Blog October 24, 2014
Ebola is not the problem
Hey everybody- as you know, Afropop tends to keep our website centered on the music. There's a lot of news and politics and fashion coverage out there, and we believe in focusing on what we do best. But we're also an organization devoted to telling the stories of Africa AND an organization based in Brooklyn, so NYC's first Ebola case and the panic that it's causing make it impossible not to say something. The point that we HAVE to take from this is that the fight against Ebola MUST be won in West Africa. The world is way too interconnected to prevent the spread of anything- the kind of cultural movement that allows us to have access to endless music from anywhere at the click of a button is intimately related to the spread of all kinds of things we DON'T want, from virulent ideologies like Boko Haram to diseases like Ebola. We've always known that, of course, but the events of recent weeks have brought it home in a profoundly real way. We've read about how the healthcare systems of Sierra Leone and Liberia have collapsed under the strain of the disease in the past months. And the rest of the world, finding itself threatened, has started to send doctors to the countries (far too few, of course, but better than nothing). But that can't be a solution. If Ebola has taught us anything, its that these systems MUST be in place before crisis strikes. And not just medical systems- culture systems, political systems. As we've learned in Mali, and Nigeria, and Syria,"local" issues can go global with incredible speed. Ebola is not the problem. Ebola is a symptom of the problem. So if you live in New York, you shouldn't panic, because the chance of getting Ebola is pretty insanely minimal. Instead, we should try to actually help. We can all start by giving money to organizations working in the effected areas. According to recent reports, fundraising started slow, and hasn't picked up much speed. But let's think longer term. Someday, Ebola will be contained. But that won't scratch the surface of the fundamental issues here. And this is where things get trickier- it's our belief that best thing we can is to stay aware of those areas, stay aware of the rest of the world, really. Learn about people, learn about their history. Pay respect to their culture, make them real to you. But right now? Ebola is still raging. And you should consider donating.