NPR logo On Fire: Older vs. Younger Generations and Civil Rights

From Farai

On Fire: Older vs. Younger Generations and Civil Rights

Farai Chideya

You remember those word splashes on the old "Batman" series—"Pow!" in a big burst across the action? Well, today's discussion on generational issues and Civil Rights had "zip, pow, bang" written all across it.

The question: are older and younger generations collaborators or competitors when it comes to Civil Rights? Are today's struggles even fought over "Civil Rights" or are there other issues?

Activist, author and Congressional candidate Kevin Powell, of Brooklyn, NY, said the issue wasn't "Civil Rights" but black empowerment, which he defined as owning land, homes, businesses, and securing our future.

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said he didn't disagree with Kevin, but he did want to make sure that traditional issues weren't ignored.

And then came the hot part.

When I asked Chairman Bond if he felt the older generation should pass the baton to younger folks, or if younger folks should have to snatch it. "Snatch it," he said.

Then Kevin Powell accused the older generation of putting up a "glass ceiling" to block younger leaders.

So: do you think the older generation of Civil Rights activists is blockin' the young heads? Or do you think younger people (and I am not talking just about teens and 20 year olds, but people up through their 40s) have failed to assume the mantle of leadership?

Plus: who would you consider a Civil Rights/Black Empowerment leader in their 40s or younger? Who do you think is making change?

And be sure and take a listen. This sizzles.



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Farai, I do not believe the young heads are being blocked per-say, but simply getting in where they fit in; hence the difference in the younger approach to the same civil issues. We (meaning young heads) call it empowerment, while our elders call it civil rights.

The only failure I see is a failure to collaborate and bring the virtues of the civil rights era to the 21st century. We can have empowerment and our civil rights... should that not be the goal?

Sent by Henry L. Rivers | 2:52 PM | 10-4-2007

I don't think the younger people have failed to take the mantle of leadership but just waited to find something they could be passionate about. The Jena 6 incident was an example, a significant amount of protesters were young folks. Now I'm not ready to say the fires of the civil rights activism have been flamed just for one incident but it is a step in the right direction.

I think there are some different battles the younger generation are fighting in relation to those who paved the way before them. The older generation fought for a right to be considered as equals; we (the younger generation) just expect the right and consider it normal. Then if what we perceive as normal prove to be an exception; it's time to speak truth to power. That's why the failure of the government during Katrina threw us for a loop and why Kanye West could make his infamous statement.

In my opinion, someone who's making a change and showing black empowerment is Tavis Smiley.

Sent by Moji | 6:10 PM | 10-4-2007

Mr. Powell, part of being a leader is being able to subdue your passion and frustration. It requires a type of sophistication that, from the dialogue I heard from you with Julian Bond, you don't possess. Yet.

Sent by C.Hopkins II | 6:18 PM | 10-4-2007

And what exactly should younger folks "snatch" from the dyeing generation? The gall to jump in front of any movement with a Black presence and saying they are leading it? The reacting to a word like n-i-g-g-e-r and its many variations every time someone uses it?
The starry-eyed look as a white celebrity politician comes into view?

The answer is rather simple. The old heads need to fight for what they continue to lose, including things like D.C. statehood, though that maybe too late a cause as D.C. is practically a white chocolate city by now.
They can fight things like the incarceration rate and education issues???

And the young can figure out what and how to fight what kind of future battles they wish. After all it is their future.

Old heads have too much invested in past miscalculations and equality yearnings.
Except for Paul Robeson, Zora Neale Hurston and eventually Malcolm X, (we'll leave Ella Josephine Baker in a category all her own), no so-called accepted leader has brought us anywhere but longer distances from a goal most of us could not handle if we could obtain it:
Namely -- the privilege to exploit other humans, living things and resources for selfish gain.

Sent by anthony | 6:27 PM | 10-4-2007

I remember Kevin Powell from the MTV reality show "The Real World" and it sounds like he's wearing the same chip on his shoulder. It was a non-debate.

Sent by Angela Johnson | 9:52 PM | 10-4-2007

Well, it appears that it should be fairly apparant that groups like the NAACP and the so-called black leadership of Jesse Jackson, AL Sharpton, etc. are out of touch with the realities that are being faced internally within the African American community.

Bottom line, these groups and individuals are relics of a dead civil rights paradigm ill suited to deal with the real problems in Black America today. They perpetuate a victim mentality and thusly reinforce the ???Ghetto??? mentality.

Maybe its to keep a captive audience for themselves, I don't know. In any case, this generation of 20-40 year olds doesn't need a new "civil" rights movement, we need a Better US movement from within.

I believe the old guard is afraid of that, perhaps they enjoy their power and the prosperity it affords them? Either way, I believe we are seeing the beginnings of a new guard, dare I say, from the black blogger community? Seems like these voices are being heard inspite of the old guard.

