with him of, like, leave her alone. Like, “What are you… Still screwing her? So what’s the like? What’s the problem with the difference?” And what’s so crazy is, I mean, up until I was about maybe twenty seven years old, I was always the skinny short person, right? So I I think from up in late weight, maybe senior year of college senior at Spelman, I maybe weighed 110 pounds. Maybe I am tiptoeing at 156 these days. And you know, I haven’t seen my grandmother in a few years. COVID haven’t see my grandmother in a few years, and I remember I had sent her some pictures on like WhatsApp, and she’s like, “I wouldn’t even recognize you. Look how big you’ve gotten. And blah blah blah…” I’m like, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry at thirty four, I’m still not the size of a 19 year old gram. Like, please get off my behind.” And so it’s been an unlearning of that for me, of being willing to accept my body in all of its forms because I’m also just kind of like what I don’t need to happen is I get pregnant and here I am with an eating disorder because I’m terrified of getting of getting fat or staying fat because of a baby, you know, because I’m bringing life into this world like that. It’s it’s very crazy and it’s I’m so glad to see the conversation around fatness that is is changing. And I think it’s it’s absolutely necessary and I think it’s it’s powerful. And honestly, it makes me even more excited to talk to our guest today. [00:07:30][214.7]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:07:38] Da’Shaun L. Harrison is a fat, Black, non-binary abolitionist and community organizer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Their new book, Belly of the Beast, The Politics of Anti Fatness and anti-Blackness, explores the intersections of Blackness, gender, fatness, health and the violence of policing. The song has been featured in The Fader, Teen Vogue and BuzzFeed, just to name a few. Da’Shaun, Welcome to Dear Culture. We’re so happy to have you that have your brilliant expertize on a very important topic, so we’re happy to have you. [00:08:13][35.5]

Shana Pinnock: [00:08:15] And shout out to Da’Shaun, shout out today to, you know, Morehouse grad — So it’s a Spel-House episode, OK? [00:08:22][6.5]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:08:22] I love it. [00:08:23][0.7]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:08:24] No, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. [00:08:26][2.0]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:08:27] We’re happy to have you. And so first, I want to set the tone with education because when I was a kid, you know, I’m kind of like the PC police like. I try to use words carefully. And to be mindful of how I use words. And when I was younger, the term that was pejorative and today has been reclaimed to destigmatize the word. Could you share with us a bit of that history of that word? And why is being used to? Why is being reclaimed? [00:08:55][28.0]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:08:56] Yeah. So I mean, for you, I think you’re right. You know, like for a long time, the word fat has often been used as a slur, as something that’s been intended to harm folks. And I think that we’ve arrived to a place, you know, that studies is is about two decades old and in that which is, you know, very young in terms of thinking about academic disciplines. But within that time frame, a lot of writers, a lot of fat scholars, activists, fat thinkers have done a brilliant job of sort of redefining what fatness is and and what it looks like in very similar ways to, you know, the reclamation of the word queer right and the way that that has been transformed academically and socially into something that we oftentimes use now without without any pushback besides from, you know, elders who have been antagonized by that word themselves. And so I think that, yeah, this has been like a short time coming, but a long time coming as well that has sort of shifted the way that we think about fatness or we’re in the process of trying to shift the way that we think about fatness. And I think that it’s also important to consider that because it is so new, there are still people who will understand this word to simply be, you know, a slur or harmful. And having to work around that is something that I think that’s very important for us all to consider when talking about fatness in general. So often times I would think of it as you know, talking about a group of people in terms of population as fat, but being clear or getting clear clarity on what an individual wants to be referred to as when talking to them directly. [00:10:49][112.6]

Shana Pinnock: [00:10:50] OK, so I mean, the title of your book right is “Belly of the Beast, the politics of Anti Fatness as anti-Blackness.” And within that book, you write about how fat Black bodies are essentially hyper policed by the state and by society in general. I know my my grandmother especially, you know, it’s like, you know, fat Black bodies are passed over for housing jobs. They’re discriminated against. They’re abused, they’re traumatized. How is being fat? Well, how is being anti fat also being anti-Black? Let’s break that down for the audience. [00:11:21][31.9]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:11:23] Yes. So there is a brilliant scholar by the name of Sabrina Strings. She wrote a book titled Fear in the Black Body The Racial Origins of Fatphobia. And in that book, she, I love this book because she came out of the