On this fateful day, I was met at the gym’s entrance by the owner who asked: “Idris, where are you from?”
Surprised by the question, I replied in a casual manner:”Houston, Texas”.
But she persisted, and said: “I mean, where in Africa are you from?”
I replied a bit indignantly this time: “Nigeria “.
“Oh”, she said, “I just wanted to check if you were from Liberia”.
It was only then I understood her reason for asking me in the first place. I retorted: “What if I was? You don’t want me to spread Ebola among folks here?”
By this time she was red in the face, and started explaining that she just wanted to be sure I did not have family members from Liberia visiting.
That was just three days after Thomas Duncan, lately of Dallas but formerly of Liberia, had been admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, in Dallas, Texas, and seven days before he died, becoming the first case of Ebola diagnosed on US soil.
This incident, and several others that have occurred in the past few weeks, have brought to light the subtle stigmatization of people of West African descent as result of the fear of Ebola transmission among fellow Americans.
Continue reading at http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/ebola-in-the-us-are-we-letting-fear-win-9814193.html