Shawn + Gwenn

PSA: If You’re Offended By The #BlackLivesMatter POZ Cover Then You’re Stupid

I noticed some blowback on POZ’s Facebook page after the recent issue went up, which features the cover story “Black Lives Matter”. Here’s a sampling of what was written in the Comments section on Facebook:

How about all lives matter, why does it have to be racist now wtf hiv doesnt discriminate why should we, umm yea idk if i wanna be part of POZ anymore….”


Really POZ??? Why not do the front page with all lives matter!!! HIV does not care what race you are and you shouldn’t either!!!!”

All lives matter . This is racist . I’m so over this “black lives matter” . #AllPozLivesMatter

Offended I am All lives matter May stop reading POZ”
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There were some supportive comments, too. But I couldn’t help but wonder how many others were offended when they saw the cover story? HIV has disproportionately affected communities of color for decades now. As a white guy, I’m not offended by the “Black Lives Matter” movement because I support a reduction in unnecessary abuse (lethal and non-lethal) by law enforcement. As someone with HIV, I recognize that it was the courage of the gay community and the bleeding disorders community- both minority community’s sans the inclusion of HIV- that has given me the opportunity to simply be here today.

So anytime a community speaks out in protest of a genuine threat to their existence, I feel a kinship.

With the HIV community, I start at a default sense of comradery. I know the many diverse struggles we face, medically and socially. It bonds us. But there are also aspects of living with HIV that I can only empathize with from afar- there are compounded struggles that I will never face based on the fact that I was born to a middle-class white family. And knowing about those struggles makes me a more informed member of the community.

If you’re offended by what you’ve just read then, well, you’re stupid.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

 

 

 

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