gate swinging. Like in the introduction, she was like, “Listen, this is what it is, this is what it ain’t, and this with the book’s going to be about.” And so in that in that intro, she talks about sort of how anti fatness becomes a coherent ideology. And. The mapping of of anti-fatness on. Onto the world, right? So what that looks like essentially is. During the 19th century, you know, during the Enlightenment era, in the in the middle of the transatlantic slave trade. White Europeans, white Americans are seeing the way that fatness looks on Black bodies and our like, “I actually don’t think that I want to look like this, right? Like this is this now is something that that has gone from as a symbol of wealth and respect to something that’s now sinful and grotesque and unrighteous, right?” So in this moment where Protestant Christianity is being spread through colonialism, through anti-Blackness and through anti-Black violence like slavery, you get the coherence of an ideology that we now refer to as fatphobia or anti fatness. And so that is like the origin of how these two things even come together. It’s like there is no the very foundation of an anti fat ideology is, anti-Blackness, right? is this this this desire to not look like or resemble in any way Black people, which is what we’ve always been been read as and so. From that moment, then you get, you know, like more more structures built in place that sort of determine the ways that fat folks are going to be engaged, but disproportionately those engagements are harming Black folks, right? So like the medical industry, like the police system and policing in general? Carceraltity in general, you know, like even things that that may seem trivial to some folks like the fashion industry, right? Like all these industries that are designed in so many ways to to keep out or to harm fat, Black folks become central to the maintenance of. Anti fatness as anti-Blackness. [00:14:04][161.4]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:14:05] Oh, Da’Shaun is breaking this down, OK? [00:14:08][2.7]

Shana Pinnock: [00:14:09] teach, teach me. Teach the children, chile. [00:14:11][1.8]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:14:11] Wow. You said that so powerfully and in your book, you also have addressed beauty standards and desirability politics. And I want to have you speak to what that means for Black people specifically because I feel like it’s different for us and how those two things shape our lives. [00:14:31][19.9]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:14:31] I love talking about desirability, politics and desire capital like within Black spaces, right? Because I think it gives us the room to understand that desire is is very discursive, right? So of course, there’s like a standard that’s set by Europeans, right? And so, you know, whoever is closest in proximity to that standard is is who has a specific level of desire capital and within Black community, right? Like we also know that there is there are particular there’s a particular standard that may not necessarily resemble European standards by our taste, right? But that still is in closer proximity to to a European standard or a standard of beauty predicated on whiteness than than what you would find in non-Black communities. So what that looks like is so many ways right, is if thin folks is oftentimes cis people, right is oftentimes light-skinned people, is oftentimes men, right? And. And that can have a variety of looks and ranges. But, you know, it’s also, you know, your your non-disabled folks, right? So like, this this sort of. Structure that’s been designed around. Maintaining the anti-Black violence that comes along with colonialism that comes along with the very structuring of beauty as a as a standard of beauty, as a structure. And so in the book, I’m really asking the reader in so many ways to think beyond, you know, beauty as something that they want for themselves. I think that where we’re oftentimes taught that, you know, we have to desire beauty, that we have to desire to to become beautiful with the capital “B”. And don’t think of it as a form of structural violence, but within. Inside of and outside of of a Black cultural context there are particular people who will always be pushed out of any sort of inkling of desire on a on a on a mass scale because of their of their lack of proximity to whiteness or to whiteness’ standards. And I think that for as long as we forget that, for as long as we don’t acknowledge that we continue to to leave folks out of of of the conversation, but also leave folks out of the ability to be affirmed even within their own community. And so I think like, you know. One of the examples I always use when talking about this to make it make the most sense is. In in, you know, like queer spaces oftentimes. A lot of folks who are disregarded are fat folks, right? So then there’s been spaces created like, you know, your your barrier communities or things like that, and I’m using this very, very loosely because that’s also very why in so many ways. But but you have like this, like with this space created, that’s that’s intended to be for that, folks. But even within that space, the folks who are prioritized are those who are chasers who are typically thin or folks who who have their fatness proportioned in a very particular way. Right. And that is a glaring example of the ways that antifatness shows up even in spaces that are intended to be liberatory or safe spaces for other people or for people who are oftentimes left out, and I think that that, you know, is just another example that is an example that I think can be applied to Black community, right? You know, we we we’re not necessarily out here searching for the thin white, blue eyed, you know, blonde haired person and a lot of us would much rather be with that person than to be with the dark skinned fat trans person or dark skinned fat disabled person, right? And we witnessed that all the time in our community. So I think that that’s just, you know, a small bit of how desire, capital and desirability shows up in our spaces. [00:18:58][267.0]