Sent by DJ Black Adam | 4:07 AM | 10-5-2007

Mr. Powell should read between the lines of Chairman Bond's statement that the younger generation currently on college campuses is participating and included. Who is this younger generation? They are of the same age as the children of the current leadership. Of course they are included and participating, because a good parent always wants to see their children prosper.

Just as the current leadership's generation sought to displace the power of the Lost Generation, they will seek to defend theirs and their children's place from the children of the Lost Generation - GenX - your generation, Mr. Powell. When Chairman Bond says you are going to have to wrest the power from him, he is sincere and correct, for his preference will be to pass it along to his own progeny. Unfortunately, under the democratic voting process within the organization, the sheer numbers of the Chairman's and his progeny's generations dictate that you will almost always lose a "democratically fair" fight. Mr. Powell, you will have to find another way to take the power.

Sent by Todd | 7:17 AM | 10-5-2007

Kevin Powell was way to ready to blame Mr. Bond and the older generation for everything. Mr Powell and I are in fact about the same age but even I realize that you cant bring about successful change with a severe attitude problem. It seems that he used every answer as a vehicle to bash Mr Bond and the older generation. I understand Mr Powell's frustation but why doent he just do what needs to be done without finger pointing and whining. Instead of waiting for the older generation to "step down" - why doesnt Mr Powell create a new organization, mobilize the masses of young african americans and TAKE his position - or SNATCH it - if you will.

Sent by Russell Randall | 10:33 AM | 10-5-2007

I consider Fallon Wilson as a twenty- something activist who is making change. Fallon has been involved in a number of social change activities/ organizations/ movements. Most recently, because she was disturbed by the lack of national attention paid to violence against black women and other women of color, she created a video
and website
"to make sure that in our rush to rescue our men in Jena, Louisiana that we not forget black women who have been dealt injustices by the system as well."
(quote from Renita Weems blogspot 9-28-07

Sent by pamela | 12:35 PM | 10-5-2007

Mr. Powell came off very passionately. While passion is good it can also be poisonous if you are passionately wrong.

One point Mr. Powell made that should be corrected is his insistence that poverty for blacks is worse now than it ever was before. That is patently false if he is referring to African Americans (as oppose to African people globally). Poverty is the lowest it has ever been among blacks in this country. I had to point that out because he used that point to help make his case that the Civil Rights movement failed blacks economically. While I agree there could have been a greater focus on the economic situation of African Americans one could argue that little could happen economically until certain political obstacles were removed.

Also I was taken aback by his criticizing the Civil Rights generation for not having a long term plan. It is very easy for us to sit back and analyze history and play Monday morning quarterback regarding what people should and could have done differently back then. Those people were often risking their personal safety and even their very lives for progress. In many ways they did not know what to expect and that made it hard to plan for the future. I do not think any of us in this generation are in a position to truly criticize what they did in the past. However, we can critique what they are doing now.

Where Kevin???s frustration was on point was with the insistence of the old guard to stay in control. Mr. Bond has to understand there comes a point where you must step down. One of the greatest losses being experienced by our people is the loss of true mentorship to the younger generation. When people like Mr. Bonds refuse to step aside they actually begin the process of undoing a lot of the work they accomplished over the years. It makes no sense the NAACP, with all of its storied successes, has become a relic in the black community because people like Mr. Bonds will not truly step aside and allow a new vision for a new day. Worse off, some future leader(s) is missing out on the chance to have Mr. Bonds??? mentorship.

Finally, the notion that our generation must ???take??? control from the older one is ignorant. Any father who wants his family to prosper long after he has gone knows he 1) has teach his children to lead and prosper while they are young and 2) must hand over control while he is still alive to ensure a peaceful and effective transfer of power. The way Mr. Bonds sees it young African Americans have to add the older generation to an already exhaustive list of other parties we have to fight in order to truly prosper.

Sent by TR | 1:19 PM | 10-5-2007

Farai, I've been listening to you since you began hosting and thankfully this is only the second time your show and guest have frustrated me, the first being Russell Simons and now the Powell Bond debate, powell sounded like an ungrateful spoiled child who seems to forget he'd be nothing with out his elders(flawed as they may be) we owe them a little more respect than letting our ego destroy a chance for pointed discourse. I beleive Powell to be emblematic of my generation at times, I have come across him since his MTV debut and have heard him speak often and usually he's on point. I am a first generation Haitian American college and grad school graduate, interacial marriage, renter in gentrified part of brooklyn and neither Bond nor Powell appeal to me find me someone who speaks equally of self determination and community empowerment and I'll listen but this show was a cartoon.

Sent by Reggie | 2:14 PM | 10-5-2007

great show! Powell expresses the passion I feel as a 30 year old. I have great respect for Mr. Bond....and he is very charismatic....but what has his charisma and charm done for me or any of the 200+ black youth that seem to dies in baltimore every year?

I think more effort should be made on the part of the older relics of the civil rights leaders to face the reality of the times. Young men like Lil Wayne's opinion holds more weight that most of the so-called black leaders...why is that. And my last these leaders believe that criticizing the youth is the answer. Folk really need to listen to Farrakhan on the issue of Hip Hop. Our young leaders (particularly MILLIONAIRRES) need guidence...not additional shade from the people we most need our corner.

