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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's insight:

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

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Sharolyn S. Griffith's curator insight, October 17, 10:23 AM

Well stated, Seth Dixon!

Christian Allié's curator insight, October 18, 3:33 AM

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The Newsweek story could generate additional prejudice against African migrants, a population that already suffers from greater prejudice than other immigrant groups. In the psychology study referenced above, researchers found that simply manipulating the geographical origin of a hypothetical immigrant group – from Eastern Africa to Eastern Asia to Eastern Europe — yielded significant differences in attitudes in a study population toward the immigrant group.

 

Fear-mongering narratives about Ebola circulating in the popular media can also have a serious effect on knowledge and attitudes about Ebola. Though there are no cases of person-to-person infection in the United States, a recent poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health reports 39 percent of Americans think there will be a large Ebola outbreak in the United States and more than a quarter of Americans are concerned that they or someone in their immediate family may get sick with Ebola in the next year. A similar poll conducted for Reason-Rupe had four in 10 Americans saying an Ebola outbreak in the United States was likely, and conservative Americans were more likely to say an outbreak was likely. These two national surveys show Americans are grossly overestimating their risk of infection.

 

The long history of associating immigrants and disease in America and the problematic impact that has on attitudes toward immigrants should make us sensitive to the impact of “othering” African immigrants to the United States in the midst of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Scare-mongering about infinitesimally small risks in one context serves no purpose to the greater good of trying to curb disease transmission and relieve people’s suffering in another context.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 20, 12:40 PM

unit 3 and 4

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More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal

More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"More than 168 million Americans now live in states where marriage for same-sex couples is legal following the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear five states’ appeals.  That number represents about 53.17 percent of the U.S. population, according to data from the Census Bureau and visualized on the map above."


Tags: sexuality, USA. regions, map, political.


Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's insight:

Concept of Human Rights in USA

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Julia Keenan's curator insight, October 7, 7:57 PM

Shows states that allow same sex marriage or have laws for or against them

Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 20, 1:08 PM

UPDATE: As of November 20, 2014 this is now the new map of same-sex marriage in the United States.  Notice that all the states that oppose same-sex marriage are part of one single, territorially contiguous block of states.  How come that is the spatial pattern for this issue?    

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Human Development Index variation

Human Development Index variation | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"Here's how the United States looks when it is measured on the county level by the same standards used to rank countries by the UN, the Human Development Index.  Five variables are taken into account: life expectancy, income per capita, school enrollment, percentage of high school graduates, and percentage of college graduates." 


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steve smith's curator insight, March 26, 3:53 PM

A fantastic resource for development studies.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, March 26, 6:57 PM

Regional patterns?

Brian Altonen's curator insight, March 26, 9:18 PM

A WHO map of what life in the U.S. is like demonstrates the role of urbanization and heavily population regions for defining where U.N.'s Human Development Index scores are highest.

Three of the metrics pertain primarily to education.  The fourth is a measure of financial success for a region.  The fifth is most likely a consequence of scoring well for these first four measures.

An obvious next step in making additional use of this map is to compare its findings with the distributions of various language, culture and ethnic groups in this country, according to most recent US Census patterns.  

 

 

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Let’s Talk About Geography and Ebola

Let’s Talk About Geography and Ebola | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
Why knowing where countries are in Africa matters for how the rest of the world thinks about Ebola.

 

Cultural and media norms that often refer to Africa as one entity rather than an 11.7 million-square-mile land mass comprised of 54 countries and over 1.1 billion people who speak over 2,000 different languages.  This cultural confusion means that, when a dangerous virus like Ebola breaks out, Americans who are used to referring to “Africa” as one entity may make mistakes in understanding just how big of a threat Ebola actually is, who might have been exposed to it, and what the likelihood of an individual contracting it might be.  This Ebola outbreak is wreaking havoc on African economies beyond the three most heavily affected by Ebola, and that damage is completely avoidable. The East and Southern African safari industry provides a good example. Bookings for safaris there — including for the famed Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania — have plummeted due to the Ebola outbreak. These actions are based in fear, not reality.

 

Tags: Ebola, medical, diffusion, Africa, regions, perspective.


