Nationally renowned pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, in a strongly worded commentary written exclusively for the Black Press of America, appealed to black churches around the nation to join a unified strategy to deal with the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in the black community.
“We are on the roof again,” stated the pastor of more than 30,000 at the Potter’s House in Dallas, recalling the long wait of African Americans to be rescued during Hurricane Katrina. In that crisis, blacks largely had to save each other and themselves as many died.
Jakes called for black churches to join with other caring organizations to force the federal government to release tax money to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in which blacks are dying at least seven times faster than whites.
“I realize that as Sen. [Hillary] Clinton stated, if this were killing whites in the way it is killing blacks, it wouldn’t be their pastors who would have to take on such a daunting task and it would not be tithe money but tax money that would be used for resource.”
The Congressional Black Caucus has committed to drafting a bill that would help fund programs to end the AIDS epidemic in black America.
“These funds would include all of our tax dollars that have been directed elsewhere while we die,” Jakes wrote.
The commentary, released by the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service, is part of a series of 25 all-star op-editorials written exclusively for the Black Press as part of the Center for Disease Control’s “Heightened Response” to HIV/AIDS in the black community.
“This time we must not wait,” Jakes wrote. He commended many churches for having spent thousands of dollars to address the rising rate of HIV/AIDS. But he calls upon those who may have resisted involvement due to long-held stigmas and prejudices about the disease that once appeared to predominantly plague homosexuals. Stats outlined in the commentary shows that HIV/AIDS is now ravaging black heterosexuals—particularly black women—at astronomical rates.
“We must work to get all groups to a healthy condition,” wrote Jakes. “We cannot care just for those we agree with. We must help all hurting people to safety and then debate later the many complications of our times.
The first two were written by Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, a partner in the op-ed series, and actor/activist Danny Glover.
Source: Frost Illustrated