Though we may not be as polished as lets say a MR. Bond.....we are real. No one is talking the racial rhettoric of yesteryear any more. Want to reach a new audience...please please play a new tune.

Sent by C Love | 4:34 PM | 10-5-2007

Wow, I see the same 'tear each other apart' mentality is still prevalent. Two brilliant Black men on a National/Internationally respected radio show with a chance to inform and organize the thousands that listened and what did we get? Entertained yes, but also fired up to continue to destroy ourselves from within. Young vs old is pretty silly considering we all still suffer from the same issues. Why should "The Old Guard" pass a Baton to a the new when the new hasn't displayed that it has surpassed them in the "Civil Rights" race to freedom? Why should the new respect and honor the old when the old have seemingly made no effective effort to properly prepare the new for the perilous time in which we live today! Balls have been dropped, mistakes have been and will continue to be made. Lets look at what we have in common, what resources we have to bring to the table of our common struggle start to build a solid foundation for our spiritual, economic and societal success.

Sent by Anthony Stewart | 5:20 PM | 10-5-2007

I have to agree with C Love. These responses seem to be more focused on the delivery of the message than the actual message itself. While it may have been harsh, the truth is that we need to focus more on economic empowerment and personal responsibility. It isn't just owning the business;it's teaching our people how mortgages work, talking about methods to save money and make it work for us.

I know many people who have taken great steps becuase of "Rich Dad Poor Dad". Simple economic principles that helped many blacks I know but were not brought to us by a black person. There are other black authors out there doing this but it should be our "leadership" telling us these things. How can they do that if they are still focused on injustices like those in Jena? Not to say that that issue isn't important bc it is, however it should not be the main focus now. Most of us don't live in small rural towns, where overt racism goes unchecked. All Kevin is saying is that it may be hard for the older generation to see that. It certainly appears that way.

I also think Mr. Bond's statement about snatching the torch is silly. We should be working together not fighting each other. Has anyone considered that if that is Mr Bond's attitude, maybe he (and other leadership like him) are the problem and not Kevin.

I would call this a non-debate becuase it seemed like Mr. Bond didn't want to really address the issues being brought to him. He could have named programs that they were working on to address Kevin's concerns and he didn't, with the exception of an attempt to get a license during the Jim Crow era.

I don't think things will get much better unless "each one teach one." I think that is what Kevin wants to do and based on Mr. Bond's "snatch theory", I don't think he understands that concept.

Sent by Melle G | 5:36 PM | 10-5-2007

Where is the civil right movement going? Let's imagine a freedom train going some where. Does really matter the fact that on this freedom train we have a seat on board and that this train has already left the station along time ago. This train has been traveling from city to city, state to state across this great land of ours,making stops here and there, picking up passengers along the way and letting off others as they (we) reach the end of their destination. Something that we might call their(our lives, the end of the line which always arrives much to soon. We all got tickets at birth to get on board this freedom train, yet some are late when the train arrives and are left behind and never get on board. Some get on without a ticket and are just free loaders. Yes, there is much to this story about the freedom ride. Whether by train, bus or plane the movemnt toward our collective distination is all the same. This movement forward is on going to fast for to slow for other but the direction is straight ahead with a few curves vallies and mountain. I heard one man say, "I may not get there with you but this train will get you to that mountain top, just hold on to that ticket. From the back car to first class, condutor or train engineer your position on this train might be any one of these, and if we keep on, keeping on we might even own this railroad company. Yes, the trip is long but when the end comes and you have to get off you'll wish this train never would have to stop. So, remmember this civil right's train we travel on is about the journey, so enjoy, cry, protest, learn and pay close attention. The purchase of your ticket has aready been paid for and this ride, that we are engage in, on this civil rights train, is about what you make of it, what you want it to be. Its your life just don't be late the train is always on time, all aboard.

