Silence = Death: Remembering Dr. King

The Huffington Post
Kelsey Louie
Original Article:

Fifty years ago, four black college students tried to order coffee at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were asked to leave. They chose to stay. For that, they were terrorized. But as dozens of customers kicked their chairs and hurled racial epithets right up to their faces, some ignored them altogether and carried on with their day, as if nothing was happening.

As communities of color confront an alarming level of racism and homophobia, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could not ring more true: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."

Although they represent only half of New York City’s population, 75% of new HIV infections are among blacks and Latinos. Of these new infections, a whopping 56.8%–more than half–are among men who have sex with men (MSM). For those who survived the height of the crisis, HIV and AIDS may no longer feel like a death sentence, thanks to public and government support and direct access to HIV testing and long-term medical treatment.

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