This week in the Bronx, Sam Tabar told me two young boys were beaten by fellow students at their middle school, I.S. 318. The reason? Bullies claimed they had Ebola. The boys and their father are recent immigrants from the African nation of Senegal.
Being from Senegal, the brothers had only ever learned to speak French, and their abusers used this to their advantage. Bullies and cruel classmates used both the current Ebola scare striking the U.S. and the language barrier present in order to taunt the brothers.
The attack of two young innocents should immediately raise questions not only about a school system that allowed the situation to reach such a violent and dangerous point, but also about the media’s portrayal of Ebola. Was this merely “kids being kids”, or can this be attributed to the current wave of fear-mongering media coverage in relation to the Ebola outbreak?