AIDS/HIV | News | Penny Brown | Roland Martin

Judge Penny Brown: Black Church Should Be at Forefront of HIV/AIDS

Pennybrown

On CNN's "Reclaiming the Dream" special, during a discussion of HIV/AIDS in the Black community, Judge Penny Brown is asked how to get people involved.

Said Brown:

"We need to remove the shame. And the self-worth issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. Because to say in the Black church, the foundation of our community, that somehow homosexuality, when all of our people who are musicians are homosexuals and even some of the pastors are homosexuals, that this is not an issue, that, we're just burying our head in the sand. The Black church should be at the forefront of this, just like we are with civil rights issues."

In another portion of the segment, Roland Martin said:

"From a public policy standpoint, for so many years, dollars have been going for white gay male organizations. We know there are virtually no new dollars. How do we from a public policy standpoint, shift the dollars now to the need where largely black women are the face of HIV/AIDS?"

Watch both, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. can i just say how much i revile this roland martin person? i say this as a queer man of african descent (not that i wouldn't say it otherwise, but you get the point...)

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Aug 3, 2009 11:32:53 AM


  2. I have no problem with Judge Penny Brown's statement, although I would much rather that the funds for HIV/AIDS go to secular organizations in the black community.

    However, I am highly offended at Roland Martin's statement of the necessity for these funds now that that "largely black women are the face of HIV/AIDS." Again, as in the mid-80's when over half of the reported HIV/AIDS cases were black and Latino men, this closet and supposed reformed fag seems to think that the health and lives of black gay men ain't worth shit.

    But we're good enough to help Sister so-and-so praise the Lord on Sunday morning. Please. Fuck you, Martin.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 3, 2009 11:34:27 AM


  3. Actually, this is a very interesting dialog that is long overdue and need not only take place in the African American community but in the GLBT communities which also have African Americans as their members. It's not an us versus them issue. HIV/AIDS is not going away, it is slowly creeping along and growing in numbers each day.

    Posted by: JKM | Aug 3, 2009 11:40:15 AM


  4. I think that the point Martin raises is a fair one or at least one that deserves to be discussed. It's unfortunate that you couldn't have cited a less offensive person to make this point, however. Roland Martin is a buffoon, not to mention a consistent apologist for every homophobe out there.

    Posted by: Patric | Aug 3, 2009 11:47:07 AM


  5. Roland Martin has a long history of homophobia, and tons of video evidence to back up the claim, but with this statement he was able to knock two of the groups he seems to hate most; gay men in general and gay, white men in particular.

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 3, 2009 11:47:53 AM


  6. @Zeke & Patric

    While there is some truth to that, it is also true that any sort of programs for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment must also be accompanied with frank discussions of human sexuality, including homosexuality. Many of the conservative churches in the black community (there are many exceptions to this) didn't want to have these discussions then and don't want to have these discussions now. But now that HIV/AIDS is disproportinately affecting black women, NOW they see the necessity of discussing this since it's a "straight problem" now.

    But many of these very same churches and even some black secular organizations didn't give a damn about the lives gay black men then and don't now. I lived through the AIDS crisis in the 80's and I witnessed first hand the callousness and un-Christian actions of many black churches toward black gay men during that period of time.

    It's disingenious of Roland Martin to put that all at the feet gay white men.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 3, 2009 12:02:55 PM


  7. I would ask him to name ONE white gay male organization? Because I have never heard of one. I have heard of gay organizations, but since when are any of them WHITE? What a fucking moron. I'm sorry that many black men hide on the "down low" and don't become visible members of the gay community, but to assume any organization that is gay, is white by default is asinine.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 3, 2009 12:59:48 PM


  8. That's an excellent point, Alex. I've never heard of a "gay white male" HIV/AIDS organization, either. I was assuming he meant something like Gay Men's Health Crisis, but glancing at their website it is EXTREMELY obvious that they are not all about white people.
    http://www.gmhc.org/

    Posted by: GregV@gay.com | Aug 3, 2009 1:29:57 PM


  9. @Chitown Kev - well said as usual.

    I watched some of this program last night and it was AWKWARD when Soledad O'Brien talked about straight black people distancing themselves from anything to do with homosexuality -- while Roland Martin was standing right next to her saying nothing. Dear God.

    Posted by: paul c | Aug 3, 2009 1:31:37 PM


  10. "I would ask him to name ONE white gay male organization?"

    Abercrombie & Fitch

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 3, 2009 1:32:36 PM


  11. @Crispy-LOL

    Couching it in terms of black and white doesn't exactly help.

    HIV/AIDS funding has been historically directed to the community most affected by the disease, that is the gay community. The gay community (which is predominately white) is where you need to go to receive the services, by and large.

