For the latest LGM podcast, I had the honor of speaking to Karma Chávez, department chair of the Department of Mexican American and Latino/a Studies at the University of Texas-Austin and long time alternative radio host in Madison, about her new book The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance, published last year by the University of Washington Press. This is a fantastic book and we had a great discussion about a number of issues, including the ways that racism and disease have intersected through U.S. history to justify medically meaningless quarantines, how the Reagan administration and state governments tried to do this under the guise of “common sense” with HIV-AIDS patients in the 1980s, and how these attempts victimized both Black sex workers and Haitian immigrants. We also talked about the role of the queer alternative media in reporting on this and fighting it. Moreover, we talked about the need to follow AIDS activists of the 80s and 90s as models in modern activism and the deeply limited ways people think of activism today as something that is either about electoral politics or a very vanilla version of protest that has little vision.
In other words, we get at a lot of stuff in 30 minutes. So listen to us.