Shana Pinnock: [00:18:59] So, OK, so you were kind of you were tiptoeing on something. I was like, I hope they don’t talk about it yet because I have a question. So you penned an essay called The Conflict between Thick and Fat Right Now, let’s let’s talk about it, right? Because you’re absolutely right, especially in the Black community. Like, No, you don’t want to be. So no one. Well, I won’t say noone. But a lot of us don’t really. And especially the IG model standard, you know, we don’t have desirability to be, you know, thin. And here’s there’s there’s there’s no titties, there’s no, you know, behind it. Like, we’re not trying to look, we’re not trying to look like like the white, like the white girls, you know, like the typical white girls, not the Kim Kardashian white girls, but not trying to look like them. But we’re also not trying to look like a Lizzo, right? So you’re you’re trying to you’re going for the Megan Thee Stallion. You’re going for the “thick” and not and not the “fat.” And even in your essay, you compared like the likes of Winston Duke, you know, a good ole — shout out to Chadwick Boseman, which has a Black Panther. And I’m saying – M’Baku, you, who was celebrated for his thickness versus the bodies of men like Mike Brown and Eric Garner, whose, you know, their size essentially contributed to their deaths? You know, it’s it’s it’s all of these things. And I guess so you talk about like people using thick as a compliment while also denying fat people their humanity, like even fat people being invisible within the MeToo movement. Can you explain a little bit more about like why you take such an issue with the way the word thick, quote unquote is used? [00:20:37][98.0]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:20:38] Yeah. Well, for one, thank you for that beautiful synopsis of the essay. I think we did a better job than I would have been able to with trying to summarize it. And yeah, so I take I really do take big issue with this word because it has. Evolved into something that. To me is is representational of the more broad body positive movement, right, where thin folks and their bodies are prioritized in a space or in a movement that is supposed to be centered around fat people? Right. And and it becomes a space or a time or a moment to offer, you know, affirmations and ego boosts to thin people instead of acknowledging the ways that fat folks are subjugated within our society. And so, yeah, I take like really big issue with the word thick because and its all of its variations, because of the way that it sort of takes away from from any sort of conversation around fat liberation, but also because of exactly what you just named in that synopsis, right, is it’s the difference between who, who lives and who dies, right? It’s the difference between who gets to to be able to to to build any sort of lack of a career that they’re able to live off of able to eat off of versus whose murder because of their size, right? So, you know, like you said, you’re you’re you’re the AGI models the influencers are wanting to be, you know, this this particular size that allows them to to to eat, right? To make money off of their off of their bodies. And they cannot do that if they look like a Lizzo. If they look like, you know, a fatter person who who who they are not able to locate desire on. And I think that, you know, that is that’s why we we get so much conversation about Lizzo because, people can’t imagine that there’s this that there’s a world where a fat Black woman can make money off of her body, right? What she can, she can be very clearly fat, very happily fat and engaged in talking about her, her body. And also be able to live, and I think that that is that’s something that, you know, is is just a really big issue for me with regards to with regards to big versus fat. And in that essay, I also talk about, you know, in the moment that I wrote it this was a really big time for Rihanna. She was like looking looking thicker. Beyonce had gotten thicker. Nicki Minaj body has has had grown, but in that same time frame, Roxane Gay, who was one of the most prominent fat fat writers out there, had just written, written an essay about how she, you know, had to undergo surgery to lose weight, right? And the struggle that came along with that and the way that she was antagonized both by people in the fat liberation movement and folks outside of it because of the fact that she was just this really tall, really fat Black woman. And, you know, I use those people as examples because they’re also light-skinned just as she is. So it’s not like this is just like a a difference in talking about colorism and things like that. These are light-skinned Black women who who have very different bodies but are being positioned in a very particular way because of the ways of their fatness is proportioned. And and so, yeah, it’s just like a very important