Don’t stereotype monkeypox cases with African photos

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May 27, 2022

BEIJING – The Foreign Press Association, Africa, released a statement on its official Twitter account on Saturday, registering its displeasure with media outlets using images of black people alongside stories of the monkeypox outbreak in North America and the United States. UK.

The fact is that many Western media have a long history of attributing all bad things to other parts of the world. For epidemic reports, they attach photos of Africans; when they report commercial fraud, they associate it with Asians; nothing to do with shady business and they allude to Eastern Europe.

Such harmful stereotypes are against humanity and, in today’s world, they cast a shadow over the fight against the pandemic.

By using images of black people in reporting on the monkeypox epidemic, Western media are creating a false impression. Some people might, as often happens, just click on the story and look at the pictures and conclude that something is happening in Africa. By emphasizing that the disease was first reported in Africa and using such images, websites end up creating a lasting impression in the minds of readers, which may not change even after reading the whole story. .

It might also lead readers to underestimate the threat of the disease in their own backyards, where cases have already been reported.

Western media also reinforce the stereotype of ethnic Africans. Because of existing prejudices, the great Western societies are already well divided. The misuse of these photographs in news reports will only deepen the split. When a society associates an “epidemic” with “Africans” or “Blacks”, then any effort to promote racial equality will be abandoned.

The use of black images in monkeypox reporting is just one of many stereotypes in the West. There are others targeting Asians, Latinos and Eastern Europeans. Stereotypes are already a big headache in the West. Please don’t escalate the situation.

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