20 October 2014

The Ebola outbreak brings out the worst in people

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and its importation to parts of the US and Europe has brought back some of the worst conceptions of the continent. Fears of Ebola, misinformation, fear of the other and racism all meld together causing ridiculous results like Syracuse disinviting a reporter from delivering remarks because he was in Liberia. That is one of what is now unfortunately many stories of people facing bans and discrimination due to Ebola.

An AP report from this weekend says "Africa's image takes a hit" because of the outbreak. An excerpt:

"It speaks to a whole discourse about the danger of Africa," said Michael Jennings, a senior lecturer in international development at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

He cited the recent decision of a British school to postpone a visit by a teacher from the West African country of Ghana after parents expressed concern about the Ebola virus. Ghana does not border the hard-hit nations and has not reported any cases of the disease.

Jennings said fearful people don't necessarily react in a rational way and the message of some comments on social media in Britain is: "Why don't we just stop everyone in West Africa from coming?"

Rather than read the article, just skip to the comments section to see what people think. Nigerian journalist Chika Oduah collected some of the reactions to the article. In short, they are terrible and essential affirm the thesis of the AP story. Here are a few of the gems Chika shared via Facebook.
"I won't go near a W. African....nor will I touch them. If the above-named complainers don't like it..TOO BAD! For God's sake..the fear people feel is NOT UNFOUNDED! It is real...it is normal...it is correct...and perfectly acceptable."

"Unfortunately Africa IS a hotbed of disease, poverty and tribal fighting. We DO have aright to protect ourselves."

"[Africa is a ] Horrible third world country."

"Africa has always been viewed as a toilet. So I doubt it's image has been damaged much."

"Africa's image??? Is that some kind of joke? Pick your program; Social reform, education, corruption management, ecological protection, economic reform, medical care,.....You name it and those people have screwed it up. Ebola may be a serious problem but I don't think Africa's image can get any worse than it already is."

"Africa is a basket case. You have to wonder why?"

"The image of Africa I had before hasn't changed... it's still a giant S* hole!"

"Look, Africa is a shait hole and no Libtvrd Media white-wash is ever going to convince most people otherwise. There are NO US interests, strategic military or otherwise, in that blighted region. Moreover, vast areas are Muslim and incubators for white and Christian hating Muslim terror. The Europeans, who F ed up Africa with their Colonialism, are the ones who OWE Africa something, not the USA. Just because we have this 9% minority whose black ancestors came from Africa as much a 300 years ago doesn't give the USA an obligation. Neither does the MISTAKE of electing a half-Kenyan, who's other half is white Libtvrd IDIOT, as US President."

"Oh yeah.. It was Ebola that changed my mind to think Africa is a festering, fly infested steaming pile of feces of a continent."

"I cannot think of any export or anything positive coming out of Africa.Only things I can think of are HIV/AIDs, Ebola, and Obama."

"Africa the backward dark continent that has contributed nothing to society."

"I never got the memo those [African] mud hut dwellers eating bush meat had been elevated."

"OLD stereotypes? They eat bats and monkies right NOW!! Africa IS full of aids and malaria and disentary. That is not a stereotype it is a fact."

"Western Africans were slaves for a reason. Come on - these people are just trash."

"Africa's image? I've always thought that place was a hell hole. Now it's been confirmed."

"Africas image took a hit a long time ago! Over population,AIDS and dirt,filth everywhere. They dont even use toilets. They go where and when they please!"