News this week
February is Black History Month. Many of us probably didn’t know that February 7th is also National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. I found an article on the Human Rights Campaign website (hrcbackstory.org/2010/02/the-work-continues-on-black-hivaids-awareness-day/ ) reminding us all about the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment…especially for one of the most profoundly affected communities- the African American community.
The quote “In Washington D.C., everyday is National Black HIV Awareness Day” really struck a cord with me. Prevention, treatment and public awareness and education goes beyond just one day… the article reminded us that it was a rededication to the movement. The article went on to say that the number of people tested, and the number of people receiving free HIV medication has doubled.
My second news article also comes from the HRC website. (www.hrcbackstory.org/2010/02/sen-gillibrand-and-rep-baldwin-suggest-action-on-lgbt-refugees/ ) This article concentrates on state representative and senators reaching out to the State Department to address issues concerning foreign LGBT individuals. Specifically, the article cites the violence and persecution of Iraq and Iran LGBT individuals who are forced to flee their homes. One prospective move towards progress cited by the article is the increased promotion of LGBT human rights by the U.N.
The third news article I focused on was found on a website dedicated to the LGBT community of West Virginia. http://www.wvasqueernews.com/headlines.html
the article discussed the recent news that Prop 8 trial judge, Vaughn Walker, is gay… and how the National Organization of Marriage is having a conniption. (figures). they described the judge as ‘biased and incompetent’. the article then makes its point by saying that any judge, gay or straight, could be considered biased in a judgement about marriage due to sexual orientation. Although this article is not specifically focused on race, i thought it was interesting first, because the website is from a West Virginian LGBT community… an area that may not necessarily be associated with LGBT and secondly because Prop 8 has seen its own race issues specifically the claims that the African American community is CA was to “blame”. I think it is important to keep track of the changes/progressions and criticisms of Prop 8 in order to gain a greater understanding.
Now for the reflection.
I chose these three news stories because they all contribute to lgbt and race understanding and the relationship between the two. Also, these three stories are incredibly relevant to the times today. Although HIV/AIDS awareness does not seem as public as other world news, it is still an immensely important issue. It shows that this disease still affects huge numbers of people, especially in the African American community and LGBT community. the presence of a National Black HIV/AIDS awareness day is evidence of the need to reach out to a specific ethnic group. the focused attention highlights areas of concern and great need. it allows us to concentrate and work toward a specific goal. It shows insight into queer/race living by focusing on health issues that affects a great number of African American and queer people. i think this website showcases a particular understanding of knowledge surrounding the need to spread awareness and prevention technologies.
the HRC is criticized heavily for its lack of ethnic representation, but i think this article is a step in a more cohesive understanding. the fact that its a national ‘day’ could be seen as a double edge sword. although specific days like such work to highlight an issue and rededicate members towards a common goal, it could als0 be seen as a mockery.. that the fight against AIDS stretches generations and decades and calls for more than a days attention. although the services span time, the recognition is a mere flicker, which could also contribute to criticisms against the HRC, that more ‘white news’ makes daily headlines on a more constant rate. what do other people think about the HRC’s coverage of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?
I chose the story abut Iraq and Iran LGBT refugees because of our countries on going tension with the Middle East. I think it is important to acknowledge and works towards LGBT human rights all over the world. Recently, LGBT world news has focused on Uganda… this article shows that much needs to be done world wide for the larger LGBT community. It shows how the U.S is on its way to being more progressive, although the journey is no where near to being over… in some countries it’s incredibly worse.
The difference in queer/race living world wide shows the widespread attitudes and the importance of keeping up the movement and working towards a more transnational agenda. it shows that our understanding does go beyond our boundaries, and acknowledges the need to recognize problems and work towards resolutions.
lastly, the short article on Prop 8 trial judge displays an important side of understanding. i believe it showcases how the National Organization of Marriage is quick to combat a gay judge’s involvement in such an important case without realizing that calling his judgement bias is only a half thought out statement. if sexual orientation deems someone bias then won’t a straight judge contain a certain degree of biasness? it shows how the national organization of marriage understands queer living…. they don’t understand at all.
all of these sources are pro-LGBT, and therefore reflect a more positive and progressive form of knowledge, but how do you all feel like they reflect knowledge pertaining towards race relationships?