President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) spoke about the obesity of the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino (PSB), at a public event this Wednesday (15), and was the target of criticism from opponents on social networks.
Lula classified obesity as a disease that causes as much harm as hunger, requiring State care for this problem, and said that Dino would now be exercising, riding a bicycle, for being overweight.
“Nobody here is too thin, except for our poet. The rest are all a bit obese, which is also a disease that we need to take care of. Our doctor who is Minister of Health knows perfectly well that obesity it causes as much harm as hunger. And that’s why Flávio Dino is riding a bicycle, because he knows that this will require the State to take care of this evil with great affection”, said the president.
The statement was given at the launch ceremony of Pronasci (National Program for Public Security with Citizenship), linked to the ministry that Dino heads.
In a speech, Lula stated that society “is not just in need of more police”. He added that it is necessary for the State to act to guarantee minimum conditions of dignity for people, so that there is no incentive to start criminal activities.
Earlier, the minister himself had joked about the social bias of the new project.
“A construction worker who has a stolen bicycle is not the same thing as a person who uses the bicycle once a year to do physical activity. I am talking about myself, as you can see”, said Dino, which followed of laughter from the audience.
The president’s speech drew criticism from opposition members on social media. Federal deputy Kim Kataguiri (União Brasil-SP), wrote: “Hello, boring people who think obesity is beautiful: Lula said the obvious here. Are you going to call him a gordophobic too? Or are you going to stop glamorizing a disease?”
Federal deputy Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG) published a tweet saying there were double standards involving the president. “Lula says that trans bathrooms are Satan’s invention and that obesity is a disease and he jokes about it. It doesn’t matter what he says, but who says it. Just for the record.”
The MBL (Movimento Brasil Livre) page also reacted, reposting the video and asking “And now? Will it be canceled or can it?”.
The episode took place two days after another statement by Lula that led to criticism, this time linking slavery with Brazilian miscegenation.
“They decided to tell the story that the Indians were lazy and, therefore, it was necessary to bring black people from Africa to produce in this country. The mixture between indigenous people, blacks and Europeans allowed these beautiful people to be born here”, said the PT candidate while visiting the Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land, in Roraima.
The speech was also the target of attacks by opponents of the president. Senator Luis Carlos Heinze (PP-RS) said there was silence from the black movements after the speech.
“The President of the Republic, who went up the ramp with the golden speech of the minority, declares that slavery ’caused a good thing, which was the mixture, the miscegenation’. Where are the black movements to explain the size of the racism practiced by Lula? Absolute silence,” wrote the senator on social media.
Already the former mayor of Manaus Arthur Virgílio (PSDB) criticized the representative stating that nothing justifies the servitude process established in Brazil for centuries.
“So, you think that the ‘laziness of the Indians’ led to the slavery of blacks, Africans, and that this was good, because it provoked miscegenation? President, nothing justifies slavery. The dictatorship, which you did not fight, subjected the Brazilians to a specific type of slavery”, wrote the toucan.