I initially wanted to write about Sen. John McCain’s double-talk on the issue of affirmative action. Based on his various statements, I’m not sure where in the heck he stands. Another potential topic was the silliness over getting a new press release each day about Sen. Barack Obama canceling a visit to troops in Germany. Another potential topic was the vice presidential picks of each candidate. But after logging onto CNN.com Tuesday and seeing the bold headline: “1 out of 2 with HIV in U.S. is black, report says,” nothing else really mattered.
And as I thought about that startling fact, it only reminded me how little attention has been paid to this health crisis during this election cycle. It has been mentioned in two or three of debates — on both sides of the aisle — and that was only in passing. I shouldn’t be surprised. Who can forget 2004 when PBS host Gwen Ifill asked Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Sen. John Edwards about AIDS affecting black women, and both of them spent more time discussing the problem on the continent of Africa, instead of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and other states.
Cheney even said: “I have not heard those numbers with respect to African-American women. I was not aware that it was — that they’re in epidemic there, because we have made progress in terms of the overall rate of AIDS infection,” he said. While Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain go back and forth over who didn’t visit troops in Germany; the impact of Obama’s overseas tour; and who is best positioned to deal with the crumbling economy, critical domestic issues like AIDS goes unnoticed. (Continue Reading…)