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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

AIDS is NOT a "Black Disease" and Those Promoting That Foolishness (CNN) have a VERY. SHORT. MEMORY!

Just because you are mad at your people doesn't mean you stand by and watch as someone, even one of our own, selfishly attempts to throw them over a cliff. We ALL don't deserve what CNN has been doing to us for two weeks and counting.

The fact that Black people are complicit in racism does not make it any less morally repugnant. So I was all fired up and ready to blast an angry letter to CNN when I read another one of their sensational headlines that they have been dropping to promote their propaganda called "Black in America", you know, the show where CNN, with the help of Soledad O'Brien, takes every negative stereotype you can find about Black people and applies it to the entire race and beams it to the world.

Last week CNN's headline writer declared that Black women were an endangered species. Then today I read a CNN headline that asked "Is AIDS an 'Black Disease?". Of course not you ninnies! Then I got to the meat of the article and the blame, for once, does not lie with the high schoolers responsible for the content of CNN.com, but from a Black AIDS activist:

"AIDS in America today is a black disease," says Phill Wilson, founder and CEO of the institute and himself HIV-positive for 20 years. "2006 CDC data tell us that about half of the just over 1 million Americans living with HIV or AIDS are black."CNN.com
I get his point, but I question his marketing methods and that's what he is doing, marketing his message. We live in a country where "separate is inherently unequal." So have these activists thought of the long term implications of labeling ANY disease as a "Black disease"? You can hear the sound of funding drying up as we speak. Drug research. POOF! Compassion- POOF!. Telethons-POOF! Let's get real.

Doesn't anybody remember how much time, energy and money were spent to shatter the myth that AIDs was the exclusive province of White gay men? We had songs, telethons and Oprah shows! Now we are intentionally trying to undo the lesson that no one is immune from this disease. Oh wait, somebody else remembers the 80s and 90s too:

This reminds me of the lies that were told about HIV/AIDS and are still being told. Remember the lie that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease, and that only gay people get it? WRONG!! Remember the lie that you could contract HIV/AIDS from kissing someone with the disease? WRONG!! Remember the lie that you could contract HIV/AIDS by shaking hands with someone who has the disease? WRONG!! Remember the lie that you could contract HIV/AIDS by using the same dishes and silverware that someone with the disease used? WRONG!! Ooh, and the biggest lie of all is told by the Catholic Church, particularly in Africa. They tell people that condoms are laced with AIDS. WRONG!! Condoms can help prevent diseases!! Now we're asking if AIDS is a Black disease? Are you kidding me?The bottom line is, ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN CONTRACT HIV. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, hispanic, asian, native american, or anything else. You can get the disease.

I'm really sick and tired of hearing that it's this group or that group's disease. It's a disease that anybody can get, PERIOD!!I Wish I Were in Paris

THANK YOU!! How Quickly people forget!

In addition, CNN, as the arbiter of all things Black has followed up with a report that says that Black people are genetically predisposed to developing HIV. They are saying genes increase the likelihood of developing an HIV infection by 40%.

Silence Kills. So raising awareness and public education are necessary, but I question the wisdom of labeling any disease in this country as a "Black disease". When was the last time somebody held a telethon for sickle cell anemia? Y'all let me know when the "high blood pressure" ribbon campaign begins.

I admire what they are attempting to accomplish, but labeling AIDS as a "Black disease" is WRONG and short-sighted. Your temporary headlines on CNN and a possible up tick in funding are nothing compared to the damage that will likely follow if people are able to write off AIDS as a problem for "that other group of people" I thought we already fought this battle. Anybody can contract this disease.

Furthermore, if you are going to label any disease as a "Black"disease, then you have a moral obligation to go beyond getting some temporary news clipping for your cause and providing us an explanation as to WHY.

My frustration with this series is the constant presentation of statistics with little or no time spent addressing how those numbers got so high (or in some cases, low). The question “How did we get to such a place?” should be towards the top of this post, not in the last paragraph. Answer those questions first then let’s engage in conversation about changing the course.Cherisa from CNN.com comments.

EXACTLY CHERISA! Is it because there is something inherent about our BLACKness that makes us susceptible? Or is it poor access to care, a lack of education, gender dynamics, misogyny, poverty, culture, music? Give me something other than this sensational headline to justify trying to turn back the clock 20 years.

The comments at CNN basically prove my point. The LAST thing Black folks need to do is to try to turn AIDS into "OUR" disease. Nobody owns a monopoly on AIDS. ASIA has suffered from its own AIDS epidemics.

Y'all know that if FOX NEWS ran this mess, we would be marching right now. I am so seriously sick of CNN right about now. I mean those ratings must really be worth it to them.

And to all of you who say "Well people need to know the TRUTH!" This ain't the truth.Stop using the fact that Black folks have problems to welcome slander and abuse from internal or external forces. Stop letting the fact that we aren't perfect excuse being brutalized by ourselves and others. Stop letting the fact that you are disgusted by the behavior of some Black people allow you to pardon someone engaging in behavior that has longterm negative consequences for all of us. Just because you are mad at your people doesn't mean you stand by and watch as someone, even one of our own, selfishly attempts to throw them over a cliff. We ALL don't deserve what CNN has been doing to us for two weeks and counting.

This latest example is one man's opinion and mainstream media, with CNN and the front of the pack has run with it. There has to be another way. I remember the 80s and 90s-it wasn't pretty and for the life of me I can't figure out why someone who claims to be an activist would intentionally engage in turning back the clock to the days when people really did think that if they didn't belong to a certain "group" they were immune from the disease. That just isn't true. No one is immune. No one is immune. No. One. Is. Immune.