Rob Schlein column amounted to hate speech; DV should apologize

I was shocked to see the misleading headlines on both the front cover and page 6 of your June 15 issue indicating an “evolution” in the “platforms” of both major state political parties.

I was then quite distressed to find page 15 of the same issue almost completely devoted to an expression of self-hate by Rob Schlein, described as “president of the Metroplex Republicans of Dallas.”

As journalists, it is difficult to understand how you reconcile the headline “TX party platforms evolve on LGBT issues” with a platform that continues to state: “We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit.”

If Mr. Schlein does not understand that this statement is totally unacceptable, then you, your headline writers, and your copy editors certainly should.

It is a non-starter, an acknowledgment reinforced by the party spokesman within your article that we are not welcome in that party.

At a time in which the national and state Republican parties have ramped up their hate rhetoric not only against the LGBT community, but also against women and people of color, no responsible publication, gay or otherwise, should be promoting the sad self-hate of a shill like Mr. Schlein.

Mr. Schlein and Mitt Romney have blood on their hands as they expose GLBT youth to the hate speech of the remnants of a once respectable national and state party.

The fact that they attempt to cloak themselves as responsible citizens makes them more dangerous than either the KKK or the Westboro Baptist Church.

At the very least, you should apologize to your readers for publishing Mr. Schlein’s column and pledge to never again provide a forum for hate speech.

David Johnston


Don’t let Chisom mess overshadow good work being done in S. Dallas

AIDS Arms Inc. is concerned about the news released last week about the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation and its South Dallas AIDS Walk that began in 2010.

We know there are always many sides to any situation and that more information will undoubtedly be forthcoming.

Even so, we are hopeful that the news last week does not negatively impact the reputable sponsors, donors, walkers and beneficiary organizations who were involved with Mr. Chisom based on a good faith belief that solid stewardship, accountability and transparency were present and active.

We are also saddened of the impact on the many vulnerable people living with HIV who depend on all of us in AIDS service organizations across North Texas to provide positive and transparent services and leadership on their behalf.  We hope that the reported accountability problems facing Mr. Chisom’s foundation are quickly responded to, resolved and that the commitments made to all of its participating individuals and organizations are fully met.

Last week’s report regarding Anthony Chisom Foundation is also concerning because of AIDS Arms’ strong and permanent service in South Dallas.

We know the world, and particularly the HIV world, has grown much smaller over the past years. What happens at or impacts one organization touches us all.

Public perception, future volunteer and financial support, and the perpetuation of stigma within some community circles toward people living with HIV and AIDS — these all can potentially be impacted in negative ways regardless of the direct relationship we all may or may not have to Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation.

We hope that does not happen as there are so many positive and accountable organizations and activities happening in South Dallas and beyond to help people live better, fuller lives with HIV and to prevent others from acquiring the disease.  Good work is happening in many places by many people, and we all need that to continue.

AIDS Arms’ Peabody Health Center has been an active, positive presence in South Dallas since 2001, offering outpatient medical care, case management, medication assistance and free HIV testing.

Neither AIDS Arms nor our partner organizations would want anything to compromise the good work happening at Peabody and other AIDS service organizations in South Dallas.

While Kirk Myers of Abounding Prosperity may consistently report it is the only organization with a permanent presence in South Dallas, AIDS Arms has owned and operated Peabody Health Center for nearly 12 years and certainly we have provided in-home HIV case management and support to thousands of people in South Dallas since 1986.

We proudly serve nearly 2,000 HIV-positve individuals and thousands of at-risk individuals living in South Dallas today and will continue to do so in positive ways. Many other AIDS service organizations are active in South Dallas as well, and we know they all want to continue to have community support to keep their good work active for people in need.

Raeline Nobles
Executive Director
AIDS Arms Inc.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 22, 2012.