The Seven Deadly Sins Fact Sheet
by David Wojnarowicz (1989)
Edward Koch. Every day, new yorkers who are AIDS workers see the human toll that their mayor's refusal to deal with a health crisis extorts from the sick. So they have no reason to believe the mayor has any sympathy for people with AIDS. Koch has stalled, ranted and raved, and in
general done everything he could to avoid dealing with the AIDS crisis.
- He has spent woefully little and at this point in time has left 8,000-10,000 P.W.A.'s (People With AIDS) homeless in the streets. At a recent city agency meeting city officials heard testimony that projected 33,000 homeless people with AIDS living on the streets of N.Y.C. by 1993. Congressmen were assured by representatives of the city that no one should worry, these people will be dying so quickly from lack of treatment that there will be no visible increase of homeless P.W.A.'s on the streets. Letting landlords warehouse apartments and letting city-owned buildings remain bricked up while he spends taxpayers' money for rat-infested welfare rooms to the tune of $1500 a month per room for those homeless who manage to get help through city agencies.
He has done nothing for foster care or treatment, only grandstand announcements of programs that never get done (housing, etc.).
- He has come out against legislation acknowledging domestic partners.
- Even AIDS workers familiar with all of the above were aghast when the mayor earlier this year revealed the depth of his fear and loathing. In the latest installment of his autobiography (this one a co-production with the cardinal) the mayor relates a visit he made to a local ward for children with AIDS. Handing out cookies to the kids, he was so overcome with revulsion that he rushed to the nearest sink and tried to wash the experience away, in effect literalizing what he has been doing since this crisis began: Distributing sweets and washing his hands.
Cardinal John O'Connor. The world's most active liar about condoms and safer sex. No set of AIDS statistics alarms demographers more than the apparent spread of HIV infection among new york city's adolescents, many of them latino, many of them in neighborhoods dominated by the church. AIDS crisis.
Cannibal?—The hierarchy of the american church appears to have dug in for the long last supper. Aside from recent harassment of people who believe in choice with regard to abortion (threats of excommunication, etc.), O'Connor, who missed his calling on soap operas, is installing a raised press platform in St. Patrick's Cathedral for television crews and reporters. His spokesman explained, "We have been planning this for a long time as a way of balancing the press's and the worshippers' needs."
- PREFERS COFFINS TO CONDOMS: At Covenant House, a supposed
safe-haven for teenage runaways who frequently have to resort to hustling and prostitution for survival while on the streets, NO condoms or safer-sex information available, although there is a high rate of recidivism. The archdiocese, which runs Covenant House, as well as keeping these children ignorant and putting them at great risk in order to maintain their "moral" code, will simply tell them it is their fault as they lay dying. NO safer-sex information or condoms talked about in parochial schools and catholic-run youth agencies.
- Archdiocese serves on the Board of Education's AIDS Advisory Committee and incessantly lobbies heavily and against teaching about safer sex and/or condoms.
- VATICAN'S POSITION ON VIOLENCE AGAINST LESBIANS AND GAYS: October 31, 1986 (after Gay Rights Bill passed) VATICAN LETTER: "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons" (issued by Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). Section 12 ( violence):
". . . . when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the church nor society at large should be surprised when other disturbed notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase."
Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-CA). Asked president Bush to denounce a federal study of suicide containing research by a San Francisco social worker that links young gays' and lesbians' suicidal tendencies with alienation from a society largely unaware of their existence. The congressman's latest homophobic volley charged that the inquiry "adds legitimacy to the heretofore crime of child molestation."
Lesbian and gay young people who take their own lives acccount for 30 percent or more of all u.s. suicides, according to san francisco psychotherapist Paul Gibson. Dannemeyer called on Bush to "affirm traditional family values by denouncing the portion of the report that deals with homosexuality." In the report, Gibson said that the root problem of gay youth suicide is a society that discriminates against and stigmatizes homosexuals while failing to recognize that a substantial number of its youth has a gay or lesbian orientation. (Contact Gregory King of the Human Rights Campaign Fund regarding a news release dated November 5, 1989, (202) 628-4160.) Dannemeyer is a longtime homophobic crazy regarded as a nut case by his congressional colleagues. Also the author of a book that declares homosexuality to be a curable illness—a position that contributes to violence against lesbians and gays.
Stephen Joseph. Shut down bathhouses in n.y.c. rather than treating them as possible places where education about AIDS and safer-sex possibilities could take place. Not long ago, in epidemiology so shoddy it shocked even the establishment, his Health Department had revised its estimate of HIV infected gay and bisexual men in n.y.c.—from 250,000 to 50,000! Why? The city's evolving party line now said the epidemic was one of drug users and their families. The city could not afford to recognize that, measured in the mounting body count, the epidemic among gays was far from over. This new ideology (and the attendant specter of funding cuts) had required a new epidemiology. In his performance on the witness stand Joseph had given the department's de facto homophobia his inimitable chilly imprint.
He uses irrelevant analogies from san francisco figures, thereby refusing to accurately count HIV positive gay men. Refused, as does the Centers for Disease Control, to acknowledge that lesbians are at risk and have contracted AIDS.
- He hasn't pressured the Board of Education to do a real AIDS education program in the schools.
- Hasn't insisted on declaring a state of emergency.
- Has pushed testing and contact tracing as opposed to prevention and treatment; especially treatment.
- Wanted to outlaw anonymous testing and institute mandatory contact tracing. Has been nothing but a stooge for Koch. Lucky for N.Y. he resigned recently.
