Black Spirituality Religion : A message to the Black Clergy

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by NNQueen, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 9, 2001
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    Phill Wilson, Founder, National Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum

    A speech to Black clergy presented at The Balm In Gilead's African American Clergy Summit on AIDS at the White House

    "What Is the Right Thing? The apostle Paul said, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Phillippians. 4:8)

    "I've been wondering what credentials I, as a lay person, bring to this gathering of African American ministers. Is it my ten years experience as an AIDS activist? Maybe it's my experience as a policy maker, or maybe it's my experience as the founder of a number of AIDS organizations. I think not.

    My credibility lies in the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans who have died from AIDS and HIV disease. My credibility was forged at the hundreds of deathbeds I've visited. My credibility was fortified three days ago in Los Angeles when I once again had to fight to get yet another Black man admitted into a hospital. I bring the credibility of living with HIV disease for 14 years.

    In 1980, my Goddaughter, Tiffany, was four. My doctor did a lymph node biopsy that year. The results came back inconclusive. I began to read about a disease called GRID. All the reports suggested that only white gay men were at risk. I remember thinking to myself, "Thank God it's them for a change, and not us."

    Today, Tiffany is 18 and a freshman in college. We took her first trip to Europe together in November. Today, I have AIDS. Today, people of color comprise the majority of all new cases in New York, Newark and Los Angeles. Women and children of color represent 60 and 80 percent respectively of all women and children diagnosed with AIDS in this country. Today, I find myself reminding people when it comes to AIDS there is no "them." There's only us. Neither race, gender or sexual orientation can protect us from the HIV virus.

    One of the most popular phrases of our time is "Do the Right Thing" from the Spike Lee movie of the same name. The issues of what was right or wrong were unclear in the movie. For many people, especially African Americans, it seems the issues are also unclear with regard to what is the right thing to do to solve the problems facing our communities: violence, crime, drugs, joblessness, homelessness, babies having babies, AIDS and other health care issues."


    Queenie :spinstar: