Is race coverage coincidence?

Is race coverage coincidence?

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Dear Editor:

It appears that the only time I’ve seen black/African-American people on the cover of your newspaper is for stories of crime. I’ve hesitated to write this letter, even after noticing the PGN’s headlines and front photo routinely featuring African-American gay men in a criminal light. I thought, “It’s just coincidence.” Now, it just seems, at best, sensationalism; at worst, racist criminalization and marginalization.

Please consider writing something positive about communities of color within the gay community, with pictures. Please consider the implications of repeatedly showing black gay men as criminals and criminals only, especially on the cover of your newspaper for all the world to see.

— Alex Smith Philadelphia

In response to “PA budget includes cuts, increases, for HIV/AIDS funding,” Oct. 23-29:

In this article, the author spoke with Joseph Pease, the state director of HIV/AIDS, to ask about the over $12-million decrease in funding to AIDS medications from Ryan White Part B funds. Mr. Pease responded that this was due to drug-manufacturer rebates.

It is important to compare Pennsylvania to the other 12 states affected by this rebate issue: Out of 12 states, Pennsylvania came in dead last in spending AIDS drug money.

Additionally, what Mr. Pease did not mention is that for returning this money, we were actually penalized an additional $200,000. We paid to return money that we could have used in an innovative way to fight the AIDS crisis.

At a time where there are budget crises at the federal, state and city level, why would we choose to return $11 million of money we were already given? We need an Office of HIV that is efficient, effective and forward-thinking, not one that explains away administrative errors.

— Samantha Sitrin ACT UP Philly

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