Thursday, August 24, 2006
Add this to the list of things we'll never see W doing
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Sen. Barack Obama will take a public HIV test at a remote Kenyan clinic this weekend to promote HIV/AIDS prevention in a country where an average of 700 people die each day from the disease.
Obama, the only African-American in the Senate, was to arrive in Kenya Thursday and take the test in the western village of Nyangoma-Kogelo, where his father — a goat herder who went on to study at Harvard — grew up and his grandmother still lives, said Jennifer Barnes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
Two million of Kenya’s 33 million people have HIV, although the number of new infections has recently declined. Around 1.5 million people have died from the disease — and western parts of the country are the worst hit.
That's just a crazy number of people dying each day, from a disease that is -- largely -- preventable. It's a sin (and I don't use that word often, because I generally don't believe in sin) that these people don't have access to the medications they need to turn AIDS into a chronic illness, instead of a fatal one. It's a sin that we're more concerned about killing one set of brown skinned people and ignore the suffering of another. (Yes, I realize W pledged to spend lots of cash on the African AIDS crisis. He just hasn't ponied up yet. Which should suprise no one whose been paying attention. Hell, he can't even help out Louisiana hurricane victims and we could drive up and knock on his front door.)
I'm also a little caught offguard that Obama is the only black person in the Senate. How the hell does that happen? In 2006? That's just...wrong.
Can I tell you, if Obama ran for prez, I'd likely vote for him? I think he's doing a pretty good job of being...sane? I don't necessarily agree with him on everything, but I don't get the skeevy feeling when I look at him like I do with pretty much all Republicans.