February 2013 Auction Ends Wednesday, February 6th, 5pm Pacific
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 2/6/2013 8:08:00 PM

Lot #182: Arthur Ashe Handwritten Outline For a Provocative Speech on AIDS -- Just Months Before His Death -- ''...Our...morality tells us...there's something wrong with dispensing condoms and needles...''


Four page outline for a speech handwritten by Arthur Ashe for the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS. Ashe dates the detailed outline 19 November 1992. By this time, he had gone public with his AIDS diagnosis and had thrown himself into educating the public on AIDS prevention and policy reform. Here, in one of the final months of his life, Ashe addresses his audience with information from all fronts of the war on AIDS, candidly broaching topics as broad as national healthcare policy and controversial as safe sex. After opening with a George Burns reference, he drafts a bullet point list citing relevant legislation and statistics. Outline reads in part: ''...*1.5 Million HIV-positive people / * Last week, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court's decision to allow a small business to drop coverage / *Oregon - Ballot measure #9 (deviant, abnormal, perverse) / Colorado - Repealed gay-rights measure (Navratilova)...Magic Johnson - Didn't believe the experts...'' He poses the question, ''...What do these developments mean? How can all of us become positive forces for change?...'' The dying man answers his own question with bold statements: ''...We must be creative, even dogmatic in the face of serious but unexaggerated medical evidence of a potential disaster...Our Judeo-Christian morality tells us that there's something wrong with dispensing condoms and needles. But in the context of this AIDS pandemic, is it wrong?...let me tell you what my objectives are - to save lives...the distribution of condoms as part of a continuing, consensus-driven and responsible sex education program is not only permissible, but maybe even necessary...we should not expect some uniform...moral edict to cover every situation...but we must reconcile the face-off between the moral and the medical. As is the case for euthanasia or maintaining life support for some brain-dead individual, it is time for the ethicists to step up and lead us in some discussion and debate...this intense 2-day conference on AIDS should be viewed as part of the over-arching discussion of our nation's healthcare shortcomings. *President-elect Clinton has issued a credible position paper on AIDS, but may I be so bold as to suggest that his health care policy details should have come first. There was intense pressure from friends, advisors, the gay community, and his own conscience to 'do something,' to 'say something'. But though I have AIDS I am more interested in...the practical problems of having 35 million of us uninsured...'' He concludes, ''...These are very sobering days for us all. We are creeping out of a recession...Business and the court of public opinion - not the Supreme Court - will play (must play) a forceful role in framing the issues, participating in the debate, and expediting the final solutions. Thank you.'' 4pp. of notes on four separate ruled sheets (ideal for framing) measure 8.5'' x 11''. Sheets were originally from a spiral notebook. Near fine. With an LOA from Arthur Ashe's widow.
Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,597
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:4