American Bar Association Hearing – Racing the Closet
By Russell Robinson
The following presentation and statement is by Williams Institute Faculty Advisory Board Member Russell Robinson on his article Racing the Closet, published in 2009. The article critiqued media stories on the “down low” or “DL,” the ostensible phenomenon of black men having sex with women, while secretly having sex with men and refusing to identify as gay. The DL has been trumpeted by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Essence Magazine, and The Oprah Winfrey Show—which did yet another alarmist story on this topic in the last few weeks. The stories consistently identify DL men as a primary cause of HIV in black women, despite scant empirical support for the claim.