News Brief

"Woke" White Teen Jokes About Traveling to Africa and Catching Ebola

Covergirl's first "cover boy" shared a tweet about traveling to Africa that angered many of his supporters.

Yesterday, Covergirl's first-ever "cover boy," teen star James Charles sent out a jokey tweet about Ebola in Africa that ended up hurting many of his followers and supporters.


It should come as no surprise to anyone that just because a person is part of a marginalized group, or simply young and "liberal," it does not make them sensitive to the experience of others, in this case Africans who have felt the sting of stigma derived from the 2014 outbreak.

Despite every country on the continent being declared Ebola-free for over a year now, he remarked that he was afraid to travel to "Africa" because "what if we catch Ebola?"

 

This is certainly not the first time someone in a visible position has minimized Africa to one not-so-funny Twitter joke. Back in 2015 PR rep, Justine Sacco tweeted: "going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" Her degrading remark sent Twitter ablaze and she was eventually fired from her job as result.

In their attempts at edgy humor, Sacco and Charles trivialized an entire continent, making it the butt of their jokes in order for a little audience engagement. Needless to say, it backfired, as neither AIDS nor Ebola are funny, and neither is the privilege they exude with their ironic racism which they seem to believe does no harm. Young white people should know by now that a "woke" exterior is not a license to do shitty things.

All the Cover Girl make-up in the world can't hide that ignorance.

 

News Brief
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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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