‘Ebola Racism’ Is Real — And It’s Thriving Across the US

Your Weekly Feminist Round-Up – 10/24/2014

Every Friday, we’re pulling together a Weekly Feminist Round-Up, a collection of the top sociopolitical news stories and creative justice-focused content from around the globe that you may have missed this week.

Click on the headlines to read more!

1. ‘Ebola Racism’ Is Real — And It’s Thriving Across the US

In spite of the fact that there’s only been a handful of isolated cases of Ebola in the US, xenophobia among panicked Americans is on the rise.

The misconception that anyone of West African descent could have or be carrying the disease has resulted in increasing incidences of discrimination, including such extremes as Navarro College in Corsicana refusing to accept international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.

It’s 2014. You’d think our ample access to health information and knowledge of transmission would prevent such witch-hunting stupidity. Truly inexcusable and embarrassing.

2. Florida Man Sentenced to Life For Murder of Unarmed Black Teenager

Finally, Florida gets it right. 47-year-old Michael Dunn was sentenced to life without parole for shooting and killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis following a dispute over loud music.

Many worried that Dunn would avoid trial by claiming self-defense as part of Florida’s notorious Stand Your Ground law. Race advocates have become increasingly frustrated with judges’ tendencies to overlook white vigilante justice.

Judge Russell Healey said that although the debate over Stand Your Ground will continue, it’s important to remember that everyone should consider deescalating the situation first.

3. Polling Confirms That Voters See Abortion Access as an Economic Issue for Women

On a related note, vast majorities of voters in Pennsylvania and New York consider abortion access to be a critical factor in a woman’s ability to achieve and maintain her desired quality of life. Those polled acknowledged that having access to abortion is essential for women to be able to sustain economic stability.

Abortion restrictions also tend to target lower-income women who are less likely to be able to afford the necessary procedures themselves. Ironically, although abortion is often framed by opponents as women being irresponsible or not wanting children, many of those who seek out abortions are doing so to ensure that they will be able to provide for the children that they already have.

4. NBA Should Penalize Thompson for Kissing Sideline Reporter

During a post-game interview, an overly flirtatious basketball player, 23-year-old Tristan Thompson, winked at and ultimately kissed sports reporter Allie Clifton on her hair.

Thompson’s bizarre behavior during the interview has prompted some to demand that the NBA fine or suspend him for his actions. Still others insist that the reaction is overblown and that Clifton should consider Thompson’s inappropriate banter “part of the job.”

This perception of certain forms of sexism as banal is beyond infuriating: Clifton should be treated with the respect that she deserves as a professional, not as a silly crush object.

5. There May Be Justice For Jennifer Laude, Trans Filipina Murdered by US Marine

Jennifer Laude’s murder is sadly only one example of a disturbing spike in violence against trans women of color this month. Following numerous protests in both the US and the Philippines, Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton has been taken into US custody in connection with the crime.

A Philippine official stated that this case could damage the military relationship between the US and the Philippines.

Let’s hope that justice is prioritized above diplomatic maneuvering.

6. Two Teenage Girls Have Invented the Most Powerful Video Game of the Year

Sophie Houser, 17, and Andy Gonzales, 16, have created a game called “Tampon Run,” which has proven so popular a mobile version will soon be available. In the game, the main character throws tampons at her enemies.

While the creators admit that the premise sounds strange, they aim to use the ridiculous “weapon” of choice to underscore the hypocrisy of society being all but desensitized to the most brutal gun violence, yet still treating female sexuality and menstruation as taboo.

7. The 5 Must-See Native Films of 2013

Who doesn’t love movies? Check out this awesome list of films starring prominent and up-and-coming Native actors.

After so many years of Hollywood whitewashing, it’s about time authentic Native cinema be celebrated.

8. Hope Fades for Girls’ Release After Boko Haram ‘Truce’ Breached

Bitterly disappointing news from Nigeria with the announcement that the possible release of nearly 300 girls kidnapped in April isn’t happening after all. Negotiations to free the girls from the Islamic extremists Boko Haram broke down after Boko Haram failed to uphold the agreed-upon cease-fire.

Don’t allow these girls to fade from the public conscious. #BringBackOurGirls is more important now than ever.

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Erin Tatum is a Contributing Writer at Everyday Feminism. She’s a feminist, queer theory lover, and television enthusiast living in Pennsylvania. She is particularly interested in examining the representation of marginalized identities in media. In addition to Everyday Feminism, she’s also a weekly contributor to B*tch Flicks. Follow her on Twitter @ErinTatum91 and read her articles here.