Alex Blaze

State Rep. Larry Brown to the HIV-Positive: You Can All Go Rot!

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 12, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: blame, economic policy, HIV/AIDS, larry brown, lesbian, money, North Carolina

Well, with all the states facing budget crunches and looking for something to cut, someone in this homophobic society was bound to come right and say that people with HIV should just be left to die.

larry-brown.jpgState Rep. Larry Brown said during a discussion of his legislative goals for the year that the government should not spend money to treat adults with HIV or AIDS who "caused it by the way they live."[...]

He went on to say he thinks the government shouldn't spend money to treat HIV among people "living in perverted lifestyles."

"I'm not opposed to helping a child born with HIV or something, but I don't condone spending taxpayers' money to help people living in perverted lifestyles," said Brown, who ran unopposed in the November election to win a fourth term.

Brown wouldn't say Tuesday what he considers perverted, but did say that adults who get HIV through sexual behavior or drugs would be among those who should not be treated at government expense.

Of course. The reason Jack and Juanita can't buy that second car is because of all those perverts out there having sex and draining the system. I'm trying to be a nicer person and give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they're misinformed and not evil, so here are some of the basics

First, in a sane society (definitely not ours), 9.4% unemployment would mean that all of our needs and wants have been met by the 90.6% of the workforce that has a job, so there's just nothing for the other 9.4% to do. That's clearly not the case here, as there's at least one job (producing HIV-related medications) that's not being done. But, as far as I know, there are the raw resources and labor available to produce the thing that's needed, just not the money, legal right, or access to materials in the right hands to get that thing produced. So something with no value (money) is getting in the way of something with value (quality health care for people living with HIV/AIDS in North Carolina), which should have people mad that they're being asked to quietly die because someone else can't manage to put sheets of paper into the right hands.

The reason states have less money now than they did a few years ago is because of the unemployment brought on by the recession. The problem could be solved by the federal government, which has a greater ability to deficit spend, absorbing many of those costs and maybe doing something about unemployment in the process. Whether that happens with a Republican House that would love for nothing more than for a valuable, life-saving government program to get cut in the name of the recession, well, we'll see. Also, tax-payers have less money right now because the rich have been getting richer, both on the back of increasing income inequality and profiteering from the supposed recession, not because of state taxes that go to health care.

In short, there could be money for these health care issues if our government was willing for there to be.

Second, it's pretty easy to blame almost all diseases and injuries on the people who have them. A few years ago, after I had the flu for the umpteenth time while teaching sixteen classes in four elementary schools, I wrote that I could definitely be blamed for my illness since I chose that unhealthy lifestyle (working in elementary education). You can blame lung cancer on people who choose to smoke, tennis elbow on people who choose to play tennis, skin cancer on people who choose to spend too much time in the sun, being stabbed on people who forget to lock their doors, etc. It's pretty easy to blame illness or injury on the person suffering from it when you want to, but we usually don't because it's a douchey thing to do.

For some reason, though, we have a few maladies that are blamed on people who suffer from them and HIV is one of them. Part of it is because it makes us feel safer to call some people perverts (which makes me wonder what Larry Brown does in his private life that's making him anxious to call someone else a pervert), part of it is because of old prejudices that die hard.

No one lives in a perfect bubble and no one can be expected to stop leaving their home because there's a chance of getting hit by a truck just by going out the door. And, yes, people will continue to have sex. Sex drive is the force that populated this planet with seven billion human beings; we're not going to stop it just by wagging a finger at people and telling them to ignore their need for physical intimacy. And not everyone is going to use condoms either, no matter how good public education on safer sex is (and it's not great, let's admit that much), so we should just accept that there will always be people with preventable maladies now and try to decrease the suffering that we can instead of blaming people as a way to get out of taking responsibility for one another.

Maybe Larry Brown isn't a douchebag, but is simply misinformed. Either way, he shouldn't be in government if he really thinks that his job isn't to try to find ways to provide for people's basic needs but instead to make up criteria upon which he decides who lives and who dies, who gets the basics and who doesn't.

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I doubt that Rep. Brown (R-NC) appreciates the legal and philosophical can of worms that he is so self-righteously opening.

Tell me, when a habitual McDonald's customer develops diabetes, should we deny health care to the customer, or should we deny health care to the head of the McDonald's advertising department?

Will Rep. Brown soon be saying that unwed mothers should be denied health care because their pregnancy is caused by sexual behavior that Rep. Brown doesn't approve of?

Finally, when government extends benefits to certain people, and denies them to other certain people, on some basis other than being convicted of a crime, at what point does this become a constitutional violation of due process? Are we going to cancel all health care to jail prisoners, because it is their own fault that they are in jail?

It gets even better when you start to think of the people who eat mcdonalds twice a month but still develop heart disease. Are they only to blame twice a month? Denied two days of heart medication a month? But did they sneak in some long john silvers every now and then too? Maybe their home-cooking was terribly unhealthy; do we have a nutritionist go through their diet to see how much medication they deserve?

With regard to unwed mothers, don't be surprised if the answer is "yes". There are some on Rep. Brown's side of the aisle who believe that women should indeed be punished if they engage in any extramarital "fornication". Same goes for teh gays.

Strangely enough, they seem to skip anything that would punish or inconvenience straight white men. Can't think why.

lets hope this piece of shit meets his maker faster than Jesse Helms.

Unfortunately we live in a time when people think that it is ok to say things like this....... let them eat cake...... was one of those things said at one of those times..... hmnnnndindn't work out so well for her did it?????
May this piece of rubbish be cast out beyond the ninth wave so that even his gods will not hear his cries.

So this hate-filled, ignorant man wants to set up a death panel that he would chair base on his own perverted sense of morality? People like Brown are eating away at the civility of America. This many has no role in public office--perhaps not even in society!

Yes, RJC ... and it is so ironic that ObamaCare was widely accused of involving "death panels" ... but here a Republican state politician is proposing exactly the same thing ... and his GOP colleagues are totally silent ... or stand around nodding their heads in approval.

Apparently, the GOP is not against death panels ... they merely want to be guaranteed to be the only ones who can vote on death panel decisions.

How long before this guy is busted in an airport bathroom?

Regan DuCasse | January 13, 2011 5:40 PM

It doesn't matter if a woman is married or not. Birth and child complications occur often. It's not like a woman wasn't making a mortal decision to have sex and bear a child for all these centuries.

And syphilis was the AIDS of it's time. He's being terribly revisionist to believe that sex and mortality haven't ALWAYS been linked with mankind, especially between men and women.
What. An. Asshole.

There are so many thoughts flying around in my mind with this idiots comments but I'm left chuckling as I reflect back on last year. I hope to meet you one day soon and share that story.

While chuckling, I just wish I were in the North Carolina right now to briefly relive that moment of relief.

antonio caetano | January 14, 2011 1:28 PM

Certainly, his rhetoric is tasteless but what is really unforgivable is his clothing...UGH! I think if he got a little botox and a descent haircut and above all, some tailored and TASTEFUL clothes, we'd see a miraculous change in his attitude. Meanwhile, Larry, avoid cameras.