The recent Ebola epidemic is an example of how historical systems still impact the modern world on a global scale. These structures have affected parts of the globe in different ways and are apparent in the responses to Ebola. Colonialism and slavery are just some of the systems that had long-term consequences in West Africa and the Western Hemisphere that influenced reactions to the crisis. Economically and culturally these systems ravaged Africa and its people while simultaneously empowering the European colonizers. .
Colonizing empires had an economical advantage because they took and sold resources from Africa for a large profit. As McCarty mentioned in lecture, these powers benefited from land, raw materials, and labor, leading them to expand their markets, industry and trade (Lecture, October 21st). In order to hold safe these assets, the empires created ports and local political governments to have administrative control over transactions. When the African people revolted European states extinguished them in order to keep authority because of the greed (McCarty, 2011, p. 99). In the present day crisis, people point to this dominance of the West and exploitation of Africa, as part of the despairing economic gap. This economic disparity correlates to why some believe that the disease started by the consumption of a wild animal (Peeples, 2014). This theory is based on the reality of many parts of Africa where food is not simply bought from a supermarket, but instead is hunted or found in the wild because there is a lack of food within a growing population in West Africa (Peeples, 2014). This is unconventional to Western standards, and some of the proteins that are consumed in West Africa, such as bat, are not typical. This high poverty level is a result of the colonial powers exploiting Africa and that the continent never being able to recover. To this day, Africa is being exploited for a material that is found in cell phones within the West (Lecture, October 21st).