Sent by Sanifu | 4:15 PM | 10-6-2007

First, if any of us are talking to others of us that is HUGE. Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, moving the ideas and energy around is certainly more loving and healthy than say when older heads (it's ok I am one too at 55) were bashing and trashing all the rappers who woke up the world to the pain and struggles of Black Men in America( single handedly destroying the stereotype of the shiftless, lazy, impotent Negro male). Even as they made themselves the solution to their own problems via economic empowerment, we did not love them for their genius of entrepreneurship, we whipped them with "belts, switches, house shoes, ironing cords, cat o nines" and anything else we could put our hands on". We did this--- instead of loving them, reaching out to them, embracing them, acknowledging where WE had abandoned them for our dreams of mainstream inclusion---not only because we blamed them for making US "look bad" but what they had to SAY made us feel SHAME. I do not really care about all that "who shot John" or "who did what first" talk because in the larger context the generations after ours have had to take on so more than we had to contend with (AIDs, drug devastation of our communities and families, black-on-black crime, alienation in education, the fast track of schools to prison, inequity in the judicial process, as well as decreasing access to the larger society and a lessening life expectancy for all our people). It is our generation who has failed to be there to show how to wield the unwieldy gauntlet. We do not praise their efforts and guide them in a more proactive, productive direction, we whip their butts for swinging the gauntlet wildly and messing up our good crystal or our good furniture and not acting nice in front of white folks. Black people are, like all of humanity is, constantly evolving, and change very often makes us uncomfortable because we don't feel like we can keep up and maybe we fear being left behind. We know there are a variety of voices that reflect our varied views: if we can have BET, HARPO, Cathy Hughes Radio 1 and more then we are certainly astute enough to let national media have Cornel West's phone number, or Lerone Bennett's e-mail, Tavis Smiley's fax number, Drs. Nathan and Julian Hare's mailing address; you can find Michael Eric Dyson in the professor's lounge or even meeting with students through out the school year. We must make the national media connect with the writers, thinkers, teachers, social critics and activists who are in the forefront and on the ground working to make the quality of life better for more of us. The ones we see and hear on tv now are the ones that the media uses to sensationalize issues, turning these folks (unbeknownst to them even?) into fodder for its perception of buffoonery (you know the nudge and wink you see passing back and forth between people who are clowning you). There is one of those "self help" expressions that goes (and I am paraphrasing here): We are not afraid because we lack the power to achieve our dreams and goals; it is that we really are afraid of how awesomely powerful we are. We do not have to look too hard to see in all the places where we used what we had to create something bigger and greater than we are or that we ever imagined possible. Finally, it's ok to argue, fuss and fight as long as we do it in love.

Sent by Gloria Alee | 7:32 PM | 10-9-2007

The sad part of this interview was that it was totally slanted toward a racist slant on inequality of justice. The interviewer stated that nothing happened to the white kids who hung the nooses in the tree but that the black kids were on trial.

Thing was the nooses aren't what started it. It was a black kid who KNEW that the white kids didn't want blacks with them under the tree and yet one of them on purposely went there knowing they didn't want him!

WHY is it that if whites congregate by themselves and NOT wanting another race where they are, that people feel the need to tell them how wrong they are? Why isn't our right to congregate with whomever we choose to? Yes the black kid was within his rights to go under the tree but he knew he was stiring a hornets nest. This wasn't about the nooses, it was about the black kid barging his way into something where he wasn't wanted.

Sent by Chris Singletary | 10:50 PM | 10-10-2007

More free handouts is what is next. You wander why racism still exists? Ask why a white girl with better grades is held from going to a public university while a black girl with lower grades is allowed in. It is reverse discrimination that will do nothing but fuel the flames of hatred. Racial preference given in order to give someone a free handout/handup is still wrong and will be looked upon as giving someone who doesn't deserve it a freebe while punishing the person who really deserved it. It is the dumbing down of America in order to make others fit in.

Sent by Chris Singletary | 10:59 PM | 10-10-2007

So Chris our you stating in your comment (which really had nothing to do with topic - Older vs. Younger generations and Civil Rights) you were speaking about the Jena situation - But any way - you stated that the black student should not have gone under the white tree and this is what started the issue because whites did not want him there? It was the Black guy acting within his legal write that stirred up trouble? IS that what your saying? Sounds like you support things like the Jim Crow laws of the past . Or is it that you just want to bring attention to yourself by coming to a site focused on african american issues and voicing views that would ruffle feathers - i think thats it.

Sent by Russell Randall | 10:52 AM | 10-12-2007

Yes the Old Heads are playing the role of Blockers. The NAACP is either at the top or very near the list of organizations that fit this catergory. Their policy of a dependency and "lets not exasperate white folks" attitude has got to go. Kevin and others like him are needed to champion the young black African-American younger generation in the right direction of taking that empowerment that they so rightly deserve to get.

Sent by Pianki | 9:19 PM | 10-14-2007

i just wanted you to read this

Sent by krystal dominguez | 7:33 PM | 10-16-2007

This was a powerful discussion. I have read the gambit of responses about this subject.
I feel that economic empowerment is high on the list of my concerns. That is not limited just to employment situations. I would like to see the new wave of black leaders step up with a plan that is intelligent and most of all-one we can work on achieving.
As far as leadership goes-it is disappointing to hear that the young people feel discouraged by their elders.
I am inbetween Powell's and Bond's ages. It makes no sense to me why there is not a collabrative effort to help for the same cause. This is America in the 21st Century. We have to realize that there are national concerns that are not just racially based. I am hoping to see young men and women step up into leadership roles. We have got to stop this cycle of seperatism among ourselves. Even though we don't have to agree on everything there comes a time when we all must consider that we are experiencing the same things. How we feel about that may differ. But we also need to remember that the Hip Hop Nation are children that many of us created. They are not all negative. Nor do they all support images and ideologies that are self destructive. I get real angry with older people who just lump everyone into that position. Just like it is a matter of fact that many of the black people who have gained from the movements-were not always pro the movements. We are now seeing the children of intergrated America emerge. They have a different twist on things. I for one am not pro the idea of not supporting those who are forwarding timely ideas. It seems to me that we need to consider what we can do collectively to improve our overall status in the nation.