thing for me to talk about because. There is something so essential about acknowledging the ways that fat folks are removed from care in a very particular way are removed from desire in a very particular way. And as I wrote in the essay, the way that there’s a specific. Economy or specific capital applied to people who are read as thick, that’s not applied to people who are blatantly fat, right, who cannot be named as anything but that. And and it becomes the sort of basis for how people are engaged socially, economically in dating spaces, etc., right? So it’s just it’s a really horrible thing that I think, you know, if people aren’t openly critiquing, can easily become another form of this, this mainstream body positive movement. [00:25:27][288.8]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:25:28] You know, they saw so much of a lot of these conversations about being mindfulness. And even as you were speaking about the queer community and the proximity to desirability and the violence of Black bodies. And you talk a lot about dismantling the ways in which we censor things about how we identify our bodies, our sexuality, our gender. And that disruption part, you know, is important. And I often try, you know, in recent history trying to like re reimagine the way I see myself in the world and the things that have been taught about me, the messaging, how do we get to that place? What does disruption look like, you think? How would you describe that? And separately, also, from your perspective, what is our society and culture is’ssue with fatness? [00:26:19][51.7]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:26:20] Yes, I’m I think I’m going to do this. The second question first. I think that that’s a really like, multilayered question with a very multi-layered answer, right? I think if if I was to wrap it up into like one sentence, I would say that our society’s issue with fatness is Blackness. Right? Which is to say that the issue with the issue that people have with fatness is its relationship to Blackness and the way that the ways that they’ve been conjoined through colonialism, anti-Blackness and slavery right through the spreading spreading of Protestant Christianity. And I think that that’s a very. Complicated way of saying that our society is predicated on, it’s been built around making sure that that Black folks are are continually subjugated through the through the ways that our bodies are read right? Through our skin color, through the size of our bodies, through the shape of our bodies, etc. And this is no different. So when yeah, I think I would wrap it up by just saying that the issue that we have with fatness is Blackness, and that’s true, too, even in Black space. I think that, you know, a lot of times we like to think that because we’re all Black, that there is that there’s no no anti-Blackness here, right? But we live in a world where 500 plus plus years of of of of slavery are part of who we are, right? Like that’s that’s part of what, what, what makes us who we are and what we are and how we move in the world. So we’ve internalized so much about the things that have been ingrained in us through through the spread of of of slavery. And so. That is to say that anti-Blackness shows up in our spaces, too. There’s no way to divorce our spaces from anti-Blackness because anti-Blackness is a global structure. And so, yeah, I think that our issue with fatness is Blackness, and until we reckon with that, there is no there is no way of of of destroying that concept. And so to get to the first question, one of my favorite theorists is Joy James Dr. Joy James. She is, I think, brilliant. Actually, I don’t know she the doctor or not. So I shouldn’t call a doctor. But Joy James, she’s she’s absolutely brilliant. She’s a brilliant writer and scholar and thinker and organizer, and she— one of her projects is or her, her project is The Captive Maternal and in a talk that she did before she talks about the kind of maternal and in general like she, she answers in a way, this question around the destruction of the world, right, and what that means, what it means to to to organize around these things, to to destroy these concepts to to, you know, undo these structures and what she says that has just stuck with me is, “it’s an impossible task, but it’s one that we’re worthy of” and that sticks with me because I think that the idea of of destroying the world is such an impossible task, right, it’s an impossible task, but only insofar as the world has or only us so far as impossibility is, you know, only something that’s that’s legible to the human mind, and when talking about human ness, humanity in terms of, you know, like social…in terms of social sociological terms, right or like philosophical terms, that means white people, right? So it’s about what white people can and cannot understand… Why people make impractical or make practical, right? And so another one of my like really favorite theorists is the Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, who wrote Becoming Human. And she said in an interview before that, you know, in terms of building new worlds, she she is invested in and this is not her exact words, but she’s invested in doing the impractical right, continuing to live in the impractical. And so. What I get from these two quotes. Is that? These concepts become hard for us to conceptualize because they’re unintelligible and and because they’re unintelligible or because they are, you know, things that that that don’t make sense