I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to hear it in my lifetime. A Black man of note, with a national reputation for activism, calling for action in the fight against AIDS.
Julian Bond, currently chairman of the NAACP is calling on the Black Community to wake up to fight this thing that is literally killing our people. His column is in the Washington Post today.
He stated what a lot of us have known for years, that AIDS is not a gay white disease. In America it is killing Blacks, primarily Black women. Women who are drug users or who sleep with drug users and share needles. Women who are straight and sleep with men who sleep with other men.
60% of new AIDS cases in this country are straight Black women. And while people are living longer, contracting the virus is still a death sentence.
Bond also called on Black Clergy to step past the rampant and vicious homophobia that is being preached in many black churches. A stance that has long hindered our community driving away some of our brightest people.
One can only wonder what woke him up and what it will take to wake up all of the others...Black Congressional Caucus, Urban League, Council of Black Churches, Black Ministers, Movie Stars, Hip Hop Stars, Sports Celebrities to name a few.
White stars have found their latest cause, of saving African children. Where are the Black celebrities willing to step forward to save our own in this country.
I wonder if someone in Bond’s family has contracted the disease. I know from experience how hard it is to watch a relative die from this disease. I’ve lost eleven friends, one uncle, and one cousin...all of them Black.
That is usually what it takes to bring understanding and an end to intolerance.