Dear America, We can’t treat Ebola like crack.

EBOLA is an infectious and generally fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola virus), whose normal host species is unknown.


EBOLA has been wreaking havoc in Africa and Asia for years, and there has never been an ice bucket challenge, walk, race, or telethon to raise money for Ebola research.

EBOLA is now in the United States of America, and everyone is panicking. Particularly, it’s in Texas, the South, and I have a feeling if it was in New York, D.C., or Chicago, we would see a different response from the government, but I won’t go off on that tangent.

In this panic, all of the suggestions and “solutions” about how to prevent the spread of Ebola involve the United States scaling back the number of American doctors working in Africa, putting in screening checks at the airport, and securing our borders against a microbial. Turn on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and they all say the same thing: “We must contain this in Africa.” Must we?

We want to contain Ebola to West Africa, just as we wanted to contain crack in Compton, Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago, and D.C. But, we are one human family. What affects one of us affects all of us. There is no containing Ebola. This word contain continues to show that we devalue black and brown bodies in this country. “Keep that Ebola over there so that no more white people become infected” can’t be our mentality. “Keep that crack in the ghettos” did not work for us. How do we know it did not work? Fatherlessness in communities of color, gang violence, the prison industrial complex, welfare reform, charter schools, and gentrification in urban communities can all be linked to the crack epidemic of the 1980s. You can’t contain humanity.

We can no longer treat Africa like the world’s bastard child. This mineral rich continent has been raped, pillaged, diseased because of imperialism and colonialism, and now the world is playing a game of hot potato. It’s like the child who walks away from his mess. You can’t cry over spilled milk, but you can’t just leave it there either. It is such a slap in the face to humanity to all of a sudden come up with a possible Ebola vaccine once white people and dogs have been infected. Black people cannot continue to be treated this way.

We have got to do better, America. There is an undeclared Civil War happening in this country, and this Ebola scare on top of Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, unemployment, disabled troops, a 52% divorce rate, diabetes, and heart disease could be the fall of an empire.

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