Black continent

by laurie.c on October 28, 2014 - 4:58pm

The article “Has Ebola Exposed a Strain of Racism?”, written for the New York Times by Hanna Kozlowska on October 21, 2014 explains how the Ebola virus has brought signs of racism in the United States of America. According to the point of view of Josephs Weeks, the nephew of the black man who recently died in the United States from the Ebola virus, his uncle was victim of racism in the hospital. Because of his colour and the fact that he had no health insurance, the black man was only given some antibiotics and sent back home, even thought doctor had saw signs of Ebola and were advised that he came back from Liberia. He mentions that white Americans with signs of Ebola are taken in charge really quickly, while it is harder for black people to get good treatment. According to experts, what Joseph Weeks is arguing is consistent with their findings of the inequalities of the American health care system. The Ebola virus has also increase racists’ ideas about the African continent. On the other side, some people think that racism is not existent in the Ebola crises.

 

This article was interesting because it presented different point of view on the impacts of the Ebola crises on the signs of racism in the United States, but the article has it’s flaws. Firstly, as we saw in class, it is proved that there are inequalities between races in the health-care system, like the article says, but nothing proves that Josephus Weeks uncle was victim of racism. This is Weeks’ point of view, but in the article, nothing proves that the doctors did not do their jobs and simply ignored the signs of Ebola. Most people tend to avoid the subject of racism, but I think that it would be important to invest more in this event and look to see if Mr.Weeks’ uncle was really denied help because of his skin colour. Secondly, I also agree that the disparities between races were present in the media coverage of the Ebola crises. Ebola began in 2013 in Africa and killed a lot of humans, however, it was only noticed when it came in the United States. Some people have interpreted this crisis as black people attacking white, but it is completely false. The media did not help in this crisis, it has accused black people from Africa, and now some people are “afraid” of black skin people because they feel like they are a danger for their society. It reinforced the idea of racial classification by colour, but as we saw in class, not all black people are coming from the same areas of the world, and now people are afraid of every black skin person. Some immigrants reported facing discrimination regarding Ebola, but they were from Somalia, were Ebola is not present. I think that this article proves that when a country is in a period of stress or insecurities, most of the people tend to blame the problem on one group or “race”, which is often a minority group that is often victim of racism. I think that everyone should stop acting in his or her own self-interest and understand that each and every individual deserves the same kind of treatment in the hospital. Also, people need to stop blaming the problem on black people, because viruses can arise from anywhere in the world.

 

Kozlowska, H. (2014). Has Ebola Exposed a Strain of Racism?. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

 

 

 

Comments

Hi, I am replying to your post because I posted a summary & response to the same article so it was interesting for me to get a different point of view on this topic. I agree with you that the article lacked some empirical evidence as it mostly presented some journalists’ point of view on the matter at hand. I also agree that the media coverage of the Ebola crises has brought to light multiple issues in the American healthcare & journalistic systems. It is clear that patients of white color are of more interest to the media than black patients and white patients might even get better treatment in hospitals which is in link with the idea of white privilege in modern society. I have also spotted the discourse of blaming the victim done by the population, who believes people of black color are attacking people of white color using this virus which totally isn’t true. I wish more empirical evidence is presented to show the disparities between the treatment of different “races” in the healthcare system where forms of new racism are clearly present.