to white people, then they become labeled as impractical. But I think that there is that there is an impractical way of undoing the world of destroying the world, right? And and I think that that there is something that there is a place beyond this moment that we’re that we’re able to inhabit that makes for a safer environment for all of us. And I think that that will always be labeled as impractical, that will always be labeled as as impossible, that will always be labeled as as something that cannot be done. And I’m invested in that space. I’m invested in the impracticality of the destruction of the world. I’m invested in the impossibility of the destruction of the world, and I’m invested in it because I do see it as something that we’re worthy of, something that we that we deserve to take on. A task that we deserve as as Black folks, as subjugated beings to work towards. And so I think that, you know, that looks like the organizing. It looks like the writing that looks like, you know, the engaged in political education. It looks like all the things that we’ve continue to do, and I think it looks like more. But what that more looks like, I think, is is determined by by all of us together and and not by an individual. So, that is my long winded answer and in response to that I think that there is something important and an impractical and impossible about the destruction of the world, and it’s something that we must take on. [00:32:59][398.8]

Shana Pinnock: [00:33:01] So in your book, you also write about how anti fatness is more than just hurtful language, right? And it can have some serious harmful impacts. Sometimes it can even be fatal. And I know even in your essay, not all fat Black boys know how to eat. You write quote – “fat Black boys are filled by nutritionists, failed by a society that doesn’t see us as deserving of treatment and therapy.” You know, there’s even the idea of, I mean, climate change disasters can leave fat and disabled folks even more vulnerable to harm. Shout out to Imani Barbarin, who a fat Black disabled woman who she educated me. OK? Like Imani, I was able to interview Imani on IG Live, and she was phenomenal and so educational. And I think, you know this these works that you also have been putting through are in that same vein. I guess what are… What are some of the other consequences of anti-fatness that we may not even be aware of and, you know, because I think we as a culture, we practice Antifatness sometimes without even recognizing it, right? So what do you think are some of the other consequences of that that we need to be very mindful of to make sure that we’re not perpetuating? [00:34:17][76.7]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:34:19] Yeah. So I love that you brought up the “Not all fat Black Boys know How to Eat” a piece that I wrote because that one was a really important piece for me to write as as someone who was raised socialized as a fat boy who now is a non-binary trans person who uses they them pronouns, right? Like it’s a it’s a very different world. But also it was something that I felt was was important for me to write about, especially thinking through Kiese Laymon’s work through “Heavy, an American memoir” that he wrote on himself where he talks about his own eating disorder, right? And and how hard it is to be a fat Black boy and and be diagnosed with an eating disorder, right? Like no one. Because eating disorders are oftentimes associated with thin, fragile white girls, right? Black girls, Black boys. Black people oftentimes are completely disregarded for or are completely left out of the thought that we could have an eating disorder. And so I wanted to write about that because I think that that’s one of the biggest ways that that we sort of missed the mark, right where we we perpetuate anti fatness by not acknowledging that. Fat people also can have eating disorders one and that oftentimes these eating disorders are developed through the ways that we treat fat children right, by punishing them for their bodies, by antagonizing them for their bodies, by antagonizing them for for what is to be children and and and and eat or drink or play or whatever, right? And now we make their movement about punishing them where we make their their foods, about punishing them. We make their body something that’s bad, that’s harmful. That’s wrong. That’s disgusting, right? And then they develop these eating disorders that are not diagnosed as such because they’re Black and they’re fat. And so that was like, you know, an important piece for me. But then, yes, the other piece that that you mentioned that I wrote that I think will be essential in the years to come because it already has been essential in just these past few years, is that. When we’re experiencing major, you know, disasters and crises fat Black folks are oftentimes the ones who are left behind. The piece that essay that I wrote about was what centered around Katrina and what happened in Louisiana, where doctors quite literally euthanized fat Black patients as opposed to making sure that they were saved in the end. Right? And and folks who who were, you know, first responders name that had they known that there were patients that were left inside the building, they would have found a way to help. But doctors didn’t make that that a known fact, right? It was, “These are the fattest patients who also happen to be the Black patients, and we have zero interest in saving them,” right? Our only option in this moment is putting them down. And