Sent by D.L.White | 1:03 PM | 10-27-2007

Many of the young people of today, a group which doesn't traditionally vote until they're much older and wiser, need to KNOW and use wisdom when voting. Most all of them do not have the experience to know the HUGE impact govt legislation has on their life, and so they vote based on biased news media and sensationalism. This needs to stop before they vote themselves into more dire poverty and genocide. It is better for them not to vote early if they're voting uninformed.

Sent by katherine jones | 12:36 PM | 6-11-2008
Despite AIDS vaccine failure, quest must go on
Battle to stop the disease requires time, persistence and boldness
COMMENTARYBy Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.
MSNBCupdated 8:04 a.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 30, 2007
The clinical trial involved 3,000 subjects in different cities around the world. But as the data trickled in, it became clear that not only was the vaccine failing to provide protection, it may have made people more likely to contract HIV.

The vaccine used a virus to transport three synthetic HIV genes meant to create an immune response. Instead, that virus may have allowed the HIV virus to hitch a ride and cause AIDS in some otherwise health people. As these grim results were reported, the sound of high hopes crashing to the floor echoed all around the lecture hall where I was sitting.
AIDS vaccine volunteers may be at risk
Merck to let participants in failed study know who got active shots
updated 12:16 p.m. ET, Wed., Nov. 14, 2007
WASHINGTON - Thousands of people who volunteered to test an experimental AIDS vaccine that may have actually raised the risk of infection will be told if they got the actual shot, researchers said on Tuesday.

