Reported by Dr. Sinclair Grey III
When news first broke of Ebola in the United States, many people began panicking. Why? Because they really didn’t know about Ebola, its symptoms, and how it’s contracted. In addition to this, the mere fact that Ebola is emanating from Liberia (West Africa), judgement and stereotypes of persons “looking African” have placed individuals in harms way.
Case in point: two brothers were beaten so badly in the Bronx by fifteen boys that they were taken to a local hospital. The boys, Pape Drame, 13, and Amadou Drame, 11, (pictured with their father) immigrated from Senegal.
During the fight, the two brothers were punched and kicked while being called ‘Ebola.’ A school safety officer intervened and broke up the fight after it was reported that the beating had taken place for approximately fifteen minutes.
When Ousmane Drame picked up his two sons, he went to their doctor who advised him to take his sons to the hospital because of bruising and swelling.
According to a report in TheGrio, Ousmane has lived in the United States for 25 years and his two sons were born in the United States, although they’d been raised in Senegal. The boys returned from their father’s native land last month to live with him.
Although there were earlier reports of Ebola-infected patients in Senegal, there has not been a reported case of the virus in the country since August. As a matter of fact, the WHO (World Health Organization) has declared the West African nation Ebola-free.
Ousmane told NBC New York, “after the disease reached the United States, other students refused to play and talk with the two kids. If they go to the gym, they don’t want them touching the ball—’Oh, you have Ebola, don’t play with us. They don’t know nothing. They’re babies.”
Questions have surfaced about where school administrators and staff were during the beating.
Since the attack, the two boys have been affected by the viοlence against them, in fact, one of the boys wants to return to Senegal to continue his education.
In addition to Ousmane’s, other schoolchildren of African descent have been the target of discrimination and teasing. Sokhna Seye, also an immigrant from Senegal, indicated that her nine-year-old daughter, who attends a charter school in Harlem, had been the subject of bullying. Seye said, “When [her daughter] came home, she told me, ‘Mommy … one of the students said that I have Ebola. And Mommy, do I have Ebola?’ And I told her no, you don’t have Ebola.”
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, writer author, life coach, and host of The Sinclair Grey Show heard on Monday’s at 2pm on WAEC Love 860am (iHeart Radio and Tune In). Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey