For the rest of you, respectfully, please understand that Eddie Murphy IS indeed unwelcome by queers everywhere. His so-called “humor,” brought to San Francisco in the mid-80s at the height of the AIDS crisis, was a no comedy show at all. It was a diatribe against gay white men in particular … but also a scarcely disguised order-from-On-High for black women (at that time finding partners in the big gay dance clubs) to get back in line behind black men … all based on perverted facts and misrepresentations – such as ‘if you go out dancing with a (gay) man, you will die a horrible death; you can never have children if you touch one of those (^!>?!)’ and assuring all black men in the audience that no black man in history had ever been, or ever could be queerhomofag, etc. The rant was preached to black audiences as gospel (Murphy was then at the height of his popularity; his every word came straight from the pulpit) and — god help them all, they believed him. His lies spread to the Hispanic/Latino community as well.
The results were apparent shortly after Murphy began his stint in the city. They are still tragically with us. The public health outreach had started to be effective across the board (including black communities) just before Murphy’s regrettable visit. Immediately afterward, AIDS/HIV education shut down wherever black people congregated: churches, groups, school speakers, distribution guidelines, and most disastrously, with many black physicians. Eddie Murphy said black men could not be gay, therefore could not get AIDS, therefore could not infect their partners (male or female … By extension meaning black children were safe from the “gay plague.” This is what happened:
By the mid-80s “African-Americans surpassed Whites in the number of new HIV infections —a trend that continues to this day. Blacks, who account for about 14 percent of the total U.S. population, represent nearly one-half of the estimated 50,000 new HIV cases that occur every year, and about 500,000 of the almost 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS overall.
New HIV Diagnoses in the United States for the Most-Affected Subpopulations, 2016
This chart shows new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2016 for the most-affected subpopulations. Black male to male sexual contact = 10,223; Hispanic/Latino male to male sexual contact = 7,425; white male to male sexual contact = 7,390; black heterosexual women = 4,189; black heterosexual men = 1,926; white heterosexual women = 1,032; Hispanic/Latina heterosexual women = 1,025.
I worked on the world’s primary AIDS care unit (Ward 5A, San Francisco General Hospital) for ten years. All of us in health care not only saw it in the increase of new patients, but heard about it from their own mouths – how they came to believe they were invulnerable, why they couldn’t speak up about being gay, why they feared exposure to family and friends more than they feared dying … many were already near death when they came to us as Patient John (or Jane!) Doe, refusing to identify themselves.
No, Murphy is not responsible for anyone dying. People decide to believe and to act on those beliefs. But he was the most direct influence on the black communities throughout the Bay Area at the time – and his filthy lies have continued to contaminate both black and Hispanic. He IS unforgivable as far as I am concerned, not because he preached what he did, but because he knew better, because he could have — if any one person could have, at that time — saved so many hundreds, thousands even, from losing their precious lives. All those black lives that mattered.