African Boys Attacked In NYC For “Ebola” | msnbc


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African advocacy groups in New York are calling for action after they say two boys who just returned from Senegal were attacked at school by kids yelling Ebola members of the African Advisory Council held a news conference with the young boys and their father yesterday where they explained how weeks of bullying and taunting led to an attack on school grounds playground suddenly these kids were yelling I brought him he bola Ebola Ebola did then jumped him kicking and punching him his younger brother heard him scream and these other kids jumped on him as well where was the school staff where all of this was happening these kids are supposed to be in school and it’s supposed to be safe New York school city schools Chancellor Carmen fariña issued a statement saying we will not tolerate intimidation or bullying of our students especially in this moment when New Yorkers need to come together we are investigating this incident and we take this matter very seriously from Indiana is the Bronx borough president and so thank you so much for being here mr.

Diaz let’s talk about the atmosphere in this school we are told that the bullying did not just begin on the date of this incident that it happened before before that what steps are being taken not just to make sure that these students would be safe in school but that African students in general will be safe well first of all let me just begin by saying that in the Bronx our prayers were answered when the five year old boy that many people read about and now I was feeling ill because of a respiratory ailment those negatives on Ebola came back negative n and for that we’re thankful on this particular case what we’ve seen here is not just in New York but throughout the nation unfortunately there’s been this incessant sensationalization of Ebola and more and more people are have to understand that there’s got to be a happy an optimal medium here where we can educate folks in this case in the Bronx we have a large African population that’s the reason why in 2009 I put together this advisory this African advisory task force headed by Charles Cooper and what we don’t want is for this for the population to become so you know hysterical that in this case we have kids that are being pummeled and jumped in inside of school buildings that is unacceptable and I’m happy that the Chancellor put out that statement and we’re working with the family we’re working with the schools we’re working with our advisory task force to meet with the Department of Education to make sure that this type of bullying does not happen again yeah and of course we all know that kids can be cruel and that is unfortunate part of growing up and a bullying is something that all schools are trying to eradicate regardless of people outbreak but we have other examples obviously of adults who’ve also taken the sort of fear of Ebola in order to fear of Ebola to the wrong place there’s another parent in the Bronx who has said that her daughter has also been bullied in school and also been taunted with the Ebola you know taint and said that her business is actually suffering as a result of people’s fear of Ebola let’s take a listen to that I am a hairdresser I do here now the business I have a customer on Saturday she came to me she came from Connecticut and of course this is not just limited obviously to New York or to the Bronx we have examples of a high school student and a soccer game in Nazareth Pennsylvania 16 year old who had moved from Guinea three years ago was taunted with chants of Ebola by players and the opposing team you have a six-year-old who used to be proud to call herself Liberian now hesitating because of the teasing you have someone whose daughter was called to the principal’s office to ask when she was last home and the 13 year olds family was from Ghana where there have been no reported cases of Ebola we can’t say enough that this is not the entire continent of Africa that it has seen Ebola outbreaks but it has there been any you know sensitivity discussions in the school I know there are general bullying discussions that take place in these schools about not marginalizing or specifically singling out African students right and and people need to realize that we we need to just tamp tamp down the the here we need to educate ourselves tomorrow in the Bronx we’re having a huge forum on this working with the Department of Health here in the city of New York and that anyone if they’re gonna get this virus is not just because they’re African and and and that’s something that we have to educate folks in this case with the kids coming from synagogue you know the last time that there was an Ebola case in Senegal was in the middle of the summer and and so people need to understand that we need to educate each other parents need to talk to their kids whether it’s on Ebola or not bullying leads to stop at home and and it starts with the education of parents what we’re telling people is that again this disease is very difficult to contract that you that you have to be exposed to somebody who’s very ill this is the type of information that we’re gonna give out tomorrow that these are the type of questions that working with people in the band who are medical experts we’re gonna get this information out to folks in the Bronx now certainly we don’t want a growing African population in my borrow to be targeted especially during this time when there’s so many unanswered questions when people need to be educated and we really don’t want we certainly don’t want our kids to stop going to school in this case is the sixth grade and eighth grade boys that drama brothers they were beat up by more than ten students and and and that’s another issue that we have to address how is it that this can happen inside of a school building but what we don’t want is for people to just target the African population because again this is only happening in a segment of the African count continent and and it’s just a way for people to to target a particular population it’s unacceptable it’s disgusting you know indeed I think you’ve absolutely spoken for so many people I want to also bring into this discussion Charles Cooper who’s the secretary I mean the president of the African Advisory Council of the Bronx as well as Zuma and Rami who’s the father of Amadou and pop a drama drama drama okay so it’s wonderful to have you all here thank you guys for being here I do want to start with you first and talk about I mean in general you know my father was African there was you know teasing that went along with people who are of African descent regardless of what’s happening now but has there been increasing incidences of bullying as a result of the Ebola outbreak absolutely and I’m an immigrant I came here when I was their age and I experienced bullying and teas and as you mentioned this is more heightened this is more vicious you know to stigmatization that goes along with Ebola no matter what country you come from the they come from synagogue from Liberia but you know we’re all in the same boat where we’re getting different occurrences of a bullet stigmatization on the train bullying on the train i commend mr.

