Friday, February 16, 2007

News from the fringe and more...part 2

The drum beat of news from the fringe keeps getting louder with each passing day. My e-mail box is teeming with tidbits of the odd, obsurd and those who haven't learned the lessons of others who have: "opened mouth and inserted foot." If only I could get paid for making this stuff up. Therefore, let the games begin and chips fall where they may....

B-Ball Rant! Well, the apology pile has yet another victim. This time featuring NBA's Tim Hardaway who has spewed his "hate" for gay people on a Miami radio show. Mr. H who went on record as stating that he" didnt' want to be around gay people...I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States." Meanwhile a day later Mr. H, recanted and atoned in a statement from his peeps, "As an African American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause...I am committed to examining my feelings and will reconize, appreciate and respect the difference among people in our society.." In our opinion, Mr. H. was only stating, what he really feels and actually believes, whether in the locker room or not. Thusly his apology rings hollow and contrived in light of his bannishment from the All- Star activites or the picketing outside his business. Mr. H. needs to check his self before he completely fouls out. This attitude is prevelant in the African American community and acknowledges that there is still much work to be done to address homophobia during Black History Month now and in the future.

Racism & HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) new cases of AIDS/HIV are disproportionately affecting the African American community, especially Black women across the south. Therefore government sanctioned programs were devised to directly address this dilemma head on. Enter, JCCSI's, Many Voices- Many Men, funded by the CDC which offers empowering and prevention messages to MSM ( men having sex with men) in the black community targeting individuals who are HIV negative or in a status unknown mode. Considering the ebb and flow of AIDS funding, this area is lucky to have such a program serving central Arkansas. The program outreach efforts have been well received at certain bars until recently being deemed "racist," allegedly by Backstreet personnel (most notably by the Black doorman) and not allowed to distribute it's materials which included condoms. Yet, on the flip side, a similar program, AAF's Positive + Outlook Leaders, which targeted only "White MSM " seemed to come and apparently go without being labled anything other than a HIV prevention platform. We can't confirm if this program distinctly used "bar outreach," but it did openly advertise. Sounds like someone needs to use some of the funds in the coffers to attend some national conferences or check out our links so they can get a clue. The whole situation makes you go, "Hmmm?"

Q & A. Those who read this blog sometimes leave comments, text messages or face me down personally about issues I've raised or the opinions I share. I've decided to begin addressing some of these as they arise. One such reader wanted to take me task for our post "the United States of Understanding", and related post "Canned Liquor" in regards to the cancellation of Shirley Q. Liquor show across the country and our affiliation with a publication that promoted the show.

The then publishers and I had a robust discussion about the magazines promotion of that show and it's impact. Unfortunately, they took the position that it was a business decision and hadn't thouroughly considered it's implications until I raised the issue. In our conversation, I attempted to find a win-win situation, despite the adverstising that had already been agreed upon with the venue and obvious audience support. I didn't demand an apology, but hoped that opening a dialouge, contributing content and further raising some consciousness would be a great beginning to build upon. As of this post, and to our knowledge the venture has ceased publication. Part two of the readers observations analyzing the entire SQL conundrum were very thought provoking and will be an upcoming full length feature.

Yeah, I said it: " I don't know any Black people with HIV/AIDS or any who have died from it.
from Jerry, Backstreet doorman

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