Between gangs and HIV killing people in the black community, one must wonder how history will record the decline in the black population. It may read something like this (selection from a history book written in the year 2222):
“Black people in Minneapolis and across America in 2006 used to reflect 13 percent of America’s population. Today, we see only 5 percent of black people in America, which includes the population in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
“Let Americans understand that it was not the Ku Klux Klan or other racist groups that killed these people — it was these people themselves who killed each other, and their churches’ failure to address the cause of their destruction by protecting criminals, hiding behind racial profiling, and not addressing HIV-infected black people.”
The 2222 history book might go on to read that while the black churches were the spirit of the black community, leading blacks through slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and other social challenges, even the most recognized black church leaders failed to meet the HIV challenge. While blacks represented 13 percent of the population in 2006, over 68 percent of HIV-infected women were black.
Black leaders, instead of taking responsibility, would beg government to do something about the problem, including providing needles for drug-using men and bisexual black men who would infect these black women instead of preaching non-drug use. Providing hygienic needles for drug users would become visible as the message that this generation of black leaders tolerated drug use, which was a leading factor for HIV infections. History would record the drug babies and families further infected with HIV.
The 2222 history book would mention the high number of black gang members who killed innocent children during drive-by shootings. The book would record black-on-black murders and some leaders who would rush to protect those murderers when police developed new strategies to arrest the community thugs killing children, teens, and seniors daily in their own communities.
The small number of blacks reading that book in 2222 would attempt to discover reasons for black churches not addressing these issues every Sunday. They would look for newspaper articles, wanting to see black church leaders fighting to protect black life by preaching against same-sex relationships, against gangs and drug use.
However, all they will find are blacks begging the government to deal with these issues when the black churches could have prevented the decline of the black population by refusing to be silent about HIV and gang activity in their communities.
Black people are dying at a distressing rate in our cities. In Minneapolis, we have had more blacks killed because of gang violence than the total number of military troops killed since the start of the war in Iraq.
I am going to have buttons printed reading “I don’t have HIV — Ask me how” to give to youth, women, men and seniors in our community to wear on their shirts. Heck! Folks can wear the button on their underwear to be seen before having sex! Call me for your button.
Lucky Rosenbloom is the Independence Party candidate for state senator in District 61