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A FAT Surgeon General??? OMG for SHAME! Sort by:
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AmuseMe
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Posted on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 09:40

Are there jobs where your weight should matter? Obviously if you can't squeeze down the aisles, you might not make a great flight attendant, but what if you're in reasonably good health and capable of doing the job? President Obama has nominated Regina Benjamin for Surgeon General, but instead of people being totally psyched about her MacArthur genius award, her impressive charitable works, or her down-to-earth working-class background, everybody is trying to guess her BMI. Some people think a country plagued with obesity should not have an obese person representing our nation's health care. Still, we don't remember anyone throwing this argument at all those husky surgeon generals who happened to be male. If C. Everett Koop could be in charge of the nation's health-care system while doing an amazing impression of a Civil War surgeon, should we really care about Benjamin's few extra pounds? From OppeosingViews: Earlier this week, President Barack Obama nominated Alabama physician Regina Benjamin as the next Surgeon General. In that capacity, Dr. Benjamin will oversee the 6,000 member public health corps and function as America's chief health nanny, ah, health educator. Past Surgeons General included the luxuriantly-bearded Dr. C. Everett Koop who campaigned relentlessly against smoking and Dr. Jocelyn Elders who, in response to a question, suggested that teaching masturbation might be a way to prevent young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity. Despite Dr. Benjamin's distinguished record as a physician, some blogospherean health nannies are objecting to her appointment on the grounds that she is fat. In a nice column on this "controversy," University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan quotes a couple of self-appointed anti-fat crusaders: ?I refuse to let fat be socially acceptable ? The President should have known better and picked a doctor who could kick start the debate on fat not perpetuate it,? commented one reader on a national news site. Another has some mighty specific requirements for the post: ?Rather than select a fat Black woman Obama should have chose a Black woman with a body mass index of 25 or less.? Caplan goes on to ask: And who said the surgeon general or doctors in general or anyone working in health care must be paragons of health and risk avoidance? A better question is why does anyone have to be a paragon of health and risk avoidance, but we'll leave that one for now. Caplan does suggest that Dr. Benjamin might serve as an example for us all (especially those of us with BMI's over 25): But people need to relate to the surgeon general, and if she can battle her weight on the job, she will do more to curb obesity then all the salads added to the menus of burger joints everywhere. This is very unlikely. If Oprah Winfrey's gigantic audience is unaffected by the daytime star's very public efforts to keep her weight down, I doubt that whatever the new Surgeon General does or does not do about her avoirdupois will have much effect. Ultimately, the right question is the one my colleauge Jacob Sullum asked in his splendid article "The War On Fat" -- Is the size of your butt the government's business? The answer is, no. Here's hoping that the new Surgeon General thinks so too. This content is inappropriate Please select the category that most closely reflects your concern about this content, so that we can review it and determine whether it violates Civility 101 or isn't appropriate for some other reason. Abusing this feature is also a violation of Civility 101. Comment: A true servant of the peopleI have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Benjamin for many years, and have personally witnessed her dedication to provide the best quality medical services to many who lack the resources to pay for those services. She has worked tirelessly to give of herself, and has "walked the walk", instead of "talking the talk", so to speak, when it comes to serving her fellow man. Her weight has nothing to do with her skills, qualifications, and sheer "heart" to perform the job as the next Surgeon General of the United States. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this position. She will perform her duties with grace, love, and professionalism. I truly wish her the best and offer my congratulations. - Orange Blossom July 17, 2009 9:56AM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do an Internet search on her. Pages and pages of expamles of her genius, good will and compassion/heart. Fat doesn't make people ugly, physically or otherwise... and this is a classic example of how miserable, nasty people love trying to make happy, successful people hurt.


In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel. –Theodore Dreiser

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Qadesh
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total posts: 95
Posted on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 21:55

I read an article about her on Black Planet. Even there amongst "peers" there were comments on her size. So kudos to Obama for her nomination solely on her many qualifications. Her ability to continue in the face of adversity in her own state, and pulling together money for her own clinic that was lost in the flooding of New Orleans. This is a take charge woman, who is accomplished, intelligent, and do I care if baby's got back...no I do not. See I told you were needed here. Qadesh


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