Ebola And Racism

by jessica fredette on October 28, 2014 - 12:26pm

            The article “The implicit racism in Ebola tragedy” by Robin Wright on the CNN website published on October 9, 2014 talks about how the Ebola Virus has caused some racism toward people of color in the United-States. It is said in the article that in both Europe and the United-States Ebola has been a cause of racial profiling. It was reported that in Dallas some kids, because of their skin color or heritage, were being called “Ebola Kids”. It was also reported in the article that a news report showed a picture of a chimpanzee accompanied by the headline “A Back Door for Ebola: Smuggled Bushmeat Could Spark a U.S. Epidemic” which is basically blaming the Ebola virus of bushmen and their hunting. It has since been proven that this is false and that Ebola is a human tragedy. The article also talks about how Ebola Is starting to spread in the United-States and that it touches 500 people in 50 states. The article goes on to talk about Thomas Duncan, A man who recently died of Ebola in the United-States, and how no treatment was given to him for Ebola while two white women were given special medicine that helped them fight Ebola and stay alive. This showed injustice and discrimination.

            This article uses a recent event to show that anything can be the source of racism. One strength of this article is that it is quite shocking. It is shocking to see that kids are affected by Ebola without even having the virus. It really shows how racism can manifest itself from different sources. One weakness to the article is that it doesn’t really develop on the point about children, it only mentions it briefly. As we talked about in class it is important to teach kids about racism and its implications. In the case of the article, teaching children that racism is something that affects people in many ways and that can lead to very bad problems such as anxiety, depression, struggle with trust, lower academic performance and embarrassment as said in the text “Just Kids? Peer Racism in a predominantly white city” could make them realize that racism is not good and that in general it could greatly help reduce the racism going on all over the planet. Children often get these ideas of racism from home and it is often hard for them to talk about it with their parents as the parents don’t make an effort to teach kids about “race”. If Teachers were to adopt an anti-racism approach instead of a color blind approach in their teaching as talked about in the text “I don’t see color: challenging assumptions about discussing race with young children” It could greatly help stop events of racism such as the ones mentioned in the article.


Wright, R. (October 9, 2014). The implicit racism in Ebola tragedy. CNN. Retrieved from:   http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/09/opinion/wright-ebola-racism/index.html?ire...


I think that you picked an excellent article to repport on! With globalized diseases like Ebola, the media tends to focus on the external damage that victims or people likely to be victims will suffer from, without ever exploring the idea that they might also have social consequences to live with. It is unfortunate that there is not more education on the social consequences of Ebola, and that people are not made aware of the "new racism" or other means of discrimination they might be displaying towards the victims. I agree that your post reflects the issue of racsim, as the children that target the "likely Ebola victims"all seem to have ideas tha follow the ideology of "White Supremacy". The American children yo talked about in your summary (theones who acted like bullies) have a stereotypical view of the demography of people that are likely to suffer from Ebola, and use this knowledge in a discriminatory way. In conclusion, I think that the way to change the way that we address the social consequences of disease is by changing the way we address racism in schools (By telling children that they should not see colour, we are only avoiding to deal with the problem). Education is the only key to learn how to share our planet among all of the individuas and ethnicities with everyone, without creating an unhealthy athmosphere of discrimination and racism. If we don't maybe the Ebola Outbreak will lead to the creation of dreadful ideologies like the one that pushes people to commit genocides and wars.