Mary Fisher- a Whisper of Aids Essay

1775 Words Feb 23rd, 2013 8 Pages
Someone has to speak out
The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in America was a huge crisis during the 1900s. Not knowing the true nature of AIDS, the society and policy makers simply alienated Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive population. The stigma of AIDS exacerbated existing problems of prejudice and social inequity. However, Mary Fisher’s inspiring speech cleverly titled, “A Whisper of AIDS,” effectively promoted awareness of HIV and AIDS throughout the United States, and brought a change to a public policy on AIDS related issues. Her speech demonstrates the role of activist in shaping public policy in 1900s.
The human immune system disorder now known as AIDS was first identified in the United States in
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The government response to HIV/AIDS was a silence. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush rarely mentioned the epidemic. Many federal programs still actively discriminated against persons with AIDS by 1990.
However during the 1992 Republican National Convention, the HIV-positive woman name Mary Fisher spoke out for the AIDS crises. As a daughter of Max Fisher, the wealthy and powerful Republican fund raiser and the honorary chairman of the Bush-Quayle National Finance Committee, she knew she could bring home the reality of AIDS to people in positions of power and influence in a way that few others could. She stood in front of the Republicans to tell the audience: “If you believe you are safe, you are in danger." Previous speeches that night were given by Pat Buchanan and Dan Quayle, and their speeches attacked homosexuals, single moms, the inner city poor, people that are not typically Republican. This set a negative tone before Mary Fisher gave her speech on AIDS. However, when she began speaking of AIDS and even used herself as a living example, a 44 year old white woman from a wealthy background, and a mother of two was HIV positive, the RNC audience became more receptive, because she was part of the audiences "herd". As Mary Fisher stated, she was not
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