March 22, 2008

Did US Government Plant AIDS Virus in Black Community?

Have you heard commentators on television acting as if it was outrageous for Rev. Jeremiah Wright to insinuate that the U.S. Government planted AIDS in the Black community?

Perhaps Joe Scarbourgh, Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan can take a moment to remember that the U.S. Government conducted an experiment on 399 Black men in the late stages of syphilis from 1932 thru 1972. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all.

The data for the Tuskegee Syphilis Study was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death.

Perhaps we can bridge the chasm that is race relations in our country if we are willing to look deeper than the Fox News sound bite? Some 'urban legends' are based in fact.


Truthiz said...

Well, as they say, ANYTHING'S possible?!

But I honestly don't believe the U.S. government "planted" HIV/AIDS in the Black community, particularly when one considers the fact that in the early days of the disease, the greatest sufferers were gay WHITE males and hemophiliacs....and I believe that trend continued for several years BEFORE it finally began to show up in real numbers in the Black community.

Have Blacks been subjected to all kinds of LIFE-threatening injustices courtesy of the U.S. government, going back to slavery, that's resulted in devastating effects on our physical, mental and emotional well-being?


However, the government was not found to have injected those Blacks, involved in the Tuskegee “experiment", with the syphilis virus. Proper treatment of the disease was deliberately withheld from those poor victims.

Now_if you were to ask me_

Did the U.S. government deliberately withhold proper treatment from Blacks who were infected in the early days with HIV/AIDS virus?

My answer would be_ it would NOT surprise me if THAT were true!

Villager said...

Truthiz - I appreciate your comments and insights. I guess my main point was that if there are elements of the Black community that *do* believe that our government had a hand in the growth of AIDS in our community ... there might be a historical reason for the belief. Sometimes, people in the white community think that we make this stuff up...

msladydeborah said...


There is a movie titled, "And The Band Played On" that was produced in 1993. It is about the origins of the Aids Epidemic.

The movie is based on a book by the late Randy Shilts. I looked up some information that is worth sharing on this particular subject.

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic is a best-selling work of nonfiction written by San Francisco Chronicle journalist Randy Shilts published in 1987. It chronicles the discovery and spread of HIV and AIDS with a special emphasis on government indifference and political infighting to what was initially perceived as a gay disease, that has impacted the United States and the world for decades after. The book is an extensive work of investigative journalism, written in the form of an extended time line, the events that shaped the epidemic presented as sequential matter-of-fact summaries. Shilts describes the impact and the politics involved in battling the disease on particular individuals in the gay, medical, and political communities. It begins in the late 1970s in Africa, with the then first confirmed case of AIDS, that of Grethe Rask, a Danish doctor, and it ends with the announcement by Rock Hudson in 1985 that he was dying of AIDS, when international attention on AIDS exploded.

So Pastor Wright is not just talking off the top of his head on this subject. Shilts was a comptent and respected professional. He also had AIDS.

However his research lead him to the Africa/America/AIDS connection.

So is Pastor Wright off base?

Villager said...

Lady D - Thank you very much for sharing the research on the origin of the AIDS virus here in America. I do recall watching that movie and feeling very sad at the end of it about the missed opportunity...

The Urban Scientist said...

I don't believe the gov't planted the virus. But there was an amazing stall to take this disease seriously when it was first discovered in the 80's. Why? Because it was some 'strange cancer' that only seem to infect young gay white men. Who cares about gay people?

Anyway, the whole reaction to JW on the news channels was mind blowing. White people and even extra bourgeiouse black were appauled -- "Well, I never!" were the repeated sentiments.
hmnf. Well most black people have --heard those types of sermans before. At least the ones I know. I wasn't shocked (could be all of that Farrakhan and Public Enemy I listened to in the 80s?). But it really had them all upset.

I'm all about pluralism but come one. Get over yourselves (self righteous nationalist patriots).

Villager said...

Urban Scientist - Your points are well taken. Have you had a chance to listen to the full sermons re: '9/11' or 'God D--- America'? I think that folks would be amazed when they listen to those sermons in their entirety...