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Sip lathi (Ear liwl
Monday, August 29, 1983
II II v
A terrifying spectre
By FRANK BRUNI
Its victims may first notice purplish blot
ches on or under their skin. They may ex
perience an extreme loss of weight or per
sistent fever. Glands in their necks, or even
their groins, may swell tremendously.
But these are just the warning signs, the
symptoms, the horrifying prophecy of a
slow death which may include as many as
two long years of suffering and ailments as
devastating as Kaposi's sarcoma and
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
The killer is AIDS, its method is to
wreck the body's immune systems and
philosophers and physicians, politicians
and preachers. The contagious nature of
the disease has drawn attention to the
more promiscuous homosexuals in
America, and all gay men suffer from this
Yet, strangely enough, some people
manage to ignore the existence of AIDS.
Most Americans do not personally know
anyone who has contracted the disease or
died from it. The subsequent refusal to
confront the disease's existence, a denial
found even among gay men, is perhaps
more perplexing and potentially dangerous
than the hysterical reactions of some when
they learn of the disease.
'The changes of a gay man walking across the road
and getting hit by a car are greater than his chances of
getting AIDS from someone he meets in a North Carolina
Jim, property manager at Capital Corral
leave them open to fatal infections, its vic
tims are primarily homosexual and bisex
ual men and its death toll stands ominous
ly at 805.
The high-risk groups are homosexual
and bisexual men, intravenous drug users,
Haitians and hemophiliacs, but there are
few Americans who have not been af
fected by the emergence of AIDS as a na
tional health emergency. With the ex
haustive media coverage of its rapid
spread, AIDS has quickly become an issue
with moral, social and political dimen
sions. Americans are scared. Accounts of
police officers refusing to administer arti
ficial respiration to members of the gay
community, and other such agents of
public hysteria are common. The gay com
munity of America is under attack from
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syn
drome was officially given its name in July
1982 after scientists had observed the
strange deaths of many homosexual men
whose immune systems had mysteriously
broken down. Today, little more than a
year later, AIDS has reached epidemic
proportions. It is a public health hazard so
grim that the U.S. Public Health Service
has declared the deadly disease its No. 1
health priority and will spend more than
$15 million this year on AIDS research.
As of Aug. 15, 2,094 cases of AIDS had
been reported to the Center for Disease
Control in Atlanta, and an average of six
new cases are being reported each day. If
the AIDS epidemic continues to spread as
rapidly as the case number currently
multiplies, there could be 46,400 people in
the United States with AIDS by November
of 1985 46,400 people wit) a disease
which, at present, cannot be cured and
which many doctors believe may be im
possible to survive.
These staggering statistics make it
especially hard for gay men to ignore the
suspicions of scientists that AIDS is
transferrable through certain forms of sex
ual contact, such as anal intercourse, and
that casual sex with multiple partners
greatly increases an individual's chances of
contracting the infection.
But business at gay bars in the Raleigh
Durham area continues to thrive. The
dance floors at such popular gay night
spots as 42nd Street in Durham and the
Capital Corral in Raleigh are crowded on
weekend nights, and one-night stands have
by no means been rendered obsolete by the
emergence of AIDS.
According to Jim, property manager at
the Capital Corral and a member of the
Triangle area gay community, the lifestyles
of gay men in North Carolina have
changed little since the outbreak of AIDS.
"There's a concern here, but it's
nothing gay men think about on a daily
basis," Jim explained. "The chances of a
gay man walking across the road and get
ting hit by a car are greater than his
chances of getting AIDS from someone he
meets in a North Carolina bar. It's a mat
ter of odds. AIDS is an extremely rare
Rare it may be, but it is no stranger to
the state of North Carolina. Residents of
Raleigh and Durham and even Chapel Hill
have indeed contracted the disease.
According to physicians in North
Carolina involved in the treatment of in
fectious diseases, AIDs has arriyed
in this state. Dr. David Durack of Duke
University Medical Center said that the
mm "V mm m mm b is i
number of cases reported in North
Carolina is up to 15, a majority of which
have occurred in the Triangle area.
Local physicians have seen numerous
gay patients worried about having had sex
ual contact with someone who later dis
played symptoms of AIDS. These physi
cians are not treating the issue lightly.
They are advising gay men to initiate ef
forts to decrease the probability of ex
posure to the infection. They are .warning
them that AIDS is no longer a disease con
fined to densely populated areas with
notoriously visible gay communities. They
are doing their best to see that gay men in
North Carolina become aware of the prox
imity of AIDS and prevent the spread of it
in this state.
