We Need Not Question
I read the article concerning AIDS Response Knoxville ["ARK at Loose Ends" by Betty Bean, Vol. 9, No. 16]. I found the article to be very disturbing. I have been a volunteer of various AIDS organizations for the past five years, including being a member of the Regional Advisory Committee. I keep hearing all of this "ARK bashing" from various community members, especially from Betty Bean. This is an attitude that I feel is destructive to the goal of every AIDS organization, which is to end the threat of AIDS. I feel people need not question ARK about it losing sight of its mission; I feel people need to question whether or not they have lost sight of the "AIDS cause." To me the "AIDS cause" calls for aid for the infected, education and prevention for everyone, and a cure and vaccine to end the threat of AIDS. Do we need to have all of this dirt being slung around? If there is an organization doing a lot of good in the community for the AIDS cause (which ARK has done a lot) do they deserve to be slandered? NO THEY DON'T! This community in Knoxville has been so split up into little cliques that everyone has forgotten that we have a problem that needs to be solved; it doesn't matter who or how the problem gets solved, no one should suffer through this disease. We all have our own views of how to address the problem of AIDSwhy can't people accept that? This community basically lost its AIDS education superpower; yes ARK will be missed. I do not know of any organization that could take on all of the programs ARK had, not even the health department could take them on. The Hope Center definitely couldn't. So is this a good thing? We just lost a major source of education, and you people continue to criticize ARK and publish this trash. We need to concern ourselves about how those education and prevention programs are going to be replaced because if they don't get replaced the Hope Center and Positively Living are going to get a little more crowded (if you know what I mean). Maybe ARK is not everyone's idea of the perfect CBO but it got a lot done. We need to learn to respect each other and fight for the cause, not for the power. I know a lot of the people you wrote about in that article, and I have no doubt that the mission and ideas that surround ARK are those of the AIDS cause. This community needs more people like Dawn and Kevin who are so dedicated to their work. Instead of writing these biased articles why doesn't Metro Pulse work to unite the community to fight this disease because there will never be a cure unless we all can work together. I don't want to see anymore of my friends die, and at my age a large grim future remains right now.
Hallowed Butts of Journalism
Your reference to me in the "Miracle Man" paragraph in the "Ear to the Ground" column of April 29, 1999 is all screwed up.
I did not represent Bill "Bud" Lunsford. I represented the neighborhood opposition at both the County Commission and in front of the Board of Zoning Appeals the following Wednesday.
Your reporter must be one of the underage drinkers at The Underground. Your reporter may have had his/her ears between the butts of Harry Moskos and Phil Hamby instead of to the hallowed journalist ground that Joe Sullivan used to walk upon.
Somebody at your place needs to go back to school.
Joseph J. Levitt, Jr.
Ed. Note: Metro Pulse apologizes for the error.