Jesse Helms. One of the more dangerous homophobes in the continental united states. Finds the human body, itself, obscene. Was responsible for the original NEA flap and haa made thinly disguised racist statements detailing his reactions to certain Mapplethorpe photographs—statements concerning interracial couples. Sends out photographs of himself to citizens and newspapers in a tireless self-enriching, self-promoting campaign whose policies and statements contribute heavily to the murder of and violence against lesbian
and gays in this country as well as creating myths about AIDS that keep people stupid and ignorantly at risk for contracting the disease. Has introduced legislation that denies federal funding for any program that mentions homosexuality. Has succeeded in getting such legislation passed by using a campaign of intimidation that most politicians bow to. Cut out any and all AIDS education funding that relates to gays and lesbians. Introduced legislation that we must now live with that prevents any HIV positive people or PWA's from entering any border of the U.S.A. as well as deporting people with green cards forcibly tested and found to be HIV positive. Designed the New Chill that has swept through the arts community, causing institutions, artists, and curators to censor themselves rather than contest him. Fascists wearing conservative drag have mounted Helms and ridden him through the foundations of the Constitution. Even a true conservative would recognize the recent Frohnmayer attacks as a trampling of the First Amendment—Helms just about had a media-induced orgasm.
"What do the anti-arts forces want? What they have always wanted in this century: political control over our culture, using moral outrage as the excuse. "—Douglas Davis. artist, critic, and teacher (Newsday)
Under Helms, words and pictures have gained a power they haven't had in decades compared to television.
Alfonse D'Amoto. More interested in lining his rich real estate friends' pockets than saving people's lives. With his eyes peeled for the camera he's made an a------ of himself ripping the Mapplethorpe catalogue into tiny pieces; clear echoes of the Nazi era. Has been so busy voting for the Helms amendments denying AIDS education that he has never had a personal meeting with a gay or lesbian organization. It seems that you must be a BIG contributor to his campaign funds before you can get a foot in the door. Despite never meeting with a representative of the lesbian and gay community, he has voted consistently against us. Dismissive of gay issues. In the 1980 election, while running against Holtzman/Javits, he was quoted as saying, "Elizabeth Holtzman is part of the Ultra-Left Gay Rights Conspiracy that is out to destroy the middle class." D'Amato clearly missed his calling; he could have increased his millions writing trash novels like Dannemeyer. If the feds ignore his wealth and move against him in the HUD scandals, seats in the courtroom will be filled to the max.
Frank Young. Has operated as a know-nothing bureaucrat who saw his job as obstruction. Young has headed a Food and Drug Administration totally unequipped to deal with the magnitude of a crisis like AIDS.
- Has refused to work actively to get treatments to people with the disease who might live and thrive.
- To him, red tape and procedure is more important than people.
- Doesn't understand issues of access for the poor, or uneducated, or communities of color.
- In classic bureaucratese, people who were dying from AIDS were told until recently that they couldn't try manageably safe, potentially effective drugs: Big Brother was protecting them from themselves. When the Commissioner finally woke up and smelled the bodies, the orders he issued might have inched the agency in the right direction. Trouble was, the bureaucracy never followed. Now that he's been dumped upstairs, will the next FDA chief in fact effect the changes that AIDS demands, or simply let the bureaucracy go back to bed?
David Wojnarowicz's Untitled (One Day This Kid. . .)
A History Is A Weapon Update: Where Are They Now?
Ed Koch: "Anytime you are mayor, you have critics, and one of the most persistent was Larry Kramer, who happens to live in my apartment building in the Village, and who ran around screaming that somehow I could have prevented AIDS. And the fact is, I did more on AIDS, and more to promote civil rights for gay people, than any other mayor in the country. Kramer's thrust was that I was afraid that if I showed concern, people would think I was gay. He wasn't the only one who said that, of course.
Listen, there's no question that some New Yorkers think I'm gay, and voted for me nevertheless. The vast majority don't care, and others don't think I am. And I don't give a s--- either way! What do I care? I'm 73 years old. I find it fascinating that people are interested in my sex life at age 73. It's rather complimentary! But as I say in my book, my answer to questions on this subject is simply F--- off. There have to be some private matters left." (1998) Still defends his record on AIDS in 2012.
Cardinal John O'Connor died of a brain tumor in 2000. Time Out New York praised his death as one of the best events of the year: "The press eulogized him as a saint, when in fact, the pious creep was a stuck-in-the-1950's, antigay menace. Good riddance!" He never recanted or apologized for his actions at the beginning of the AIDS crises.
William Dannemeyer is now a private citizen, accusing Jews of all sorts of terrible things. Twice, he ran for the Senate, losing the primary both times.
After resigning, Dr. Stephen Joseph, offered begrudging respect to ACT-UP's activism and their results helping change aspects of a system that had been "unfair and constraining."
Jesse Helms died a hate-filled wretch in 2008, cruel to the end.
Alfonse D'Amoto actually got the Human Right Campaign's endorsement in 1998, after he did an about face on AIDS and homosexuality after one of his senior staff members and close friends died of AIDS in the early nineties. He still lost his senate seat to Schumer.
Frank Young was forced out as head of the FDA amidst scandals of bribery and mismanagement. He was interviewed in 2000 about his time at the FDA:
"I said, 'I need your help.' They said, 'Well, how can we help?'
'You know, there's parts of the agency that don't quite believe as I do about accelerating the drug approval process and the treatment IND.'
They said, 'Well, what should we do?'
I said, 'I'd like you to demonstrate at the agency, but I want you to let me know when you're going to demonstrate, because I'll be out of town.'
Well, sure enough, they told us the date, and, sure enough, I went out of town, and as you gentlemen know, they climbed up over the door, they broke the windows and turned over wastebaskets, and I came back andsaid, 'See, there's public pressure. We've got to get the job done.' And they were among my greatest allies in getting the treatment IND through."
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