Still, some gay men see that almost half
of the AIDS cases reported originate in the
New York City area and another quarter
from California, and they think that they
are insulated from the threat of the
"Almost all of the cases North Carolina
has had were contracted out of state," Jim
insisted, somehow ignoring the fact that,
regardless of where the afflicted North
Carolinians contracted the disease, they
have returned to North Carolina, their
home. Since the incubation period be
tween an individual's contraction of the in
fection and the detection of symptoms can
be as long as 30 months, these same gay
men may very well have unknowingly and
unintentionally transferred the infection to
Where AIDS victims from North
Carolina contracted the disease does not
matter. What matters is that they returned
to the state and lived in its gay community
before the symptoms of their deadly
disease appeared. Some of these men have
died, a few in beds at N.C. Memorial
Hospital in Chapel Hill.
In light of this, Jim's sentiments are
disturbing. Nearly 1,000 people have died
from AIDS and more than three times that
number face the prospect of a likely death
from the disease in the next several years.
Where human lives are at stake, there is no
room for flippant, defiant attitudes. Nor is
there room for the political and moral op
portunism of anti-gay factions whose at
tempts to belittle homosexuality in this
time of crisis have often triggered the de
fiance in gay men like Jim.
At present, there is room only for a
cooperative effort between the public and
the medical community to inform all
citizens about AIDS, to prevent its
devastating spread, and to allocate energy
and finances to the discovery of a cure.
Americans, both gay and straight, need
to offer each other mutual support and
brace themselves for an increasingly urgent
fight against what may well be the most
frightening epidemic in this country's
Frank Bruni, a sophomore English ma
jor from Avon, Conn., is an editorial
writer for The Daily Tar Heel.
Don't forget the struggle
By KERR Y DeROCHI
In 1963, the Washington Mall became a sideline
for the pursuit of equal rights. On its green lawn, a
band of 10 dreamers dared to lead a protest against
the nation's racial injustice. They gathered 200,000
from across the country and marched in two lines
through the capital's streets.
Then, from a sunlit podium at the Lincoln Memo
rial, they spoke of a dream, of a "sunlit path" and
an "oasis of freedom."
The 200,000 listened and believed.
This weekend marked the 20th anniversary of that
historic march. And in celebration, today's civil
rights leaders planned a Saturday re-enactment of the
mass rally, commemorating the work of Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. Coalitions across the country, as the
group of students in Chapel Hill, organized bus trips
to Washington. They circulated petitions and wrote
brochures. More importantly, they worked to tell the
public that the pursuit of "jobs, peace and freedom"
is still on; that in this country racial persecution is still
the rule, equality merely an exception.
"We feel it is very central to remind the American
people of the dream Martin Luther King had and
that the dream has not been completely fulfilled," an
organizer of this year's march said. "Let's not forget
the struggle of people over the last 20 years; let's note
the accomplishments we have made, but not forget
Tha struggle first began in the early 1960s, as blacks
fought a repressive system unchallenged since the
Civil War. At that time, they rode in the back of city
buses; they drank at separate water fountains. They
were barred from restaurants.
On Aug. 28, 1963, they brought their struggle to
Washington. That day, the marchers strolled slowly
to the base of the Washington Monument, huddling
in groups as they awaited the signal to begin. They
signed pledges to the civil rights movement as they
registered with march officials. They carried placards
reading "An end to bias" and "No U.S. dough to
help Jim Crow grow."
Joseph Straley, a member of the Chapel Hill Town
Council, was among that crowd. He said in an in
terview last week that he remembered the tension in
the marchers' pacing, the determination on their
faces. They were as the crowds at a country carnival,
anxiously trying to catch glimpses of the next exhibit.
There was concern and also anger, he said.
For him, the march was the chance to send a mes
sage to federal officials that separate water fountains
and restricted buses were no longer acceptable. "All
of these things struck me as an outrageous violation
of the precepts of religion and the conditions under
which this country was established," Straley, a
former UNC professor of physics, said. "And you
can't just lay in the gutter and suffer, you try to get
out of that gutter and do something about your con
ditions." The marchers strode the mile to the Lincoln
Memorial as crusaders, breaking into chants and
singing church hymns. "There was a momentum that
built up throughout the day, and I guess it climaxed
with Dr. King's classic speech," one marcher would
say later. "It was a feeling that a new America was
In 1964, Congress would approve a Civil Rights act
that promised an end to discrimination and the era of
barred doors for blacks. One year later, the Voting
Rights Act was signed into law, ensuring minorities a
right to the ballot box. Fair housing laws were ap
proved soon after. And medicaid programs began.
