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Blacks and AIDS

As the epidemiological data shows, AIDS is primarily a disease afflicting blacks and homosexuals:

More than 4 percent of blacks in the city are known to have HIV, along with almost 2 percent of Latinos and 1.4 percent of whites. More than three-quarters -- 76 percent -- of the HIV infected are black, 70 percent are men and 70 percent are age 40 and older.

Heterosexual sex was the principal mode of transmission for blacks with the disease, 33 percent. Men having sex with men was the chief mode of transmission for white residents, 78 percent; and Latinos, 49 percent. Black women represent more than a quarter of HIV cases in the District, and most, about 58 percent, were infected through heterosexual sex. About a quarter of black women were infected through drug use.

Why so many blacks and homosexuals find it so hard to wear condoms is beyond me.  The reality is that AIDS impacts blacks and homosexuals.  AIDS hits the black homosexual community especially hard.  Andrew Sullivan, unbelievably, blames the Right for this:

HIV is not the catastrophic disease it once was - it's now more like diabetes - and so we shouldn't jump to the kind of apocalyptic gloom we inherited from the earlier years of the epidemic. But what we have to do is treat it like diabetes or any other serious disease - by removing and tackling the stigmas that prevent people from being aware of their HIV status, by addressing the core problem of homophobia in the African-American community, and by preventing rapid transmission in the prison system.

Of course, much of the last administration's HIV policies were designed never to attack this core problem, because the Christianist right cannot deal with homosexuality in anything but an ideological or theological way. That's why the Bush administration focused more on Africa than the city they lived in. And that's why black men in DC are more affected by HIV now than black men in Rwanda.

Can you imagine what would have happened if anyone in the Bush Administration had dared to address "the core problem of homophobia in the African-American community"?  When I pointed out that blacks voted overwhelming in favor of Proposition 8 - California's ban on gay marriage - I was called a racist.  Repeatedly.  My statement was a factual one.  Somehow, though, it was a fact that only a racist would notice.

So imagine actually accusing blacks of being homophobic.  And noting that this homophobia causes blacks to be gay on the "down low," and thus not openly discuss issues like AIDS.  Could you imagine the protests? 

Blacks are the protected minority.  They are the Made Men of minority groups. 

Thus, while blacks and Mormons supported Prop 8 in about the same proportions, there were protests at Mormon churches.  People wanted to burn the Mormon Temple.  Anyone who pointed out that blacks, as a group, voted the same way as Mormons were outcast and labeled as racists.

Could Andrew Sullivan or anyone else explain how it's the Right's fault that we can't have an honest discussion of homophobia in the black community?  Would people like Rush Limbaugh or Thomas Sowell be the ones screaming, "Racist!" if that discussion were raised?  I think not. 

Political Correctness, as is often the case, kills.  It's killing blacks.  Until people can openly discuss black homophobia, blacks will remain in the closet more than any other ethnic group.  They'll continue to remain ignorant of AIDS prevention and treatment. 

Attorney General Eric Holder said we should have an open and honest discussion of race.  So let's get to it.  General Holder: Why are blacks more homophobic than any other ethnic group; and what do you plan to do about this?

Let's not pretend that we can even have this discussion.  Let's just pretend that I didn't even write this post. 

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