Merck & Co. Inc. and academic researchers said they would "unblind" the study, meaning everyone would find out who got the active shot and who got a dummy injection.Two international trials of the experimental vaccine were stopped in September after it became clear the vaccine did not prevent infection with the AIDS virus.he trials were conducted in the United States, Peru, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Australia and South Africa.Earlier this month, researchers said they saw some worrying indications that the vaccine somehow raised the risk of infection, although they stressed the vaccine could not itself cause HIV infection.They had already begun counseling volunteers that they could be at higher risk of HIV, a fatal and incurable virus that causes AIDS."All study volunteers will be encouraged to continue to return to their study sites on a regular basis for ongoing risk reduction counseling and study-related tests," the researchers said in a statement."Study investigators are being advised this week to provide this information to the volunteers; volunteers will receive additional information about the unblinding process directly from study sites."To test vaccines and new drugs, researchers always aim for what are called placebo-controlled, double-blinded trials. These mean that neither the researchers nor the volunteers know who gets a placebo and who gets an active ingredient, so that there is no bias in determining how well the treatment works.
Race: In the United States, the breakdown of HIV infections by race is as follows:
Whites - 40% of all cases
African Americans - 40%
Hispanics - 19%
Sex: Most HIV infections still occur in men via homosexual contact; however, the frequency of infection in women is increasing, especially in developing countries. In the United States, fewer than 19% of all HIV cases are in women, whereas worldwide an estimated 50% of all HIV patients are women.
3. American Indian & Alaska Native 93,301
4. Asian 322,335
5. Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander 23,953
6. Some other race 228,923
7. Mixed Race 213,519
Experimental anti-HIV gel increased infection rates
14:02 01 February 2007 news service
New Scientist and Reuters
HIV and AIDS special report, New Scientist
Polydex Pharmaceuticals
Trials of a new type of gel designed to help women protect themselves from HIV were halted on Wednesday after women using it became infected by the virus at a higher rate than women not using it, researchers said.The trials involved 1333 women in South Africa, Benin, Uganda and India.
The microbicide gel apparently made the women more vulnerable to the virus, not less vulnerable as intended, said its makers Polydex Pharmaceuticals, based in Toronto, Canada. The microbicide, developed under the brand name Ushercell, is a cotton-based compound that had been tested in more than 500 women without any indication it raised the risk of HIV infection. A second group testing the same compound has also stopped its trials in 1700 women in Nigeria, out of concern for the women, although there was no suggestion the women in this trial were becoming infected at a higher-than-expected rate. Women in both trials who become infected with HIV will be given drugs to control it, the researchers say.
"While the findings are unexpected and disappointing, we will learn scientifically important information from this trial that will inform future HIV prevention research," said Lut Van Damme, who was leading the trial of the Polydex product.Double-sided sword?It is the second spectacular failure of a microbicide gel or a cream designed for women to use vaginally to prevent infection with HIV. Microbicides were hailed as an important new weapon in HIV prevention (see Protect and survive).Trials of the spermicide nonoxynol-9 were stopped after it was found to raise the risk of HIV infection, although it is still unclear why the product did not work.Three other products are also in advanced trials, including products based on a seaweed derivative called carrageenan (see Seaweed compound blocks cervical cancer virus)Shares in Polydex Pharmaceuticals plunged on the news of the trials' failure, wiping 55% off the share price by the close of trading on Wednesday.
AIDS vaccine may raise infection risk
Shot may increase odds of contracting HIV, researchers fear
More teamwork crucial after HIV vaccine flop U.S. takes HIV tests to high-risk people
updated 2:46 p.m. ET, Thurs., Oct. 25, 2007
WASHINGTON - More than 3,000 people who volunteered to receive an experimental AIDS vaccine are being told the shot may raise the risk of infection.
Researchers stress that they do not yet have enough information to say whether those who got the shot are more susceptible to infection with HIV. But they said initial information from the trial, which was stopped suddenly last month, is worrisome. "At present, there is a tremendous amount of data being analyzed from the ... trial to see if there is, in fact, any greater risk of infection in those volunteers who received the vaccine," said Dr. Mark Feinberg, vice president of medical affairs and public health for Merck & Co.
Two studies were stopped in September after the independent board monitoring one of the trials noticed some troubling data. "Specifically, 24 cases of HIV infection were seen among the 741 volunteers who received at least one dose of the investigational vaccine, while 21 cases of HIV infection were seen in the 762 participants who received at least one dose of the placebo," said a statement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which co-sponsored the trial with Merck. This trial, which began in 2004, had enrolled volunteers in the United States, Peru, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Australia. The second trial began in South Africa earlier this year and had enrolled 800 volunteers.
HEALTH2007: Another Year of AIDS
Though a potential vaccine failed in trials this year, there are other promising options for lowering HIV transmission rates.Merck recently announced not only that its potential vaccine failed to prevent HIV but also that the number of infections among trial volunteers who got the vaccine was higher than among those who got a placebo. How much of a setback is that? We'd pinned great hopes on Merck's vaccine. We're all disheartened.The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was about to launch a separate vaccine trial, which has reportedly been postponed indefinitely. Are there other promising candidates? The really bitter pill with Merck was not just that it was another vaccine failure but that this was one that people really thought would be successful. It was clear to people in the field that Merck was way ahead of the rest in terms of vaccine development. [But] people like me decided quite a while ago that, while the world needed to look hard for a vaccine, we had to move forward with the possibility that there would never be a vaccine. TONY the only difference between HIV testing today and the Tuskegee Study is:- Negroes are willingly signing and giving their consent to be jailed for a felony, agree that they will not have sex without a condom, and give up their right to have children. A person cannot have a child with a condom on.- They're informed of their diagnosis eventhough they MAY OR MAY NOT get treatment. I would bet that MOST don't get treatment. The U.S. is strapped for money and can't even pay for treatment of the current AIDS patients. MOST with the HIV virus are NOT even sick, may never get sick, and it is known that it usually takes 10 years or more for AIDS to occur.