The Kings of the four seasons by Marcella Muhammad
Our Newest Scarlet Letter
25th August 2006 ABC’s Primetime aired a program on HIV/AIDS within the Black Community. The program was extremely disturbing and horrifically factual. As 15% of the American population, 50% of the new reported cases of HIV/AIDS come from the Black Community. “HIV/AIDS has emerged as a prominent area of concern for the African American community. The Secretariat for African Catholics (SAAC) is the convener of the African American HIV/AIDS Task Force which consists of representatives of national African American Catholic organizations. The SAAC also manages the African American HIV/AIDS Network which is a network of individuals who work in HIV/AIDS ministry in the African American community. In addition, the SAAC networks and collaborates with other Catholic organizations that address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
I am very good at walking up to a smelly, rottenest horse with flies flying around it and I begin to beat it repetitively expecting it to get up and stop decaying. I have written on this subject on many occasions regarding the imaging of Black men in this world. My rants on the subject of the images of me in my own community is not of me as I am not a Low down, Black man who beats, rapes and right out destroy our ladies nor am I a bare backing, down low HIV/AIDS spreading animals, that in the end our women would be better off without us. Also in beating that poor dead horse I have produced a Video on the subject of how the present day WMD’s are not coming from Iraq or some unknown terrorist but from the greed and power hungry that is allowing hunger and HIV/AIDS to kill more people than any war.
My concern with this program that ABC did on HIV/AIDS in the Black community is the stitching of the new scarlet letter on the community as a whole and on me specifically as I am a Proud Black Man. Black men once again were labeled as the scourge of society. Listing five concerns causing the pandemic within our community, Terry Moran, the reporter of the story, reported the first is ignorance, based on our high profile personalities addressing the problem in Africa but not here at home. Next was government failure, based on the fact that we are the higher populations in prisons. Then sexual behavior, as we are more promiscuous to the tune of being twice as much promiscuous as whites. As if this last statement is not a slave mentality stereotype as we are strapping bucks looking only to use our tools then the fourth concern is the deceptive, deceitful, and detached down low brother places the burden on the shoulders of the Black Man. Finally the Black leadership as neither the church nor our supposed leader has spoken out about or against this pandemic. This report, as I watched it, was truthful and honest and yet I felt ashamed as I saw a community that should be isolated.
No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Chapter XX "The Minister in a Maze"
“The white man is supposed to be my enemy when it’s my own kind killing me.” 2Pac never wrote any truer words. Still I don’t like having a scarlet letter plastered on my face and projected out across the world. It’s not going to be easy to erase this letter but we must or we will become extinct. That may sound foolish to say we will become extinct but I just ask you to find a native of this land anywhere close to you today. I challenge you to realize that weapons of mass destruction are acting upon us and us willingly allowing them to work on us as those who willingly drank the Kool-Aid at Jonestown.
Black men need to clean up their act and be men of substance and pride. Black ladies need to keep their legs closed and not allow just any man in because good men are hard to find. They are hard to find because you don’t give them need to be good men. Seed donors need to be fathers and we all need to speak out to an adult or young adult who is performing in an sub sufficient manor. I am always told we need to teach the youths, but if the adults and young adults behave improperly then we contradict anything we teach the children. We don’t need leadership for we all are leaders to some degree within our homes, neighborhood, jobs, churches or clubs. Be the example and others will follow.
She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers - stern and wild ones - and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Chapter XVIII "A Flood of Sunshine"
“Challenging A popular culture the too often celebrates misogamy ill responsibility and anti gay bigotry. And ignorance is no longer an excuse.” These were the last word and final stitch of our scarlet letter from the program. This is how we are viewed.
AIDS in the African American Community
More Unsettling Statistics
Reported HIV Infections by Race, 20011
Reported HIV Infections by Gender and Race 20011
Source: Center for Disease Control