Ebola: Opening the Way for Racism?


In the class reading “Racism without Racists”, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva pointed out how racism has changed in the United States. He argued that whites no longer identify as racist, and that they now see the problems of other races as that particular race’s fault.

This article from The New York Times website shows Bonilla-Silva’s argument in action. The article talks about a black man from West Africa who contracted Ebola and traveled to the United States, and discusses the different reactions that are emerging from the outbreak reaching U.S. soil.

The article brings to light how the small number of people who have contracted Ebola in the United States are seen as needing treatment, while the sufferers in Africa are left on their own to figure it out. Despite Ebola being from a certain part of Africa, the whole African continent is now being regarded as a disease ridden and dangerous place. This is leading to a rise in discrimination against African immigrants. Similar to color-blind racism, they are being blamed for the outbreak because of where they come from, despite the disease not affecting them.

What do you think is the cause of these discriminating viewpoints? Is it ignorance of Africa’s geography, fear, existing racist feelings about Africans, all of the above, etc.?


One thought on “Ebola: Opening the Way for Racism?

  1. I think you are so brilliant that you can connect racial racism with Ebola disease. I think it is fear which causes the discriminating viewpoint, even though many people did not mean to discriminate the African.


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