No, Don Jr., No One Said Exercise is Racist

The Little MAGA Prince is lying again — because stoking white resentment is the family brand now

Tim Wise
6 min readJan 7


Donald Trump Jr., photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr, ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Donald Trump Jr., much like the man whose morally compromised seed produced him, is a liar, a con man — utterly and irredeemably full of shit.

Although this much is obvious and hardly worth noting, there is something about saying it which never fails to satisfy.

But my reasons for expressing this banal truism are unrelated to either personal catharsis or amusement. Instead, I do so because exposing his latest turn at dishonesty serves two valuable functions.

First, it reveals how the right seeks to stoke the fires of white racial resentment for political gain. And second, it demonstrates a more profound truth about racism in American history — one which the right actively seeks to cover up in our nation’s schools.

In a recent rant on his Rumble channel — a right-wing YouTube alternative for people who can’t manage to find all the easily-accessible right-wing content on YouTube — he accused the left of finding a new target in our never-ending woke crusades.

And what is that target?

According to Junior, it’s exercise.

Because apparently, we think exercise and promoting physical fitness are racist.

And where did he come up with such a bombshell revelation?

Apparently, from an interview in TIME magazine, which he likely didn’t read but about which someone told him. Someone who also didn’t read it but heard about it from someone else.

Probably on Reddit or 4Chan.

Because much like the telephone game you might have played in your youth, by the time the story reached Saint Donnie of the Hair Gel, it bore no resemblance to the truth.

The interview was with author and scholar Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, whose new book Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession, is being released this month.

Therein, Petrzela constructs a history of the physical fitness movement from its origins in the early 20th century. She discusses how people have thought about…



Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)