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Stop false narratives that sow division and bias: A commentary by Fred Blackwell

September 06, 2022

Diversity_GettyImages_gmast3rThe last few weeks, as monkeypox cases continue to rise, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend start to resurface. The fearmongering we’ve seen targeted at the LGBTQIA+ community around this virus—I have to say, it feels like Groundhog Day. I’m back in the ’80s, when gay men were vilified during the AIDS crisis. I’m back in 2001, when Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Americans were blamed for the attacks of September 11. I’m back in 2020, when the president called a global pandemic the “China virus,” and violence against Asian Americans skyrocketed.

We cannot—we will not—do this yet again. We’ve got to stop these false narratives that sow division and bias.

I wish everyone suffering from monkeypox a full and speedy recovery. Like many others, I’m angered by the slow public health response to this outbreak and disappointed that—in addition to a painful illness—many affected by this virus are also facing fearmongering and stigmatization...

Read the full commentary by Fred Blackwell, CEO of San Francisco Foundation.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/gmast3r)

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  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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