Thursday, July 24, 2008

ignorance and racism in the WaPo article on Latinos and AIDS

The Washington Post yesterday ran an article on the AIDS epidemic and how it has affected the Latino population in the United States. I read it with much interest despite knowing just how bad things are and seeing this first hand every single day.

The article revealed nothing new to me. However, the comments following the article shocked me to the core. Here is just a sample of the ignorance of WaPo readers (bold emphasis mine).

  • What is it about "always use a condom" that these people do not understand? Seems as if the real victims are the American taxpayers.
  • I don't owe these lawbreakers a darn thing. Mexico won't save you? Tough.
  • Latinos are one thing, illegal aliens are another. Ads targeted at Latinos (including illegal aliens) to inform them about how HIV is contracted are one thing. Providing medical services to illegal aliens is quite another. (Though I wouldn't mind providing birth control pills to illegal alien women. (honey, this government doesn't even order insurance companies to cover birth control for its citizens. what makes you think they'll just give to to undocumented immigrants?--OCgirl)) If someone is here illegally and is sick, he/she should be sent back to their homeland for treatment.
  • Just another thing to add to what their culture brings to us, along with T.B., Clamidia {can't spell], bed bugs, and let's not forget the e-coli, that comes with every summer (WTF. let's blame all diseases on the undocumented--OC girl). I wonder how many teenage girls have HIV since their is no age limit for them and they are always after the young girls? We have enough of our own problems, just get rid of them.
  • I'm I supposed to feel sorry for these people? They come into the country illegally. They engage in high risk behavior. Claiming ignorance or being culturally naive is not an excuse. They contract HIV and they expect to get the expensive and long-term treatment (who said that? they don't seek treatment until it's too late--OCgirl)? Many US citizens don't get necessary medical care so why should tax payers pick up paying for these illegals. They should go back to Mexico and die.
  • Taking a look at the "facts" presented
- immigration criminals
- drug users
- homosexuals who practices unprotected sex

The implications of these behavior characteristics are that the individuals are of low intellect with a low survival factor. As far as I have been able to determine more than 99% of AIDS patients have the disease because of poor judgment in behavior or partner selection (please cite the study you got this '99%' figure from--OCgirl).

Darwinism in action...

I'm deeply disturbed by the hate and vitriol in these comments. I see the face of this epidemic every day and I can tell you one thing. I don't give a damn if these people are illegal or not. If they need help, I will be there.

Do the ignorant commenters on WaPo understand AIDS? Do they know the disease doesn't discriminate? Do they know that we still don't have a cure? Do they know that because of Bush's anti-condom/pro-abstinence position that funding for HIV/AIDS programs have been cut? Do they know that not everyone (undocumented or not) who needs access to life-extending drugs actually receives them IN THE UNITED STATES?

And the racism is astounding. Guess what, WaPo readers. Not all Latino immigrants are Mexican. Not all Latinos are "illegal". Not all undocumented immigrants are potential terrorists. Not all HIV+ people are stupid and irresponsible and 'brought the disease upon themselves.' Not all AIDS victims are from the so-called dregs of society. Not all AIDS victims are undocumented, gay, or drug users.

Here's a thought: how about we not help anyone who has acquired a preventable disease? Let's be completely fair here. If your disease is preventable, its obviously your fault that you have it. So all of you with Type 2 diabetes, you are sh*t outta luck. Do you have heart disease because you never exercised a day in your life? Sorry, no life saving drugs for you. Oh and those of you with hepatitis from all of that drinking? You can't be on that liver transplant list. Suffering from lung cancer? We're saving the chemo for the non-smokers, sorry.

I think I made my point. Why is AIDS any different?