Political Neglect

 

Vice Presidential 2004 Debate:

In America, “Black women between the ages of 25 and 44 are 13 times more likely to die of AIDS than their [white] counterparts”

"I have not heard those numbers with respect to African- American women.  
I was not aware that it was -- that they're in epidemic"
     -- Vice President Cheney  


Vice Presidential Debates    October 5th, 2004

Beyond politics in general, last night’s debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards was particularly important for the role it played in highlighting and clarifying the differences between the Republican and Democratic campaigns on issues important to Black people.

One reason for that clarification is that a sister, Gwen Ifill, was the moderator asking questions. At one point, she noted that in America “Black women between the ages of 25 and 44 are 13 times more likely to die of the (AIDS) disease than their counterparts” in this country.

You know the chance of that issue being raised by any of the White men who are moderating the presidential face-offs is slim. Then she continued: “What should the government's role be in helping to end the growth of this epidemic?”

The question went to Cheney, who had to confess: “I have not heard those numbers with respect to African-American women. I was not aware that it was -- they're in epidemic.”

That’s a stunning announcement for a man in his position. Not because he did not know the precise numbers, but because he was not aware of the epidem