Getting back to reality after spending 48 hours sick with the flu at home in front of computer, there have been other news stories that I haven’t had the chance to post that I find are very relevant to the recent campaign against LIFEbeat and their use of anti-gay artists to promote AIDS prevention.
A couple of weeks ago famed performer Kevin Aviance was beaten in New York City. Well the Adovocate.com reports that his attackers claimed they were provoked because they were talking among themselves in the East Villiage when Aviance bumped into one of them and reportedly said, "Calm down, sweetie."
According to his police statement, 16-year-old Gerald Johnson then told Aviance, "Don’t ever call me sweetie." The beating that followed left Aviance with cuts, bruises, and a broken jaw, which had to be wired shut.
Johnson explained his actions in the statement, saying, "I did not hit the guy because he was gay. I just did not want my friend to think I was a pussy." An irate Aviance told the New York Daily News that the attack was "unprovoked" and that the suspect’s account was "a lie."
Johnson, Jarrell Sears, Gregory Archie, and Akino George, all age 16 to 20, were each indicted Friday by a Manhattan grand jury on two counts of first-degree assault. If convicted, each faces up to 25 years in prison.
Also on Friday, Aviance’s jaw was unwired, allowing him to eat solid foods again.
Calling somone "sweetie" is not an excuse for a beating. I’d be more likely to throw down over being called a "nigga" or a "bitch," words that Blacks are known to use in conversations amongst each other with no problem.
All of this says to me that we must continue in the work that we do.