Two sets of really obnoxious neighbors have garnered a lot of noise complaints recently at my apartment complex.
The other day I couldn’t help but overhear their extremely loud, profanity laced threats against the landlord and his wife due to the frequent requests by the landlord for the tenants to quiet themselves down. I wasn’t quite fast enough to get all the threats on tape, but I got the tail end of it, and shared with the landlord, along with some other recordings of the noise disturbance. The landlord decided to report the threats to the police – I can’t say that I blame them. The police interviewed me as I had overheard and taped the disturbance.
Unfortunately, the neighbors saw me speaking with the police. When the police left, I recorded a profanity laced tirade against me. They stopped short of threatening me, but not by much. At one point one of the men are on his way over to my apartment to confront me – his girlfriend stops him.
Truth is, I hear something unkind about my size at least once a month. Comments or musings about how I could get so fat, what my size shows about my character and even occasionally comments not much better than the recording. Fat, ugly, disgusting, gross are all adjectives I hear regularly.
At this point we have laws that prohibits discrimination based on color, race, religious faith, gender identity and other issues, and I think that is great. It is however, still legal to discriminate against overweight or obese people. Not a single one of us doubts that using the “N” word is absolutely unequivocally WRONG. Referring to obese people as fat, ugly, disgusting or gross is however still ok.
Overweight people are definitely discriminated against in the work place, and have higher incidents of joblessness or difficulties getting promoted.
I have heard that some people think they do not want to support my walk because they would rather invest their support into something “real” like cancer. And frankly, I shake my head. Reality is that obesity kills more people than cancer. Life style is just one factor impacting obesity. There are many factors impacting obesity. Obesity is not “self inflicted”.
Please consider standing with me to say that discrimination is NOT OK, for any reason or against anyone. The above tirade is not that unusual, although this one example is especially ugly.