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No Time for Heroes

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To the editors:

With over 90,000 dead from complications believed to be caused from AIDS, the Reader offers its readers a lesson in machismo masochism. The article, "The Angriest Queer" by Joseph Crump [August 17], is an example of the misinformation necessary to make a martyr.

Hate, stupidity and discrimination are tragically as much of the definition of AIDS as all the medical alleged truths about HIV are. ACT UP has firsthand experience in viewing the history surrounding the concept of government inaction via moral stance. For Daniel Sotomayor, self-proclaimed (until this article) media tyrant, has once again in the tradition of white, heterosexual, Christian men, made expendable communities outside of his own delegation. Therefore, gay and lesbian civil rights, reproductive rights, and racially motivated discrimination are expendable. Diagnostically speaking, if one was too mad to talk one would be quiet. I wouldn't deny his anger (although I would question who he is really mad at). His discontent with ACT UP's agenda clearly exposes his own prejudices. And isn't this what it is so frighteningly all about. Hate. Our world had the chance to respond responsibly to this crisis but instead a distinct confirmation was collectively agreed upon. Gay men are dying, so what? I strongly suggest Sotomayor reconsider his position against uniting, not separating, in the fight to unleash power. (As the virus evolves demographically, we learn about the continued hate and fear for I.V. drug users, the homeless, and non-white cultures.)

Mythmaking gets us nowhere. It's always about men and their plights for good against evil. History will stand testament as to how socially counter-productive hero worship is. Daniel Sotomayor, apparently too busy to die, is like all icons of male aggression. Sadly, a true hero.

Finally, noted in this misguiding human interest story (appropriately syndicated immediately after People magazine's innocent straight-women with AIDS martyr cover) there is this idea that Sotomayor is (or was now that he so valiantly resigned from his self-proclaimed position of "power") the center of ACT UP. Nonsense. Who would organize a group to unleash power based on the power of an individual? Disregarding religion, that is.

Robert Blanchon

New York City

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