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The truth about Tuskegee

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When some loopy, loud-mouthed, insipid, retromingent liberal gets on TV and shoots off their mouth you can bet what spews forth is anything but the truth.

Case in point is Rosy O’Donnell’s recent appearance on the "Today" show defending Jeremiah Wright.

Wright said, when asked if he stood by his claim the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color, "Based on the Tuskegee experiment … I believe our government is capable of doing anything."

Rosie’s take, of course, was he was absolutely right to distrust the government and damn America.

After all, just look what they did at Tuskegee.

They injected black men with syphilis.

The infamous Tuskegee study is the keystone of black, left wing paranoia.

Whenever someone comments about the fact that anywhere from 10 to 33 percent of African-Americans actually believe the U.S. government invented AIDS to kill blacks, someone is bound to say, "That’s not so crazy considering what happened at Tuskegee."

But, it is crazy. And it’s also dishonest and untrue.

Wright says the U.S. government "purposely infected African-American men with syphilis."

This is a complete lie and there is not one reputable historian will state otherwise.

Even Wikipedia states they were already infected with the disease.

Yet, the untruth continues almost unabated.

Many talk show hosts including Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly won’t counter the lie with the truth. Obrey Hendricks, an author and visiting scholar at Princeton University, told O’Reilly in relation to the AIDS question, "I do know that the government injected syphilis into black men at the Tuskegee Institute.

"Now we know that the government is capable of doing these things," O’Reilly responded, "All right, governments have done bad things in every country."

That’s certainly true, and it’s also true that what the U.S. government did at Tuskegee was very, very bad indeed.

But the simple fact remains it didn’t do what these people claim.

So, what really did happen?

In 1932 public health researchers wanted to study syphilis, particularly among blacks, who happened to have a considerably higher infection rate than whites.

So, they recruited 399 black men who already had syphilis.

The doctors injected no one. In fact, the patients were selected in the first place because they had a stage of syphilis where it was no longer contagious.

The researchers studied the progress of the disease for 40 years and without treating it.

Prior to the advent of penicillin in the 1940s and 1950s, the researchers couldn’t have treated anyone if they’d wanted to.

Even after penicillin was available, it was not really clear the patients would have responded to the treatment.

Some of the doctors actually believed treating the decades-long infections might very well kill the men.

Scholars can’t agree on how much, if any, racism was involved in the study, but no one disputes Tuskegee had absolutely nothing to do with genocide or even a desire to spread the disease among blacks.

What was really bad about Tuskegee was the blatant disregard for the humanity and integrity of the patients.

They were told they were getting treated, or that they had "bad blood," so they were lied to and treated merely as objects rather than humans.

So, the idea the Tuskegee study validates the insane, unreasonable view the U.S. government created AIDS to murder blacks is a crock.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tally the number of times guilt-ridden white liberals say exactly that thing and are not called to account.

As a conservative, I certainly can sympathize with a feeling of distrust toward the government.

But what I have a tough time understanding is why blacks remain the most reliable voters for the party of ever-expanding government power.

It’s very interesting to note the Tuskegee study, launched under the New Deal, was symptomatic of a liberal, progressive public health movement concerned about the health and well-being of the African-American population.

It had the endorsement and participation of African-American medical professionals, hospitals and research institutes. So, as liberals bad mouth Tuskegee they just don’t like to remember Tuskegee was the poisoned fruit of progressive government.

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