- HIV meds are toxic and likely to kill the person before he even gets AIDS. That is why the disease is being wrongly tooted as a BLACK disease. Just like Tuskegee, Blacks are being used to trial drugs like lab monkeys.It is a fact that prostitutes, intravenous drug users, gays, puerto ricans/haitians, and illegal immigrants are STILL the primary people who have the highest number of HIV infections, just like they were when the disease first came out and yet extremely ignorant black leaders are reveling in the notion that it is a black disease and gladly embrace the stigma that the gay population pitched holy hell to get rid of. - If HIV meds are stopped because of funds, death occurs a LOT faster.- They keep saying that black women have the fastest growing rates of infection but how can they, when every time you look around ALL YOU SEE is black men/white women??? I guess black women are sleeping with gay white men, and white women have some special immunity to HIV because they're not being tested!- A young person diagnosed with HIV in their prime sexual years are being set up for the prison system, GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT TO HAVE CHILDREN AND AREN'T EVEN TOLD THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE DOING WHEN THEY SIGN THAT FORM, are doomed to lives of loneliness and despair, likely won't be able to get a job that pays them enough to buy food are strapped with coming up with money for condoms, AND THE SO CALLED EDUCATED ELITE ENCOURAGE THEM TO TAKE ON A LIFE THAT IS NOT EVEN WORTH LIVING. THEY'RE BEING SET UP FOR SUICIDE AND THE PRISON SYSTEM.These young people are going to be RIGHTFULLY bitter and feel cheated. When they get that positive diagnosis, they're not going to care about who they give it to, afterall someone gave it to them. THAT IS THE HARSH REALITY. All of this testing does the Black community NO GOOD. If it truly were a good thing they wouldn't reserve it for black people while whites languish and die with the disease.
Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male[1] also known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Pelkola Syphilis Study, Public Health Service Syphilis Study or the Tuskegee Experiments was a clinical study, conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama, in which 399 (plus 201 control group without syphilis) poor -- and mostly illiterate -- African American sharecroppers were denied treatment for Syphilis.This study became notorious because it was conducted without due care to its subjects, and led to major changes in how patients are protected in clinical studies. Individuals enrolled in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study did not give informed consent and were not informed of their diagnosis; instead they were told they had "bad blood" and could receive free medical treatment, rides to the clinic, meals and burial insurance in case of death in return for participating.[2]In 1932, when the study started, standard treatments for syphilis were toxic(POISONOUS), dangerous, and of questionable effectiveness. Part of the original goal of the study was to determine if patients were better off not being treated with these toxic (POISONOUS JUST LIKE HIV MEDS)remedies.By 1947, penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Prior to this discovery, syphilis frequently led to a chronic, painful and fatal multisystem disease. Rather than treat all syphilitic subjects with penicillin and close the study, or split off a control group for testing penicillin; the Tuskegee scientists withheld penicillin and information about penicillin, purely to continue to study how the disease spreads and kills. Participants were also prevented from accessing syphilis treatment programs that were available to other people in the area. The study continued until 1972, when a leak to the press resulted in its termination.The government doctors who participated in the study failed to obtain informed consent from the subjects in a study of disease with a known risk to human life. Instead, the PHS offered the men incentives to participate: free physical examinations, free rides to and from the clinics, hot meals on examination days, free treatment for minor ailments, and a guarantee that a burial stipend would be paid to their survivors. This modest stipend of $50.00 (NOW YOU SAY THEY GIVE THEM SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FOR THEIR ENDLESS SUFFERING)represented the only form of burial insurance that many of the men had. By failing to obtain informed consent and offering incentives for participation, the PHS doctors were performing unethical and immoral experiments on human subjects. From the moment the experiment begun, the immorality of the experiment was blatantly apparent.
By RYAN LEE - Apr. 13, 2007Federal funding for Georgia's AIDS Drug Assistance Program -- which provides expensive, lifesaving medications to residents who cannot afford them -- was cut by more than $1 million when the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding last week.
In the United States, new AIDS patients are relatively more likely to be men who have sex with men (MSM); in Florida, they are relatively more likely to be female, heterosexual and black -- ESPECIALLY AMONG IMMIGRANTS FROM HAITI, AND ELSEWHERE IN THE CARIBBEAN. In 2002, MSM comprised 46 percent of new US AIDS cases, but only 40 percent in Florida. New cases stemming from heterosexual sex were 11 percent in the United States for 2002, but 20 percent in Florida. Florida cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are now topping San Francisco in new per capita AIDS cases, according to CDC. One reason is that well-educated gay men in San Francisco responded well to treatment and prevention programs. But in New York and Florida, and to a lesser extent across the United States, HIV has increasingly spread to black and immigrant communities, where the issues of poverty, cultural differences and language have hindered the fight against AIDS. In the past decade, Caribbean island nations, with a population of 35 million, have sent more than one million legal and illegal immigrants to the United States - one-sixth of the region's population increase over the decade.
African Immigrants Affected by HIVBy Erica Didier
"I think people need to understand that there is a large group of Africans [living here] who are positive," said Fick. The largest African group represented among her clients is Ethiopians. She also has Somalian and Sudanese clients, as well as small numbers of people from many other East and West African countries. Currently, Africa-born Africans are not separated from African Americans for AIDS case reporting in Washington State. Fick sees this as a barrier to reaching these communities. "I think it misses a whole separate population that needs a very specific approach. One that is culturally sensitive to the extreme diversity amongst the African groups. There are so many different cultures, religions, and languages."
"A lot of the people are not here on a legal basis. Often times, as part of their immigration process they find out they're positive and they're very scared. They don't know what will happen to them. If they do get kicked out of the country now, they are really in big trouble, because they have HIV and they'll die" [because treatment is not available in their home country
According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are now close to one million African immigrants in the United States. The Census Bureau says more than 50 percent of them entered and settled in the country between 1990 and 2000.
Sex and Meth
Meth heightens the libido and impairs judgment, which can lead to risky sexual behavior.
