Cape Town – The Foreign Press Association Africa on Saturday expressed their displeasure and slammed media outlets for using images of blacks alongside stories of the Monkeypox outbreak in North America and the United Kingdom last week, the media association said in a statement.
This past week a handful of cases of Monkeypox were detected in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the US, with cases rising in the latest virus to consume the world.
We condemn the perpetuation of this negative stereotype that assigns calamity to the African race and privilege or immunity to other races.— FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION, AFRICA (@FPA_Africa) May 21, 2022
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Monkeypox is a zoonatic disease caused by the Monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
The virus can occur in any region of the world, regardless of race or ethnicity. The WHO said, as such, it believes that no race or skin complexion should be the face of the disease.
“It is therefore disturbing for European and North American media outlets to use stock images bearing persons of black and dark and African skin complexion to depict an outbreak of the disease in the United Kingdom and North America,” said the offended press association.
Monkeypox: Where’s the same energy the US, UK showed when Omicron was detected by South African scientists? Racist much? https://t.co/C0UfWXbR2s— IOL News (@IOL) May 21, 2022
“Shouldn’t it be logical that if you are talking about the outbreak of Monkeypox in Europe or the Americas you should use images of hospitals across Europe or the Americas? Or in the absence of such use a collection of electronic micrographs with labelled subcellular structures?
We condemn the perpetuation of this negative stereotype that assigns calamity to the African race and privilege or immunity to other races.
The press association asks, what was the convenience of using such images to tell the world how Europe and America are reeling from the outbreak of Monkeypox? “Is the media in the business of “preserving white purity” through the “black criminality or culpability”?
Furthermore, the press association said it finds the use of images to be “very insensitive”, adding that it is glaring in the lack of dignity afforded to black and brown-skinned victims of disease outbreaks.
It is a lack of nuance and empathy given to people suffering from this disease, it said.
Global media obsession continues to link anything bad to #Africa, why they don't use images of white people infected with the #monkeypox virus?!— Idris M. Sanusi 🇳🇬🇪🇹 (@sanusi90064) May 22, 2022
It is racism, and to show that white people have no diseases and viruses.
PANDEMIC IN #EUROPE, NOT AFRICA.#MonkeypoxVirus pic.twitter.com/OgBNeHEfvz
“At a time when the world is forging alliances against systemic racism and racial stereotypes, the media should be at the forefront of shaping positive images and narratives.
The Foreign Press Association Africa further urges that editorial managers in news outlets based outside Africa update their image policies and censure their staff from the allure of using images of Africans, people of African descent or people living in Africa to depict outbreaks of diseases or calamities.
“FPAA offers its readiness to support to media houses seeking to review their editorial policies to reflect correct framing of Africa, people of African descent and people living in Africa,” it said.
That’s right…hit ‘em up and tell ‘em direct… pic.twitter.com/IVqDIwXdwN— Cyph3r (@cyph3r__) May 21, 2022
No one cares about your feelings of being insulted. Its contact with other primates in West Africa and has also infected Whites who travel or live there.— Joan Dietrich (@JoanDie2022) May 21, 2022