then that happened again in New York, just a few years back after I forget the name of the storm, but there was a storm that hit New York, and in that moment, doctors refused to save more fat Black patients. And it’s like— as we continue to live through crises where capitalism makes our resources scarce. Right. So so we have plenty of resources to be able to to save everyone, and we don’t have access to those resources because of capitalism for as long as that is the case, a lot of people will a lot of fat Black people will continue to be at, you know, the heart of the violence of of these moments, because triage calls for you to save the ones who you feel have the the the best way of of of surviving, right? And that oftentimes is not going to be the fat Black person and other people’s minds. And so, you know, I wrote that to think about what that looks like in the middle of the COVID 19 crisis, right? Like who gets to be put on ventilators or who doesn’t? Who gets access to being intubated and who does it right? Like when, when all else fails. And we know that throughout this, throughout this pandemic, there have been waves of like huge moments where hospitals were just completely overwhelmed, didn’t have access to to certain resources. It makes me wonder who actually died from COVID and who die from neglect, right? Like who died from COVID and who died because they were just too fat and Black for care. And I think that we’ll have more access to that in the years to come. But as we start to experience more of of a climate change in in the world, we’re going to experience more disaster crises. And as we experience more of those, I have to continue to ask who who gets to, who gets to live, who gets to die, because that’s the question that doctors are always asking. And the answer always ends up being fat Black people as the ones who die so. So that’s just like two glaring examples to me of things that that I think are things that we do without even really necessarily knowing that that it’s fat phobic or anti fat violence. But, you know, even we talked about earlier like things in terms of like our dating practices, things in terms of how we engage our families, things in terms of how we engage our friends, how we engage ourselves. There’s just so many, so many moments where we are actively, actively, you know, engaging anti fat logics without necessarily knowing that that’s true. [00:40:13][354.0]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:40:14] Da’Shaun, you’re giving us so much to sit with. I have to I’m trying to sit with it, with it, but we really have been enjoying this conversation and thank you so much for all of this. This is the last question for you, and I want to end on a positive note in a sentence or two. What is a world without Anti-fatness and anti-Blackness? What does it look like? What does that world look like to you? [00:40:37][23.6]

Da’Shaun L. Harrison: [00:40:38] I think it doesn’t look like a world at all. That’s my answer. [00:40:43][4.9]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:40:46] Hmm, may have they left it to think on this, it’s like a little prompt to think on and meditate. [00:40:52][5.7]

[00:40:52] I’m not saying anythingelse. It looks like no world at all.. [00:40:55][3.0]

Shana Pinnock: [00:40:57] They they they was like, Hold on now. They was like it. They say, Let me, let me. Let me sprinkle a little something for you. Let it sit. Let you sit with it. Oh my goodness. Well, Da’Shaun, thank you so very much. This has been an amazing conversation. I mean, I expected nothing less from my Morehouse sibling. And so Da’Shaun’s book is called “Belly of the Beast The Politics of Anti Fatness as anti-Blackness.” And you can find it wherever books are sold. If you can find it from a Black, you know, like some Black owned shops and get it to read some of Da’Shaun’s other work on the intersections of fatness, Blackness and disability. Visit their website at WW W dot Da’shaun Harrison dot com. That’s Da S H A U N. Harrison dot com. [00:41:47][49.9]

Shana Pinnock: [00:41:54] We want to remind our listeners to support your local Black businesses and donate to your local organizations and religious institutions. The business that we were highlight this week is Black Girl Sunscreen. Tired of white residue left behind by other SPF skincare products, Shanté Lundy decided to create Black Girl sunscreen in 2016. Lundy said her goal is to start a global conversation around Sun safety to educate and protect melanin worldwide. Black Girl Sunscreen is specially formulated for Melanie to the skin and doesn’t leave behind white residue and products go as high as SPF 45. You can find Black Girl sunscreen on the shelves in Target and Ulta, or visit their website Black Girl Sunscreen Dot Com to learn more and order yours. TheGrio has published a list of 50+ Black businesses to support during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like your business to be featured email us at Info at theGrio dot com that’s Grio dot com. [00:42:52][57.8]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:42:53] Thank you for listening to Dear Culture. If you like what hear, please give us a five star review and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your podcast and share it with everyone you know. [00:43:01][8.6]

Shana Pinnock: [00:43:02] and please email all questions, suggestions and compliments –We love those — to podcasts at theGrio dot com. The Dear Culture podcast is brought to you by theGrio. [00:43:02][0.0]