Choosing Life Over Death By Being Conservative, by Malcolm Moore

A New Visions Commentary paper published May 2004 by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited.

If you’re reading this commentary you’re obviously still alive. Up to this point, you probably think you’ve chosen life over death when making critical decisions. Right? Not necessarily.

If you are “conservative,” and live by conservative principles, you may very well be choosing life over death. If you live by “liberal” principles, however, you may really be choosing death.

This conclusion is apparent in an April 5, 2004 New York Times article by Linda Villarosa entitled, “AIDS Fears Grow for Black Women.” It provides a set of statistics that should – once again – sound the alarm for African-Americans about the spread of AIDS in our communities.

Based on a study conducted in 29 states, its statistics include the fact that African-American women are 23 times more likely to be infected with AIDS than white women. African-American women also accounted for 71.8 percent of all new HIV cases involving women between 1999 and 2002.

Just as alarming is a smaller 2004 study of male students conducted at 37 universities in North Carolina. This study found a fast-spreading outbreak of HIV infections among African-American men.

The article further notes that, in 2002, African-Americans constituted about 12 percent of the U.S. population but 42 percent of persons living with AIDS – and more than 50 percent of all new AIDS cases. It points out the rapid spread of AIDS in the African-American community may be partly attributable to the fact that, in 2002, only 37.7 percent of African American men and only 29.2 percent of African-American women were married and living with their spouses.

Things can be changed for the better if one lives conservatively.

There are certain liberal behaviors that make it more likely one will be at risk of contracting AIDS. To the contrary, acting more conservative is more suitable for AIDS prevention. For example, abstinence from pre-marital sex, joining and holding sacred marriage unions, and rejecting the use of illicit drugs (including those administered by needle) dramatically decreases the change one will be in a position to contract AIDS.

Consequently, with the rapid spread of AIDS among African-Americans, the correct decision – choosing life – is to adopt a conservative lifestyle.

Such a decision clearly implies that a person chooses life over death when it comes to AIDS. There are other types of “deaths” that African-Americans can avoid by choosing to be conservative. African-Americans can avoid “social death” and rejection by society, which may grow to view African-Americans as a highly infected group – much like lepers – if the rapid spread of AIDS continues.

Similarly, African-Americans may avoid “economic death” in choosing a conservative lifestyle. If African-Americans continue to embrace liberal lifestyles and philosophies, the spread of AIDS may motivate firms not to hire African-Americans – even though there are laws against such action – due to the increased risk and costs they might impose on firms through higher insurance premiums and decreased productivity due to illness.

Finally, conservative philosophies may assist African-Americans in avoiding “group death.” Failure to stop the spread of AIDS may force the nation to expend disproportionate resources on healthcare for African-Americans. Other Americans may view this resource drain as unwarranted and take action to prevent it. AIDS patients without healthcare die horrific deaths.

The spread of AIDS is forcing African-Americans to a decision-point, and the choice is clear. African-Americans can choose to irrationally hold onto liberal philosophies that result in contracting AIDS, and that lead to physical, social, economic and group death. We can alternatively choose life by deciding to adopt conservative principles and philosophies.

What is your choice: life or death?

(Malcolm Moore is a member of the National Advisory Council of the African-American leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to [email protected].)

Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.