Stop public shaming | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Stop public shaming 

Regarding the inspiring piece "Grease the wheel" (Jan. 20): What incredible work Believers United for Progress and Elder Kasib Abdullah are doing to address poverty and the inequality and racism that have undermined Hayti residents' historic pursuits of vibrant community. BUFP gives youth nourishment and opportunities to dream their dreams in Hayti and beyond!

Yet even heroes have their blind spots, such as carrying signs that read "Hoes Have/Spread AIDS" to disperse sex workers on the street. Publicly shaming commercial sex workers and stigmatizing HIV/AIDS itself is a saddening and destructive act if the goal is to build "community atmosphere." Better moves would be to offer the same food and hospitality to sex workers that community service groups offer to youth, addicts, and others—hard, good work, of course, and potentially separate service referrals.

These are the facts: Wherever HIV is highly stigmatized, it spreads far more quickly. Wherever people with drug-addiction-plus-HIV diagnoses are offered housing, their lives turn around. Wherever commercial sex work is legalized worldwide, the rights and safety of sex workers improve drastically, and violent human and sex trafficking are intercepted more easily (look to approaches in India, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden and Australia). In the meantime, people who either choose or are exploited into sex work all deserve to be members of our communities, without self-defeating efforts from fellow residents that lead to stigma and shaming.

Liberation comes through "mutual respect." This is tough stuff in the South and globally: Nelson Mandela gave freedom to so many, and was also protested for early 1990s inaction around HIV/AIDS in communities led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. May they both be our teachers. Blessings to all doing such brave community-building work as BUFP.

Marie Garlock, Durham

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor



Twitter Activity

Comments

in regard to the abortion law under consideration - can we assume these wise white men will see to it …

by jej on Back talk (Letters to the Editor)

When you pull tongue-in-cheek comments out of context of the original thread, it'd be nice if you had the courtesy …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. The Crown of Civilization (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

in regard to the abortion law under consideration - can we assume these wise white men will see to it …

by jej on Back talk (Letters to the Editor)

When you pull tongue-in-cheek comments out of context of the original thread, it'd be nice if you had the courtesy …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

Thanks for pulling my quote out without noting that the comment was made tongue-in-cheek. A bit creepy when you pull …

by Heath Satow on Not a Lot of Nazi Statues in Berlin (Letters to the Editor)

was the misogony stuff actually some type of performance art?

by sthomper on Mob Rule (Letters to the Editor)

Ryan Plankenhorn appears to have good intentions with his remarks, and it is much appreciated. I would kindly like him …

by MelissaJ123 on Blind Attack (Letters to the Editor)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation