The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ronald Reagan - 100 years of shame

I'm tired of celebrating Ronald Reagan.

If he were still alive, he would be turning 100 years old. That's 100 years of shame.

During his term as president the rich got richer, and the poor got poorer.

From Mother Jones

As the rich get richer, the rest of us didn't fare too well, and the poor actually got poorer.

But here is what really gets me.

The first case of AIDS was reported June 5, 1981, in Los Angeles. A year and a half later, the White House was asked about the epidemic, and in a press conference, the mention of people dying of AIDS brought laughter.

In 2004 Larry Kramer wrote an article for the Advocate, and it was republished this week.

Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even. In all the tributes to his passing, as I write this two days after his death, not one that I have seen has mentioned this. The hateful New York Times (“all the news that’s fit to print”) of course said nothing about this. We still are not fit to write about with total honesty in their pages. Not really. Just as we were not fit for Ronald Reagan to talk about us. What kind of president is that?

His article ends this way.

Just as Jews are asked to never forget their Holocaust, I implore all gay people never to forget our holocaust and who caused it and why. Ronald Reagan did not even say the word “AIDS” out loud for the first seven years of his reign. Because of this, some 70 million people, so far, have become infected with HIV/AIDS. I wonder what it feels like to be the son and the wife of a man responsible for over 70 million people so far becoming infected with a virus that has killed over half of us so far. I wonder what it felt like while he was alive to ponder this. For surely he must have thought about it. How could he not? He has been called the consummate actor who came to believe all his lines. Does this not make his legacy even more grotesque? It should.

Hitler knew what he was doing. How could Ronald Reagan not have known what he was doing?

But of course, no one is writing about this. Reagan too is one of history's gods.

So far he has gotten away with murder.

Here is a short video, made by the son of a 1980's lesbian activist.

I don't know how anyone could celebrate his 100th birthday. Or why he is held up as an American hero.


Clif said...

As a person living with HIV, I have never had any good feelings for Ronald Reagan. To think that the president of our country sat back and did nothing while the disease wreaked havoc on all the "right people," makes me sad and angry.

lipscomb bohemian said...

i dont undertand the celebration either...... im a person in the low income bracket... and ... my son has aids .... after many years of being hiv positive ...and i have friends ,,,probably more than im aware of who are hiv pos..... so on 2 counts i agree with both joe and clif ....

Trey said...

Joe, in my opinion this is far left, polarizing propaganda. Comparing Ronald Reagan to Hitler?! Calling him a murderer?! Would anyone expect the White House to recognize AIDS as an epidemic just a year and a half after it surfaced and after just 600 cases?! Speaking of something that was barely known and calling it a "gay plague" would evoke laughter out of lots of people sounds like a punchline off of "Will and Grace" for heaven's sake. Why would any serious interviewer address the disease as the "gay plague" instead of calling it by it's full name (Auto-immune Deficiency Syndrome)?
I'm not saying Reagan's failure to appropriately react to AIDS is ok or even excusable...but it's not murder! Is Clinton a murderer b/c he didn't intervene into the Rwandan genocide til after it was over? I'm sick of this type of unproductive language...on the left and the right.

Joe said...

I have a degree in public health and yes, 600 cases of a never before seen disease is indeed the beginning of an epidemic.

Look how we reacted to the few bird flu and swine flu cases. Then the Reagan administration laughed about the situation. I was around then. I know people who died then. I might not have been out, but I was very involved as a volunteer with AIDS patients and I saw first hand that they were being ignored by the federal government, and I saw them slowly die.

Reagan had people advising him and he ignored their advice. Funding for research could have led to lives being saved, and much suffering avoided. He is responsible for those deaths.

Trey said...

He wasn't a murderer. He was nothing like Hitler. I respect your opinion, but not the polarizing language in the op-ed piece you linked to.