The left’s ongoing campaign against excellence may be running out of gas. In an effort to remain relevant in the culture wars, Time magazine has crossed the line into absurdity. Either that or they’ve decided to compete with The Babylon Bee.
The Time article “The White Supremacist Origins of Exercise, and 6 Other Surprising Facts about the History of U.S. Physical Fitness” asked, “How did U.S. exercise trends go from reinforcing white supremacy to celebrating Richard Simmons?”
Time interviewed, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, the author of the book “Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession,” due out in January 2023, for the article. Petrzela is also a professor at the New School in New York City. No surprise there.
In researching the book Petrzela said, “It was super interesting reading the reflections of fitness enthusiasts in the early 20th century. They said we should get rid of corsets, corsets are an assault on women’s form, and that women should be lifting weights and gaining strength. At first, you feel like this is so progressive.”
I’m glad Petrzela found her research “super interesting,” but she sounds more like a valley girl than an NYC professor. On second thought, maybe not.
“Then you keep reading, and they’re saying white women should start building up their strength because we need more white babies,” Petrzela told Time. “They’re writing during an incredible amount of immigration, soon after enslaved people have been emancipated. This is totally part of a white supremacy project.”
Petrzela went on to make this damning accusation: “During the New Deal, the Civilian Conservation Corps would recruit out-of-work or impoverished, scrawny men to go work in the forest and on public works projects. One of the ways that they marketed this was ‘it puts muscles on your bones.'”
Is Petrzela suggesting that giving impoverished men work is white supremacy in action? Those white supremacy guys must be pretty smart. Too smart for me. I don’t get it.
“That really picked up during the Cold War,” Petrzela continued. “Right after World War II, you start to have more concern about Americans getting soft, this idea that the things that made America great — like cars and TV sets — were actually taking a toll on Americans’ bodies. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy went on a mission to make exercise look wholesome and patriotic and focus on shifting the purpose of exercise to being a good citizen and defending your country.”
Those evil white supremacists. How dare they! Being wholesome and patriotic are obviously designed to undermine…what? Health? A positive attitude? The country?
Though she doesn’t come out and say it — she may not even know it — Petrzela is attacking human excellence. She is attempting to subvert the true, the good, and the beautiful with division, despair, and the ugliness of constant strife.
It’s a hard sell.
Twitter users blasted Time for publishing such a crazy piece, according to Fox News.
Ed Latimore, a former heavyweight boxer, tweeted, “First math was a tool of white supremacy. Now it’s exercise. Pretty soon, food is gonna be a tool to continue systemic racism oppression.”
First math was a tool of white supremacy.
Now it’s exercise.
Pretty soon, food is gonna be a tool to continue systemic racism oppression.
— Ed Latimore (@EdLatimore) December 29, 2022
British rapper Zuby tweeted, “Honestly, I want them to keep pumping articles like this out to eviscerate every remaining shred of their credibility and perceived legitimacy.”
Honestly, I want them to keep pumping articles like this out to eviscerate every remaining shred of their credibility and perceived legitimacy.
It doesn’t anger me at all. It’s so goofy I consider it satire.
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) December 28, 2022
Social media stars and YouTubers the Hodgetwins joked that the article was ridiculous enough to qualify as satire. “Paging .@TheBabylonBee, they are stealing your content.”
Paging .@TheBabylonBee, they are stealing your content 🤣
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) December 29, 2022
There weren’t many positive comments on the article. But there were a lot of mockeries.
Dr. Eli David, AI expert and DeepCube founder, mocked the notion, “If you exercise, you’re a white supremacist.”
If you exercise, you’re a white supremacist 🤡 pic.twitter.com/UDtiyrwXwX
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) December 28, 2022
I’m glad so many found the interview funny. I didn’t.
The left’s attack on excellence is an attack on the foundations of Western culture. The ancient Greek Homer used the term arete — excellence — to depict heroes such as Achilles who expended their full human potential on the playing field called life. It was a term of honor that celebrated an individual’s unique skills. Odysseus, Hercules, and the heroes of old.
Aristotle refined the Homeric version of arete by adding morals to excellence, which meant doing the right thing at the right time and for the right reason.
When leftists attack the things that make a person be the best they can be by calling them racist — things like math and now exercise — what are they seeking to replace them with? Mediocrity? Conformity? Poor health?
If this is what the left means by equity, I want nothing to do with it. We should be praising excellence, not undermining it.
The Time interview might be funny if Petrzela and the publisher weren’t being dead serious. Time isn’t The Babylon Bee. Keep that in mind.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.