Via Seth Dixon
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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, October 23, 12:35 PM

Just a few days ago, another student in one of my classes referred to Africa as a country and not a continent. After my professor cringed and corrected the student, she explained how unfortunately, she has to make that correction more often than you would thing. Many people do not realize the size of Africa, and that some places in Africa are further from the illness than part of Europe. Media headlines such as “Ebola Crisis in Africa” can create mass hysteria and further create judgment and discrimination towards the continent. South Africa is different from Sierra Leone which is different from Madagascar which is different from Egypt. By grouping all of these places together under one ignorantly used continent name, people are less likely to understand where Ebola really is, and why it is there. The irony shown by the college in Texas denying entry to a Nigerian citizen just proves the kind of fear mongering and misunderstanding that the Americans wallow in due to lack of geographical knowledge and lack of concern towards anything other than their own home. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 2, 10:06 PM

When people hear Africa, they think of one place not 55 different countries.  Some even mistakenly refer to Africa as a country.  Lack of knowledge on our part is hurting the rest of Africa that is unaffected by the Ebola outbreak.  Places in the east, south and even north are being hurt from it.  People who had planned vacations or business trips to these areas have cancelled the trip because of the fear that this disease some three thousand miles away is going to somehow jump borders while they are there and infect them.  3000 miles by the way is from here in Rhode Island cross country to the Redwood Forest in California.  If there was an outbreak of Ebola in California would we stop our vacations to Maine or New York or anywhere on the east coast?  Probably not, and because we don't realize the distance between these countries in Africa, they too are losing.  In the three countries that the Ebola outbreak has been an issue preventative measures have been implemented to stop the spread of Ebola to any other country keeping the disease in one area.    

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, November 4, 4:24 PM

I completely agree with this article. Most of people see Africa as one entity, which is not true. I include myself in that group of people because I used to think the same thing. After analyzing this issue in one of my class, I could realized that is not true. There is a lot of people who think that especially when the Ebola issue.

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Media and Culture--Perspective and Bias

"Religious scholar Reza Aslan took some serious issue on CNN Monday night with Bill Maher‘s commentary about Islamic violence and oppression. Maher ended his show last Friday by going after liberals for being silent about the violence and oppression that goes on in Muslim nations. Aslan said on CNN that Maher’s arguments are just very unsophisticated.  He said these 'facile arguments' might sound good, but not all Muslim nations are the same. Aslan explained that female mutilation is an African problem, not a Muslim one, and there are Muslim-majority nations where women are treated better and there are even female leaders."


Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's insight:

Media and Culture--Perspective<wbr></wbr> and Bias

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 10:49 AM

I do not this that the media changes people perspectives and opinions on how they view the world rather reinforces the bias and prejudice they already have. In the world of the 24 hour news cycle, there are many "credible" news sources that project opposing ideologies. The viewers have choice when it comes to where they get their information. If someone has a conservative background, they will watch Fox News because it reinforces their believes, liberals watch MSNBC for the same reason. This leads to every issue being viewed through two very distinct lenses and therefore making how Americans view issues and other countries in a very black and white way. I think that the media only strengthen the attitudes people have before tuning in, rather than changing them.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 4, 12:50 PM

If we  know anything about Bill Maher its that religion is one of his most prevalent talking points. This is obvious with the bias that come out when he speaks about any organized religion especially Islam. I agree with Reza Aslan in that the West has definitely stereotyped the Muslim world as being backwards and violent. There are definite trends in the Middle East however that can not be ignored. There are many countries that commit atrocities under the guise of sharia law. Islamic people as a majority are not violent or backwards but today there are very extreme sectors that are perverting the Koran and that fact cannot be ignored. So although I agree with Aslan I do think he is wrong saying that Islam has no role in the actions of some countries that engaged in such acts as female mutilation. It is true that all religions have had extreme sects that are violent but in the 21st  century it seems that Islam has some very violent and dangerous marginal groups.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 5:42 PM

Over-generalization in regards to people and places can lead to discrimination, stereotypes, and misunderstandings. Media in the United States is notorious for generalizing entire regions of the world instead of expressing the differences between these places. While a people of a region may have some similar characteristics, it does not mean that that entire region is the same. The media tends to use the term "Muslim Nations" in order to speak about areas of the Middle East where violent, radical Islamic groups raise terror. The term "Muslim Nations" has been made to spark fear, anger, and hatred in American households, but "Muslim Nations"  are not the ones that people should be scared of. Countries with an Islamic majority are not just typified by their religion, and they definitely should not be typified by the media's portrayal of Islamic insurgencies.