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The Social and Economic Impact of Ebolaphobia

Stashed in: Kardashian, Africa, America!, That's racist!, Maps!, Africa, Ebola!

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Less than 50 percent of immigrants living in the U.S. speak fluent English, according to the MPI report , but 70 percent of African immigrants speak English fluently. This is important since, as CityLab's Tanvi Misra recentlyreported, laborers with sub-par English skills can earn up to 40 percent less than fluent speakers. African-born workers are disproportionately advantaged to succeed in the American workplace and contribute to our economy.

Yet the news headlines scare, and contribute to an anti-African sentiment: "In Cities With West African Populations, Hospitals Take Extra Steps," warned today's New York Times. Given that the Ebola epidemic is unlikely to end any time soon, West Africans living in the U.S. will continue to be associated with the viral disease rather than viewed as elite members of urban immigrant communities.

This is unfortunate on several fronts. It's ignorant. It's racist. And it's a great way to turn people from one of this country's most capable and educated foreign-born populations off to the idea of America.  

Well said.

Also, more people have married Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola in the USA.

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