info 10.8.04

AIDS

During an interview, Mary McCarthy once said about Lillian Hellman, "Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the."

That line came back to us this week as we listened to Cheney during the VP debate. But then, in response to a question from moderator Gwen Ifill about the epidemic of AIDS among African-American women, the Vice-President said this:

"Here in the United States we've made significant progress. I had not heard those numbers with respect to African-American women. I was not aware that it was that severe an epidemic there…"

Even pathological liars may sometimes speak the truth. Cheney most likely has not bothered to familiarize himself with such a, you know, marginal epidemic. Look closely at his words: "I was not aware that it was that severe an epidemic there." In the Cheney worldview, African-American women are not here. They're there. Mr. Cheney is the same guy who, (as Senator Edwards pointed out earlier in the debate), voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King and against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Hear these numbers, Dick: While Black women represent 12% of the overall population, they comprise an estimated 64% of newly diagnosed HIV cases. African-American women have a case rate nearly 20 times higher than their White counterparts. And you can further raise your level of awareness at the Black Women's Health Imperative.

After Mary McCarthy's withering comment, Hellman sued McCarthy for defamation, but the suit was dropped following Hellman's death. Ms. McCarthy was unrepentant. She said of her nemesis, "I didn't want her to die. I wanted her to lose in court. I wanted her around for that." With any luck, we'll all be around when this entire gang of liars goes on trial.

Two events to benefit AIDS organizations:
— On October 25th, there's a benefit for GMHC at Avery Fisher called "Showstoppers! A Salute to the Best of Broadway." Tickets are $250-$1000, available here.

Tastings 2004 is a benefit for the Momentum AIDS Project, which provides meals and services to people living with HIV/AIDS. The event will feature dishes from Beppe, Artisanal, and many more, as well as a silent auction. The date is October 12, from 7pm-11pm at the AltmanBuilding, 135 W. 18th [6th/7th] 212.691.8100, ext. 327. Tickets are $125 and $300.


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