    Many ethnic minorities choose to stay and live within their ethnic communities and live by the protocols of those communities for various reasons (the maintainence of kinship ties, racism in the LGBT community, etc.) I understand why some minority gays make that choice even though that was not the choice that I made.

    This also touches of income disparity, health insurance coverage, etc. and yes, homophobia within ethnic minority communities (although I suspect that the same type of social protocols would govern evangelical-based white communities as well).

    That's why I say, keep HIV/AIDS programs away from churches (whatever the primary ethnic makeup). It's a public health issue, not a religious issue. If someone wants to seek pastoral advice on HIV/AIDS or sexuality issues then go see your pastor on your on time and dime.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 3, 2009 1:51:35 PM


  12. I remember back in the 80's and 90's when there were AIDS organizations that targeted the African American community. Most died from lack of community support. The African American community gave them no support at all and even fought against them. It was the "white" AIDS groups like GMHC and APLA that stepped in and took over their services. People also forget that in places like Texas and Louisiana and Mississippi, the AIDS organizations are often state-wide and have no color barriers. They serve everyone. There are no "white" AIDS organizations. There are just AIDS organizations who are fighting constantly to save lives.

    But what really pisses me off are all those Johnny-come-latelys like Bono and Bobby Shriver and that ilk who act like the only people with AIDS are those in Africa. They completely ignore AIDS in America in all communities - gay, black, Latino, Asian, everyone. But they're the new AIDS saviors.

    Posted by: Hamp | Aug 3, 2009 1:54:53 PM


  13. LOL @ Crispy - point taken. My apologies.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 3, 2009 2:14:42 PM


  14. ALEX, in Philly and New York there are outreach organizations (Bebashi & POCC) for people with AIDS (and to stop people from getting AIDS) that are predominately black, and go back to the 1980s. Not as many as needed, but they survived.

    If someone doesn't care about saving his/her own life (for various reasons), then it makes the work of any HIV prevention organization much more difficult.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 3, 2009 2:49:26 PM


  15. If using the "face of Black women" will get anyone help in fighting HIV/AIDS I will lay down with the Devil himself to do it. I never want anyone to go through the night sweats like I do. Imagine trying to explain to a new BF that sleeping together just aint an option unless he doesn't mind getting wet.

    The Black church has to be engaged. It's a fact of life.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Aug 3, 2009 4:59:35 PM


  16. To Alex and GregV@Gay.com,

    The organizations we have now have DONE LITTLE to assist POC. So that is why they are intermed WHITE GAY ORGANIZATIONS.

    HRC, GLAAD,Have NO Blacks in major Positions and NONE on ther general boards. Rashad's Robinson's position GLAAD is bullshit at best.

    So when minorities are NOT included in the mix. How in the HELL cab they receive outreach and help in the minority community?

    Plain and Simple...THEY CAN'T!

    Posted by: Pinky Porkchops | Aug 4, 2009 12:53:56 AM


  17. Isn't he just factually wrong? Aren't black men still by far the hardest hit?

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Aug 4, 2009 1:48:46 AM


  18. I hear Judge Brown, and feel what she is trying to get across

    but this statement:when all of our people who are musicians are homosexuals,

    is also generalization and stereotyping as well. That's not true that all the church or black musicians are homosexual. She needs to work on her ideas of what a gay man or homosexual is as well

    Posted by: TylerAnthony | Aug 4, 2009 10:09:28 AM


  19. @Derek Washington

    I respect your position. I should clarify that I am not opposed, per se, to the black church being involved at some level, I am (for the time being, anyway) opposed to funding.

    @Pinky Porkchops- It's a 2-way street though. As Hamp pointed out, there were outreach attempts made to the black community at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 80's and many of those groups were rebuffed.

    The racial makeup of boards advocating LGBT rights in one thing. As far as HIV/AIDS specifically is concerned, though, as Derrick From Philly points out, you can't make others value their survival.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 4, 2009 10:09:29 AM


  20. May I say that ALL of you make excellent points and come across as well versed, educated individuals. With that said, may I charge all of you here with going out into the world and doing something to further keep this dialogue moving in he right directions? Please address your members of Clergy, your elected officials, even your peer groups. Just keep this dialogue moving and growing so that voices are heard and opinions are changed and old stereotypes are shattered.We can ALL do this. The time has come to stop expecting others to fight for us, for us to pick up the mantle and fight for our own lives.

    Posted by: Living it everyday | Sep 10, 2009 8:23:20 AM


Post a comment







Trending


« «Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett: Vanity Fair, Demerol, Ryan O'Neal« «