Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it…
Saw the above posts on Tumblr and had to comment there. But I had more to say, so here it is.
Reagan Administration’s Chilling Response to the AIDS Crisis – “In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?” Short film “When AIDS Was Funny” directed and produced by Scott Calonic..
There are a couple of things to note about those recordings of those press conferences. First: listen to them laugh. They all laughed. The so-called liberal press in 1982 was laughing and joking about fags after one of their colleagues asked a question about an epidemic which, at that time, appeared to kill one-third of the people who got it—because it seemed at the time that most U.S. victims were gay. Second: Lester Kinsolving, the journalist who asked the question (and continued to ask about it for the next several years) was not a liberal journalist. He was highly critical of gay rights activists, who he continued to call “the Sodomy Lobby” for decades after this on his radio show and in his published op-ed pieces. Note at the second press conference he expresses the opinion that the epidemic might be spread through casual contact. He wasn’t asking this question because he felt much sympathy, himself, for the gay people who were dying.
You may notice in that short documentary that Kinsolving is listed in the newspaper clippings as “The Rev. Lester Kinsolving.” Kinsolving was an episcopal priest, and though the U.S. Episcopal Church today is recognized as one of the early denominations to come out in favor of gay rights, in the 1980s no so much.
And modern attitudes in too many places haven’t improved: Police chief suspended for blaming officer’s death from coronavirus on homosexuality and Religious figures blame LGBT+ people for coronavirus.