Many users take the drug intravenously, increasing their chances of contracting diseases such as Hepatitis B or C and HIV/AIDS. one of the most dangerous effects of meth on the body is the increase in sex drive and the lowering of sexual inhibitions among some users, which puts them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Although meth is not necessarily an aphrodisiac, it does trigger the release of powerful brain chemicals that may increase sex drive, such as dopamine, which gives the user a sense of well-being and desirability, and adrenaline, which provides the user with a boost in confidence and stamina. Meanwhile, these chemicals impair the judgment centers of the brain. "You do things when you're on meth that you would never do sober," explains Peter Staley, a former meth user. "You drop your guard. Condoms? Forget about it." Unprotected sex is particularly dangerous for meth users, many of whom inject the drug and may share needles, which can spread deadly diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Also, because the drug increases energy and stamina, users may have more aggressive sex for longer periods of time, increasing the chances of injury and the danger of spreading infection. In New York's gay community, where meth has been popular since the late 1990s, it has contributed to an increase in infections of HIV/AIDS, which, until recently had been declining. "In New York, we're seeing about 1,000 gay men every year become infected, and that's just unacceptable," says Staley, now an anti-meth activist in the gay community. "It's very sad. It's tragic, and it's almost entirely because of crystal meth."
Abstract A total of 88 swingers in the U.S. responded to a questionnaire dealing with AIDS. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of fear of getting the HIV virus, how often they swing, how long they have swung, their reasons for (or not for) fearing AIDS, and if their sexual habits have changed because of the AIDS epidemic. The main prediction was that they would deny their risk of getting AIDS. This would be manifested in negative correlations between their fear level and both the time and frequency of swinging. Results were mixed. A majority had some fear of getting AIDS; knowing someone who had died from AIDS led to more fear; and a majority said they had changed their sexual habits, but less than 7% had actually quit swinging,1082,0_557_,00.html
You may not donate if you received a blood transfusion since 1980 in the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar or Falkland Islands). This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or 'mad cow' disease. Learn more about variant CJD and blood donation. You may not donate if you received a blood transfusion in certain countries in Africa since 1977. This requirement is related to concerns about rare strains of HIV that are not consistently detected by all current test methods. Learn more about HIV Group O, and the specific African countries where it is found.
You are not eligible to donate if:
From January 1, 1980, through December 31, 1996, you spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 3 months or more, in the United Kingdom (UK), or
From January 1, 1980, to present, you had a blood transfusion in any country(ies) in the (UK). The UK includes any of the countries listed below.
Channel Islands
Falkland Islands
Isle of Man
Northern Ireland
You were a member of the of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee, or a dependent of a member of the U.S. military who spent a total time of 6 months on or associated with a military base in any of the following areas during the specified time frames
From 1980 through 1990 - Belgium, the Netherlands (Holland), or Germany
From 1980 through 1996 - Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece.
You spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 5 years or more from January 1, 1980, to present, in any combination of country(ies) in Europe, including
in the UK from 1980 through 1996 as listed in above
on or associated with military bases as described above, and
in other countries in Europe as listed below:
Czech Republic
Ireland (Republic of)
Kosovo (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)
Montenegro (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)
Netherlands (Holland)
Serbia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)
Slovak Republic (Slovakia)
Yugoslavia (Federal Republic includes Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia),013.htm
Whenever AIDS was discussed in the public sphere, it was the gay community that repeatedly came under fire for endangering the entire nation:If homosexuals are not stopped, they will in time infect the entire nation, and America will be destroyed. -- Rev. Greg Dixon, Moral Majority spokesman.34
Everyone detected with AIDS should be tattooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals. -- William F. Buckley, I think we should do what the Bible says and cut their throats. -- Rev. Walter Alexander, First Baptist Church, Reno36
Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-Ca) was one of the most strident anti-gay voices in Congress. He hired Paul Cameron as his AIDS adviser, who was an early advocate of quarantining AIDS patients.37 Rep. Dannemeyer repeatedly demanded that Surgeon General C. Everett Koop begin mandatory testing of all gay men for AIDS and their names entered into a national database. Dr. Koop refused, believing that it would drive the disease underground and keep people from seeking treatment. At one point, Rep. Dannemeyer telephoned the Surgeon General and demanded to know why he refused to begin mandatory testing and reporting. Dr. Koop recounted that phone call, in which he told Rep. Dannemeyer:
"I told you, that's not within the power of the Surgeon General, but for reasons I've also explained over and over, I wouldn't do it if I could. But suppose just for the sake of argument, I could and did. Suppose I called you next week and said I now knew who every seropositive [HIV-positive] person was in the whole United States. What would you do?"After a long pause, Dannemeyer, as I recall, replied, "Wipe them off the face of the earth!"38Guilt and Innocence
While Stigma linked homosexuality to AIDS in the minds of most Americans, it soon became obvious that it wasn't just gay men getting sick, and this led some to try to distinguish between the "guilty" and the "innocent." Senator David Pryor (D-AK) noted that people with AIDS "are not necessarily homosexuals and once again they are not from San Francisco or just New York. They are children whose only sin is to be born."39 Yet no matter how the lines were drawn, gays were always guilty, and everyone else was innocent. One observer noted:According to the term's users -- the media, public health officials, politicians -- the "general population" is virtuously going about its business, which is not pleasure-seeking (as drugs and gay life are uniformly imagined to be), so AIDS hits its members as an assault from diseased hedonists upon hard-working innocents.40Stigma allowed the lines between the "guilty" and "innocent" to blur in some very illogical ways. Conservative columnist Patrick Buchanan accorded intravenous drug abusers and "unsuspecting" prostitutes the status of innocent victims:There is one, only one, cause of the AIDS crisis -- the willful refusal of homosexuals to cease indulging in the immoral, unnatural, unsanitary, unhealthy, and suicidal practice of anal intercourse, which is the primary means by which the AIDS virus is being spread throughout the "gay" community, and, thence, into the needles of IV drug abusers, the transfusions of hemophiliacs, and the bloodstreams of unsuspecting health workers, prostitutes, lovers, wives and children.41


Sent by katherine jones | 1:48 AM | 7-21-2008