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Transcript of Mary Fisher
Relates to others
“Though I am white and a mother, I am one with a black infant struggling with tubes in a Philadelphia hospital. Though I am female and contracted this disease in marriage and enjoy the warm support of my family, I am one with the lonely gay man sheltering a flickering candle from the cold wind of his family’s rejection."
•Humanizes the “inferior”
“We may take refuge in our stereotypes, but we cannot hide there long, because HIV asks only one thing of those it attacks. Are you human? And this is the right question. Are you human?”
“This is not a distant threat. It is a present danger.” Mary Fisher: Born in 1948, Mary Fisher is an artist, author, and activist. While seeking treatment for alcoholism in 1984, she met her second husband, Brian Campbell. The two had one son and adopted another, although their family dissolved in 1990. Soon after their divorce, Campbell informed Fisher that he was HIV, and after testing Fisher was found to be positive for the disease as well. After her diagnosis, Fisher became an activist for AIDS, speaking at two Republican parties conventions. True to her message, Fisher did not limit her activism to party lines and also spoke at the Democratic National Convention. She was very open about her disease and used her publicity to form the Mary Fisher Clinical AIDS Research and Education Foundation, and would eventually replace Magic Johnson as a chairman on the National Commission on AIDS. Fisher also extended her activism overseas, serving on the leadership council of the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. The fame generated by her art helped push the cause further in the spotlight. Today, her work is annually featured in prestigious art shows in Sedona, Arizona. Figurative Language •Metaphor: “I asked the Republican Party to life the shroud of silence which has been draped over the issue of HIVE and AIDS”
“If you do not see this killer stalking your children, look again. There is no family or community, no race or religion, no place left in America that is safe. Until we genuinely embrace this message, we are a nation at risk.”
Holocaust:“He is part of the generation who heard Pastor Nemoellor come out of the Nazi death camps to say, ‘They came after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so, I did not protest. They came after the trade unionists, and I was not a trade unionist, so, I didn’t not protest. Then they came after the Roman Catholics, and I was not a Roman Catholic, so, I did not protest. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to protest.”
Personifies AIDS: “Recognize that AIDS is not a political creature. It does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican; it does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old.” HIV/AIDS is currently the 3rd top cause of death in the world according to the World Health Organization. HIV/AIDS is dangerous disease and currently the third top cause of death in the world according to the World Health Organization. Because of its transmission through blood (e.g., sex), it has developed a negative stigma and was associated with gay men for most of its early history.
Mary Fisher’s speech was actually a counter to Elizabeth Glaser’s 1992 Democratic National Convention speech about AIDS. THESIS The United States fears the acknowledgment of the aids epidemic because they believe it only exists in taboo minorities, but it affects all aspects of the population. QUESTION ONE Key Points SPECIALIST HISTORIAN Sociologist - 1992 Republican National Convention Address in TX
- Main objective is to encourage her party to discuss the reality of the AIDS Epidemic
- The disease is spreading most in women
and children, therefore it can no longer be
ignored due to it affecting the minority
- 200,000 Americans are dead or dying of
AIDS and a million more are infected
-"We have killed each other with our ignorance, our prejudice, and our silence"
- We must recognize the humanity of
those affected by the disease
- "If you believe you are safe, you are at risk"
- This message is a challenge for the party, but it is one that must be addressed before the epidemic can continue QUESTION TWO Is it an effective strategy for Fisher to use the holocaust as a way to stress the importance of addressing this epidemic? Does this call the audience to want to help? Or do they feel that this is an exaggeration? Because Mary Fisher is a white woman, does it seem inappropriate for her to compare her struggle with AIDS with a "lonely gay man" or a "black infant" where they are both at more of a disadvantage?
“People in Washington wouldn’t listen to the chorus of gay men because of homophobia, but people would listen to Mary [Fisher].” —Michael Iskowitz, Senator Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel on AIDS 1987-1997
“There is shame and stigma attached to your H.I.V. status...With AIDS, people come up to me and whisper their stories, but people talk about cancer openly.” —Mary Fisher http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/fashion/aids-activist-mary-fisher-is-defined-by-words-not-disease.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&