Callin Out Names: Ignore Sexually Irresponsible Music; Know Your Status
In honor dishonor of yesterday’s debacle, I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the significance of December 1, 2010.
No it’s not just the anniversary of Bone Thugs N Harmony’s hit celebrating the distribution of government assistance.
It’s not just a mere 24 more days ’til the fat guy slides down the chimney—or the window, or front door—to deliver Christmas goodies to little boys and girls everywhere.
December 1, 2010 is World AIDS Day. And on a day in which numerous celebrities are going silent on their Twitter accounts, we can’t afford to do the same. A couple weeks ago, we were treated assaulted by Ray Jr.’s ode to unprotected sex, “She Said (Don’t Come In Me).” Outside of the sonic horror unleashed by the public, Ray’s record underscores the limited vocabulary cavalier attitude many of us—self included at times—have about casual sex.
I’m all for freedom of speech and artistic expression, but tracks like this are not only wack, they’re socially irresponsible and destructive. Consider the facts about HIV/AIDS, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control:
- In 2007 blacks accounted for almost half (46%) of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with long-term, confidential, name-based HIV reporting.
- In 2006, blacks accounted for nearly half (45%) of new infections in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- In 2006, black men accounted for two-thirds of new infections (65%) among all blacks. The rate of new HIV infection for black men was 6 times as high as that of white men, nearly 3 times that of Hispanic/Latino men, and twice that of black women.
- In 2006, black men who have sex with men (MSM) 2represented 63% of new infections among all black men, and 35% among all MSM. HIV infection rates are higher among black MSM compared to other MSM. More new HIV infections occurred among young black MSM (aged 13–29) than among any other age and racial group of MSM.
- In 2006, the rate of new HIV infection for black women was nearly 15 times as high as that of white women and nearly 4 times that of Hispanic/Latina women.
Juxtaposed with “She Said (Don’t Come In Me),” the numbers clearly aren’t enough to make people think about anything other than an unintended pregnancy (which is another conversation entirely). Gone are the days of KRS-One proclaiming the virtues of the J-I-M-M-Y and Ice Cube shouting out free clinics. Today, we’ve got one no hit wonders selling p*ssy and using the “pull out and pray” method as a faux means of contraception.
But don’t get it twisted, HIV/AIDS is serious and you, my friend are not Magic Johnson. Here are three things we all can do on World AIDS Day:
A lot of us are afraid to go to the doctor—and given the history of horrific and egregious experimentation on blacks in this country (Tuskegee Experiment anyone?), some skepticism is warranted. However, when your life is quite literally on the line, fear leads to death. Being afraid of needles is no longer an excuse as an HIV test can be conducted with a swab of the cheek. For a list of testing centers, click here.
Wrap It Up
The Pope was dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th Century last week after conceding that condoms were ok for male prostitutes. At $3-5 a box, they better be okay for you too–and they’re the cheapest form of contraception on the market.
There’s a stigma of talking about sex and sexuality in our communities. The sky high rate of HIV/AIDS infections is not due solely to an overly promiscuous culture. It’s an overly promiscuous culture combined with overwhelming silence. We’ve fought—hard—to get keep sex ed out of schools, turn a blind eye when kids go through puberty and decry the use of condoms because we can’t “feel anything.”
This is totally unacceptable.
If you’re going to be having sex, responsibility is the price of admission. Know your status. Get your ass tested today.