Dear Barbara Walters and Hosts of The View,
Today I viewed a clip from the View where hosts of the show and D.L. Hughley were discussing men who are DL (on the “down-low”) and men who have had gay sex in the last 30 years not being able to donate blood. I do, to some degree, agree with the FDA’s decision to bar potentially dangerous blood donors from contributing to national blood banks, provided there is proven substantiated risk to those who would receive this blood donation.
Having personally worked within the public health field, I respectfully offer this additional recommendation: That it might be more prudent and incumbent to scrutinize the sexual history of heterosexual blood donors as well, especially if they have a history of multiple sexual partners. Furthermore, I can never agree with information being disseminated through the media via television or by any other means that is incorrect.
It is a documented fact by the CDC that African-American women are contracting the virus in the African-American community at an alarming rate. It is important to note; however, this is not solely because DL men are infecting them with the virus, but due to the fact that they are having unprotected sex with multiple partners at an alarming rate.
What is more troubling, according to one of many sources, Change.Org reports, “The only problem is that Shepherd, Hughley and ABC have yet to acknowledge that their original comments blaming gay and bisexual black men for high HIV rates were misinformed. Instead, given the chance to retract the comment, ABC has refused. Even in the face of more than 2,500 complaints to the network, ABC has still refused.”
What irritates me even more is the fact that people constantly talk about men living on the “down-low” in the African-American community but never get to the root of the problem (which was lightly touched upon in their conversation).
The root cause, in my opinion, is that the African-American heterosexual community is equally to blame for the spread of the epidemic and the perpetuation of the “DL LIFESTYLE” because of their adamant refusal to allow people to be who they were created to be.
Until we are willing to face the fact that there are millions of same-gender-loving people of color in our churches and communities, and embrace them by allowing them to be who they really are, we will continue to die at disproportionate rates.
In order to combat this horrific pandemic which has claimed the lives of multiple millions, we must make sure that information shared in public arenas is accurate, for it we don’t incorrect statistics shared by individuals who are not experts in this field will continue to perpetuate fear, discrimination, ignorance, and intolerance.I cannot tell you how many innocent children, teenagers, and young adults have been brutally murdered in our community (at the hands of homophobic abusers) because someone ha
s shared information that is inaccurate; others heard it, did not verify it, and acted upon that false information in violent ways, as stated previously, by prematurely ending the lives of countless same-gender-loving people.
As an internationally acclaimed author, pastor, and person who is infected with the HIV virus, I know personally, how this epidemic impacts a life, and I also know how misinformation and denial is killing not only individuals in the African-American community by the millions, but also countless numbers in the global community!
I have taken the liberty of enclosing some pertinent information about myself and my recent global endeavours and would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you personally and/or the hosts of The View in greater detail more about these topics to ensure that we get the correct information out to the millions of viewers who watch this telecast.To reiterate, as a Civil Rights Activist and AIDS Advocate, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking immediate action to correct the wrong information that Mr. Hughley shared, for not to do so would be harmful in ways that we might never be able to recover from as a community. It is my prayer that you would also agree that with great power comes great responsibility and in this case, the responsibility is to the truth!
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I appreciate your prompt reply.
Terry Angel Mason, Global Author
Terry Angel Mason
P.O. Box 7243
Los Angeles, CA 90007
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mason’s extraordinary accomplishments are not limited, however, to the written and spoken word; he has distinguished himself through a vital and challenging musical ministry as well. Elected officials often request Mason and his choirs to sing at numerous events such as the State of the City Address, national conventions, inaugural celebrations, and nationally televised events where world-class leaders, former Presidents, and other renowned artists and entertainers are often in attendance.