Last week, Bob Grisham, an Alabama high school football coach, received a suspension from his job because some off the cuff comments that he made were taped and then released to the public. Grisham was upset because the lunch food that was previously available had been replaced with high fiber, low calorie meals. So, he made some comments about ‘fat butt Michelle Obama.’ After Grisham’s plight became public, people good naturedly began to poke fun at her enormous backside. Since one of their defining characteristics is a lack of a sense of humor, liberals became uniformly indignant at this weighty attack upon the First Lady.
However, I was surprised to read an op-ed in the Washington Post by Michelle Bernard. Bernard, in a lengthy piece, makes the case that Michelle Obama has a big butt because African-American women naturally have big butts. She cites a book by an archeologist at Howard University, Frank Snowden, Jr., who made the case that throughout history, the men who wanted sex with black women liked big butts (much like the rappers of today), so the trait evolved to the present day. This would all be interesting but for one thing.
A couple of decades ago, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray wrote a book, The Bell Curve. The basic premise of the book is that intelligence is influenced by both genetics and environmental factors. The authors spend much of the book discussing racial differences in intelligence. Basically, they contended that these influences lead people to develop attributes that are essential to for their genes to propagate. In shorthand, their hypothesis became known as the ‘big (male body part), small brain’ theory. The book was widely criticized in academia and among liberals.
Now, if people can be criticized for saying one trait tends to make one group of people less intelligent than others, why is it permissible to say the same thing about women with big butts?