YouthAIDS campaign offensive, dehumanizing

Review's View

As many people may have noticed, there has been a quiet little campaign going on around campus to alert people to the dangers of unprotected sex and the very real possibility someone has of contracting HIV or AIDS. The Review fully supports any and all actions geared toward alerting people to the dangers of AIDS. What we don’t approve of is when this kind of campaign attempts to convey such a message in a vague and/or insulting manner.

The YouthAIDS Awareness campaign on campus is great, but seems to be a bit misguided in its methods. Sidewalk chalk has long been a public tool of expression and information and is the chosen medium for this group’s message. However, the campaign seems to have gone about it in all the wrong ways. Here are a few point-by-point examples of what could be considered “offensive” by many:

Good idea: Listing dates and information about when different AIDS awareness events will be held.Bad idea: Writing “You could die” or “Help me” on the sidewalk without any reference to YouthAIDS Awareness anywhere near it.

Good idea: Drawing support ribbons in a pattern or in a path.Bad idea: Drawing a picture of a stick figure saying “Help, I have AIDS,” once again with no reference to YouthAIDS Awareness anywhere in the vicinity.

The goal of stuff like this is great, but the way it was gone about was all wrong. If anything, it seems like the YouthAIDS art managed to lampoon the concept of having AIDS more than actually make people aware or supportive of it. Seeing stuff like this written on the sidewalk is not sympathy-inducing. It’s simply offensive.