It looked as if the 200,000 had succeeded that is
until the momentum started by the leaders 20 years
ago collided with today's, news that half of black
teenagers are still unemployed; that only 1 percent of
today's elected officials in this country are black; that
the Reagan administration, through pushing for tax
credits to private schools known to discriminate on
the basis of race, echoed the Jim Crow practices.
And that, yes, a black candidate for mayor won in
Chicago, but only after a campaign famous for its
buttons with watermelons, and political chants sung
to "Bye, Bye Blackbird."
The idealism carried by many marchers 20 years
ago had been discarded, as an old placard put away
on a shelf.
"I don't think it's accidental that this march is oc
curring at a time when there's a great deal of sus
picion that the federal officials are taking away bene
fits to the impoverished," Straley said of Saturday's
"People aren't going there just because they think
'Martin Luther King is a great guy, and let's go have
See MARCH on page, 2D
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new trends, challenges
By BILL RIEDY
Preparations for Saturday's March on Washington
drew interested onlookers and participants last
week in Chapel Hill, as well as throughout the rest
of the nation. (Photos by Charles W. Ledford)
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The days of the Hearsts and Pulitzers and cutthroat competi
tion in journalism seem to be a thing of the past, although
newspapers still face plenty of competition for their readerships
and advertising dollars.
More and more cities are becoming one-newspaper towns. This
has created an effect that many argue has hurt the profession of
journalism because of the lack of healthy competition between
rival papers in the same market a market that previously com
peted for the same readers by trying to be the first paper to report
the breaking news, or by being the paper with the best coverage or
best writing. Whatever sort of journalism made that paper, it is
no longer as necessary as it once was.
The most common trends in the majority of American cities
have been toward one morning and one afternoon paper, usually
published by the same company. In addition, afternoon circula
tions have been slipping for years. With increased technology in
other media, more people in our society want the news as soon as
they can get it.
Philip E. Meyer, Kenan professor of journalism and former
employee of Knight Ridder newspaper chain, said communication
technologies have made it possible to deliver advertising in so
many ways that newspapers must do it as effectively as possible.
Now, newspapers have to be better than before. They are
charging advertisers more than ever but have gone as far as they
can. So they take the resources already available to make the best
possible product to get everyone to read at least one newspaper a
As a result of these new developments, a more common trend
in the newspaper industry has been witnessed over the past several
years the merging of staffs of morning and afternoon papers
owned by the same publisher.
What this literally means is that one company originally
publishes two separate papers but then takes the individual staffs
of those papers and merges them into one. This new staff is now
putting out the two old papers. The ultimate end of a merger is an
all-day newspaper. An all-day paper uses one staff to put out
more than one edition of the same. paper every day for home
delivery. With all-day papers, the purpose is to reach as many
readers as possible with just one paper and give them a choice
concerning when they receive the news. Net readership is what
Mergers have their critics and supporters. Although most
papers are merged for economic reasons, many journalists, such
as Alfred Hamilton, associate managing editor of The
Greensboro News and Record (merged in 1981), say that merged
staffs can put out two better papers because of the increased
resources available in terms of reporters and other formerly
separate areas of the individual papers.
But Dave Butler, metro editor of The Rocky Mountain News in
Denver and former managing editor of The Jacksonville (Fla.)
Journal, said that the June merger of The Journal with Jackson
ville's morning paper, The Florida Times-Union, has hurt both
papers. "Don't believe the poppycock that you can have two bet
ter papers with one staff," he said. "The whole sense of team
work defeats the individuality of both papers."
Butler said in a market where there is not much duplicate
readership, a publisher could put out the same paper twice.
However, in Jacksonville, approximately 50 percent of Journal
subscribers also subscribe to the T-U.
"The personalities of the two papers are different," Butler
Journal reporter Gary Sease said the T-U is "a bit on the stodfcv
side" and is a paper of records. He called The Journal "the live1;
Sease credited Butler with reviving The Journal and reversing
its decline in circulation from less than 42,000 in the late '70s,
when he joined the staff, to over 45,000 by the time he left before
Butler said he was philosophically and pragmatically opposed
to the merger in the Jacksonville market. "Try as you might, if
the same people arc putting out iwo papers you will lose their dif
ferent perspectives. "
He cited The Kansas City Star as an example where merging had
not really accomplished its goal. A number of years ago, the staffs
See MERGERS on page 4D