AIDS, Is it Eliminating the African-American Community?

From my nearly 20 years first-hand experience at Joseph's House, a hospice home in the District of Columbia for men and women who are homeless and dying of AIDS, I am a witness that AIDS in Washington DC is destroying the African American race.

Joseph's House offers a very particular, very special kind of leadership to our community in compassionate care of the dying. We practice being fully present to every woman and man who comes to Joseph's House to live out the last days and weeks of their lives.

We try our best to help them make those days and hours really count. We practice loving kindness unconditionally. We listen deeply. And we accompany, around the clock, each person as they die.

We believe that no one should die alone.

Yes, when the wider community recognizes Joseph's House for its exquisite care of individuals who are still dying of AIDS, we sometimes fear that attention is diverted from the social structures that caused much of this suffering in the first place.

The big-city environments in which many impoverished African-American children have to grow up, for instance, are intolerable:

> violence,

> drug use,

> alcoholism at ever earlier ages,

> joblessness,

> preference to sell drugs than work,

> high rates of divorce,

> high rates of teen pregnancies,

> high rates of prostitution [Yes under-aged!]

> high rates of homosexuality

> high rates of child sexual molestation

> absent fathers and so on,

> high rates of gangs

> high rates of violence, domestic and otherwise,

> high rates of suicide and homicide,

Though spending over $15,000 per pupil per year, schools are inadequate and over half the children drop out before high school graduation. There's no place for these children as they grow into adulthood.

Of the black men who drop out of high school, two-thirds aren't working at any given time.

The criminal justice system is overloaded to the max. At any given time, one third of young, black, inner-city men without a high school diploma are incarcerated.

And studies indicate that increased male homosexuality in incarceration is deeply related to AIDS being nine times more common among black men than white men and a stunning eighteen times higher among black women than white women.

Many blamed it on white racism decades ago, but in 2010, most big cities are led by African mayors, prosecuting attorneys, police and police chiefs, city councils, and legislators of all kinds.

Somehow, we in the African American Community MUST CHANGE OUR THINKING, beliefs morals and how we are raising our children.

Our hope CAN NOT be in government [they can't take care of themselves!] Our hope MUST be in God and the Good Book!

Get your family out of the city and raise them in the smallest town you can find, and a good-old fashioned country church!

That is the hope of the African American community - and the white inner0city community as well!

COPYRIGHT (c) 1977 Cambridge Theological Seminary

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