"I have been all over Africa for almost 30 years and when I first heard there was a new sexually transmitted disease epidemic I was alarmed and began looking for what the television said was everywhere. All I ever saw was more and more of the same diseases we saw in 1975, and it was obvious the increase was because of the worsening living conditions, and the pennies instead of dollars governments were spending on health care. Sure, I have seen TB wards at hospitals and lots of misery, but nobody except the media and the people living off AIDS money ever called that AIDS." Lee Evans (2006)
Once upon a time I was known more for my "activism", than my athleticism. In 1968, it was not an especially good thing. I have been quiet about racism in America for a relatively long time for a lot of reasons. One of them is that I never was somebody who liked to be in the public eye. All the things I have done that people thought were politically motivated were because of what I learned from my mother and father, and grandmother and the pastor of our church.
But in recent years under the Bush administration, things have gone from bad to worse for all Americans, not only those of African descent. And when it comes to government policy about AIDS, things have now become so bad, I am forced to speak out again.
My latest outrage (that also produced this column) was provoked by the release yesterday of a report recommending near universal testing, and that came with all the expected media hype.
All I can say is that the officials at the CDC who are so impressed with their newest "idea" to keep the non-epidemic alive and well and at the same time promote the racist policies that have been in place in Washington for a long time, should test themselves and their families, and on Oprah Winfrey and Larry King too!
Lee Evans needs no introduction from me, but a new biography, by noted sport's writer Frank Murphy ( The Last Protest: Lee Evans in Mexico City) is worth reading for the true story of that unforgettable olympics. Mr. Evans is currently the head track and field coach at The Univesity of South Alabama in Mobile, and one of his recruits, Vincent Rono (from Kenya) captured the gold in the men's 1500 m. final of the NCAA games held in Sacramento in June. Hank was there. :)