End Ebola discrimination
Minister of Education Ronald Jones has accused some Barbadians and some segments of the media of displaying ignorance about the African continent and the Ebola crisis.
And rejecting calls for a ban on people from West Africa, Jones contended such calls smack of discrimination and said he could not abide by the “ignorance being perpetuated by those who should know better”.
“Are we going to discriminate against all people because the word Africa is entangled in the use of this whole dynamic?” he queried.
“I am not saying we should not secure our borders. I want to make that point, because we are a tenuous little rock with open fragility . . . But allow the people who are in charge to do their work. Let them set their structures up. Let them monitor at our ports . . . Let them listen to the best advice that they can get. Let them guide and lead. [It’s] as though we have an insatiable appetite for panic,” Jones said over the weekend as he addressed a graduation ceremony for children who took part in the New Orleans Homework and Reading Assistance Project.
He took particular issue with some people who have claimed that the Ebola crisis is affecting the entire continent, rather than three specific states in West Africa.
“We have this almighty high brow behaviour that somehow Africa is again poison and that is an ignorance that should not be in this country,” Jones insisted.
Government has resisted calls for travel restrictions on passengers coming from Liberia, Guinea and Liberia – the three West African states hardest hit by the Ebola virus.
The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 5,160 people and more than 14,000 have been infected so far.