It won’t be easy, as Obama warned during is victory speech in South Carolina: “The change we seek has always required great struggle and great sacrifice.” But with AIDS, we are already starting to see that change. Black institutions from the NAACP to BET, black thought leaders from Bishop T.D. Jakes to Danny Glover, have stepped forward to issue a declaration of commitment and call to action to end AIDS in black America. And black America is slowly starting to understand that AIDS is a serious problem and believe we can end it.
During the presidential debate in Nevada Senator Clinton said, “The three of us—Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards—are here in large measure because [Dr. Martin Luther King’s] dreams have been realized.”
Clearly, having a black man or a woman as their party’s likely standard bearer for president of the United States is evidence of progress toward the realization of Dr. King’s dream. But Dr. King’s dream can not be manifested in who is running or even elected president of the United States. That dream was about the people. And right now, when it comes to the AIDS crisis, the people are in trouble.
I can see how Sen. Clinton might believe that Dr. King’s dream has been realized. Black people know better, but with Sen. Obama’s campaign, we have begun to believe that it might.
Phill Wilson is the CEO of the Black AIDS Institute.