Are There Racist Ideologies Behind the Strategies to Contain Ebola
by Nathanvinski on October 28, 2014 - 4:52pm
Mario Machado’s article “The Media Covering Ebola: Fear Tactics That Play on Racial, Economic Divides” shows that the majority of major events covered by the media are backed by racist ideologies and ethnocentrism. This has become very clear in the coverage of the Ebola outbreak. Many news stories on the Ebola outbreaks do not demonstrate compassion but rather dehumanize and against West Africans. They are viewed solely as hosts for this terrible disease and that they should be avoided at all costs. This racist point of view can be connected to the global north, south divide related to poverty and development. It all leads up to a racist ideology that West Africans are disease ridden. The media in North America cares only about how the outbreak could affect North Americans but there is no particular care given to the people directly affected by the virus. We, as North Americans, condemn West Africans to death because of our racist ideologies towards and fear of these uncivilized people. Yes Ebola is a concern but the “racist rhetoric excludes the people of West Africa can make controlling the disease even harder.
Reading this article I do see how the media can portray racist ideologies. I understand that isolating West Africa is not the way to contain the virus and there should be more effort out into helping the people that are directly affected by the virus. Despite this I want to point out that sometimes things can be blown out of proportion. In this particular case I do not think that racism has anything to do with the fact that North Americans are fearful of the West African region. It is feared because it was the origin of the virus, not because the inhabitants are black. I also don’t think that the media made any mention of race when saying that the region has a high rate of Ebola. I also cannot say that race was brought into the idea that travel in and out of the region should be stopped. I wanted to talk about this because I do not think that racism is always to blame and I do not feel like people should blindly believe the claims made by the author. I will admit that people’s fear of the West African region could lead to racism, but racism has no role in the efforts made to contain the Ebola virus.