Nancy Reagan died last week, and in talking about her with MSNBC, Hillary Clinton said Nancy Reagan helped start a “national conversation” about AIDS in the 1980s when AIDS activists and protesters were fighting for more federal help in fighting the disease.
Trouble is, Nancy Reagan was far from an LGBT advocate, and even farther away from helping anyone with HIV/AIDS. And the moment the interview was over Twitter, and other parts of social media, exploded, with folks accusing Clinton of misrepresenting history and insulting the 1980s activists who pressured elected officials to step up the response to AIDS.
So, Hillary Clinton apologized for what she said:
“While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS. For that, I am sorry.”Can we move on, now?
Or must we hang Hillary Clinton for saying the wrong thing? Something I am sure we have all done, and will all do again. Must we scream and shout because her team, made of many in the LGBT community, missed that comment before it was made?
Build a bridge. Get over it.
Look, I am no fan of either Reagan, Ronald or Nancy, and their complete aversion to even saying the word AIDS — even as one of their closest friends, Rock Hudson, was dying of AIDS-related complications they refused to help — and I am no fan of the jokes White House staff, under President Reagan, made regarding AIDS.
But let’s move on … does castigating Clinton for saying the wrong thing change anything? No, it just gets us all off topic: we need a democrat — either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton — in the White House if the LGBT community is going to have any chance of continuing the strides we’ve made towards equality.
Getting sidetracked by a mistake is the wrong thing to do.