Drummond because he came forward often times it’s difficult to put a face to what’s going on and because he was strong enough to come forward and let the African Advisory Council know of what’s going on in your access to advocate on his behalf more and more folks are coming forward to say this is happening to me yeah you you are not alone this is happening in Staten Island this is happening in the Bronx this is happening in Harlem this is happening in Brooklyn and it must be stopped absolutely and I want to start and ask you move on when your lovely boys came to and I said we’ve got the soccer ball here and your Amadou right I’m gonna do is on the end when your boys came to you and told that this happened you know tell me that story these things happened since we have two weeks and they have two weeks in this country through it’s only the two weeks the single school the first three days they have any problem since the major the governor the politicians talk about Ebola Ebola all this is a pickup at work in the classroom they don’t work all dem dem em they did already name the condom monster Africa Africa Ebola like you know do anything they come to me in the beginning tell me daddy there could be they could be Africa they don’t wanna know my name I say don’t worry you know in time you know you know he played soccer in flame if you want a circle yeah okay the biggest mess is the time I start meeting them now they say he’s over it’s just too much you know and when the bullying first started when people were taunting them and calling them names if they tell a teacher was there any intervention why don’t you see by myself I’m educated I have a mimosa negotiation and all the controls what happened is a bola we have lar complained our organization our breathing shop is closed every African who go to supermarket rat bites of food if you touch the meat know about the money anymore trust me even though even the supermarket on us they don’t want us in their business you know we have to do something to fix this problem this children if they go to school in the gym to play in the gym yeah no you haven’t played yeah I’ve seen the TV I don’t play this children they don’t wanna let them play three days in the gym three days in the gym to add more harm to injury you know this this happened in the courtyard you know in which kids are supposed to be playing this was the real lunch the younger one was by himself because no one wanted to play with him there was then Taunton oh you have Ebola you have people and get away from here suddenly he was surrounded by a group of kids that threw him to the ground and started punching him he screamed his older brother who was far from him heard him and ran over to him when he ran over it to help him he was jumped on by those other kids as well no because this does fit I mean this is obviously a definite physical threat to these young boys but it sounds as if there should have been even before this physical altercation happened some kind of intervention to protect two little boys in school again and that’s a separate conversation an issue that we will have with the parents with the schools with with Charles Cooper and the Department of Education but what I want to say on Ebola and all of the information that’s going out there is you know we what we don’t want is for people to be stigmatized especially the doctors and and some of the patients and God forbid if you have any more patients in the future to me this is almost reminiscent of what we saw around HIV and AIDS and what we don’t want is a bigger problem here in the future where people because they don’t want to be stigmatized because they don’t want to be bullied should they find themselves with some type of symptoms that they don’t want to tell anybody and that’s the reason why we have to educate folks that’s the reason why we have to educate the parents we’ll be dealing with the Department of Education as it pertains to the bullying inside the schools whether it happened because of Ebola or not that’s a separate issue no child should be going to school and get beat up in the schoolyard during lunchtime but at the same time we want to make sure that everyone calms down don’t target anyone whether you thought that they have Ebola or not because what we want is for people to feel comfortable with coming out in case they have symptoms not only that but to really understand I mean I think you can’t even say enough or stress enough you know we’re talking about three countries where the outbreak primarily has taken place Liberia Guinea Sierra Leone declared ebola-free where Nigeria and Senegal so there’s just people not understanding the basics of the outbreak itself but then also applying that stigma across the entire comment and anyone so in our end of the day you know we want all kids to feel safe at school you know it doesn’t matter whether you’re African Hispanic Asian Caucasian we want all of our kids to go to school to feel safe to learn and to play like kids the solution is there but what I’m telling you the politicians supposed to correct the language to try the second thing every politician need the team communication team who tell them how to talk teach them how to talk let me tell you show me the diamond from Liberia is round the corner the diamond is around the corner the diamond district around the corner let me tell you some our children can pass the diamond I wouldn’t know in this diamond confirm Liberia so why they can teach you the same way in this demo I think Saudi Sigma times what we’re looking for is a greater outreach to the community in this it’s obviously the kids are not well educated we respect and the parents also because the adults are the ones that have to do and I want to write we do we are out of time but I want to say to pop a and Amadou i’ma do you you should be very proud for standing up for your little brother I think that’s wonderful that you did that right and poppy and I would do I’d love to play a game of soccer with you guys any time we’re very proud of them in the Bronx very very proud of them imma do and poppy drummy Guzman drama thank you so much for being here Ruben Diaz junior obviously Charles Cooper thank you very much we appreciate all of you being

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