Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Joycelyn Elders. Elders was the second woman and the first African American US Surgeon General. Elders was probably the most honest and practical Surgeon General to date. Unfortunately, she became a lightning rod for criticism, when she said it was okay to masturbate. (I’m sure not one person in the GOP have ever masturbated–we know Christine O’Donnell never has.) Elders also said we need to open up conversations regarding the legalization of drugs and distribute contraception in schools to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
President Clinton, again capitulated to the GOP and dismissed Elders after only 15 months in her position as Surgeon General. When asked if she would do things differently now, Elders responded:
“If I had to do it all over again today, I would do it the same way,” she told CNN in a recent interview. “I felt I did it right the first time.”
Imagine how much progress could have been made under her helm? How many STDs could have been prevented, thus a significantly less draw on the health system. Imagine the tax revenue from the legalization of marijuana? I applaud Elders for her insight, wisdom, and the courage to speak the truth.