As a publication focused on the tattoo community and art it is not often that we dip our toe into politics, especially the minutiae involved in an appointment within the Department of Health and Human Services. But what can we say, these are crazy times we are living in, and the appointee has some pretty fucked up thoughts about tattoos.
As a nation we are in the grips of a serious opioid addiction crisis, the last thing that we need is a government official (and medical doctor!) spouting off half-cocked theories about how tattoos lead to drug abuse. But that is exactly what Fleming did in his 2006 book Preventing Addiction: What Parents Must Know to Immunize Their Kids Against Drug and Alcohol Addiction:
It’s easy to dismiss people when they have beliefs like this, as any reasonable person knows that it’s ignorant to believe that tattooed folks are all idiots and drug users. But we can't simply look the other way when we are talking about a man responsible for making governmental health policy. This level of ignorance is not OK.