81.542 people have died of AIDS in New York City as of August 16, 2008. These people, our friends, are rarely mentioned. Their absence is not computered and the meaning of their loss is not considered.
2.752 people died in New York City on 9/11. These human beings have been highly individuated. The recognition of their loss and suffering is a national ritual, and the consequences of their aborted potential are assessed annually in public. They have been commemorated with memorials, organized international gestures, plaques on many fire and police stations, and a proposed new construction on the site of the World Trade Center, all designed to make their memory permanent. [...]
The deaths of these 81.542 New Yorkers, who were despised and abandoned, who did not have rights or representation, who died because of the neglect of their government and families, has been ignored. This gaping hole of silence has been filled by the deaths of 2.752 people murdered by outside forces. The disallowed grief of twenty years of AIDS deaths was replaced by ritualized and institutionalized mourning of the acceptable dead. In this way, 9/11 is the gentrification of AIDS.
Læser The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination (2012) af Sarah Schulman, en personlig beretning om AIDS-krisen med brilliant indsigt i gentrification of the mind, homogenisering og tiltagende følelsesløshed, i sammenhæng med gentrification of the city. Måske alle de romantiske beretninger om East Village i 70s har brug for et tillæg? Hvad skete siden med al denne vilde kreativitet?