Today I watched yesterday’s Oprah episode. The Oprah Show returned to Williamson, West Virginia where she did a show on location in 1987 about the, then new, AIDS epidemic. The show revolved around a recent story about a young, gay, HIV positive resident who swam in a public pool, which was subsequently closed by local powers.

Watching the clips from that show 23 years ago – I am astounded. I am astounded by the words, the thoughts, the lack of compassion, the ignorance. I am astounded by the mob mentality, the witch hunt thought process. But most of all, I am astounded by the fact that we, as a society, have not really grown from that closed minded, judgmental, fear based way of life. We like to think we progress, become educated and more tolerant. We like to think that we learn from our mistakes and use history as a way to remind us of what not to do. But, really, how true is that?

The pure hate, disgust, judgment and verbal poison coming from the mouths of those people is so familiar to what we see today when having discussions about gay marriage, Muslim mosques, black presidents, reproductive rights, immigration and probably a slew of other topics I am unintentionally leaving out. Visit a local blog or listen closely at the corner bar. Especially when there is a sense on anonymity, people will show their true colors. And those colors are not as bright as they should be in the year 2010.

Listen to what some of the people said about those with AIDS in 1987 – again TWENTY THREE YEARS ago – and think about it…how far have we really come.

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9 thoughts on “How Far Have We Really Come?

  1. Yes, jonolan, but where are those mistakes now being repeated in relation to other issues, other minorities, other misunderstandings?

    It doesn’t take 20:20 political insight to see that those ignorant mistakes are being repeated at an alarming, and INCREASING pace in contemporary America.

    Birther movement, anyone?

  2. I do agree with you that there are people full of hate. What I have noticed recently with regards to our government or political leanings, there is no tolerance for difference of opinions. There is little open discussion, just name calling and rudeness. For this reason I think we are really going backwards. Like your site by the way.

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