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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cave Fear

posted by on July 16 at 12:45 PM

More horror:

The World Health Organization has warned [white] people not to go into Ugandan caves with bats, after a Dutch tourist contracted the deadly Marburg virus.

The woman, aged 40, died after being taken to hospital following her return to the Netherlands, health authorities there said.

They said she probably contracted the disease while visiting a Ugandan cave inhabited by fruit bats.

Marburg is a contagious disease that causes sudden bleeding and high fever.

There is no treatment or vaccine.

The cave, the bats, the bite, the fever, the blood, the death.

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The savings!

Posted by Ziggity | July 16, 2008 12:56 PM
warned [white] people not to go into Ugandan caves with bats

You'd think the BBC could afford some copyeditors.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 16, 2008 1:02 PM

kesh @2, what are you talking about?  The WHO and BBC are giving readers sound advice: Don't bring a bat to a night flight.

Posted by lostboy | July 16, 2008 1:07 PM

why is the who only warning white people? i'm pretty sure marbug is deadly to all racial groups.

Posted by douglas | July 16, 2008 1:14 PM

This has to be Charles's most coherent post in a long time, yet I'm still confused by the "[white]" bit.

Posted by Dan | July 16, 2008 1:19 PM

Are Ugandan caves segregated?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 16, 2008 1:22 PM

Considering that African national and state governments have a very poor history of warning anybody (see link below), white. black, tourist or local of disease dangers, I don't see what is wrong with this warning. Someone needs to warn people not to go into caves. If local governments refuse to allow their own people to be warned there is little WHO can do. As for this being a *white* warning only, I do not agree. The warning does not have any racial identifiers at all and is avaialble to anyone with access to WHO alerts via computers, radios and newspapers. This would include local clinics which can spread the word in affected regions. The WHO is routinely hampered in disseminating information to local populations by local adminstrative entities in parts Africa and Asia. It is not a [white] issue but a corrupt government and inter-tribal discrimination issue.

Posted by inkweary | July 16, 2008 1:24 PM

douglas @4, because its only the lily white people like me who are so dependent on firepower.

Start some shit with any brown person with a bat, and she will straight up merk you.

Posted by lostboy | July 16, 2008 1:28 PM

"[white]" is Mudede's invention, not a paraphrase of elided text in the original report.

Actually, as a more varied reading diet would confirm, [Dutch health authorities], not [the WHO], warned [tour operators] against arranging visits by [international tourists] to Ugandan bat caves. The [Ugandan health authority] already advises [locals] to "maximum precaution not to get into close contact with the bats" [if they must enter the caves at all].

In the world of CM's imagination all tourists are white, and there are no health authorities in Africa.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 16, 2008 1:29 PM
The World Health Organization has warned [white] people not to go into Ugandan caves with bats, after a Dutch tourist contracted the deadly Marburg virus.

If you follow the link to the BBC piece, the word [white] does not appear; that's just Charles editorializing.

Of course, Charles' inference that there are no people of color in the Netherlands is inaccurate; about 13% of the population of the Netherlands is made up of people of color. Otherwise, Charles seems to be implying that the WHO should be warning Ugandans to stay out of Ugandan caves, and inferring, without proof, that this has not happened.

In other words, Charles is being pointlessly inflammatory and intellectually lazy.

Posted by Judah | July 16, 2008 1:31 PM

It's Charles' way of inferring racism. The real BBC article states this:

The World Health Organization has warned people not to go into Ugandan caves with bats, after a Dutch tourist contracted the deadly Marburg virus.

Other media sources are carrying this:

Geneva - The World Health Organisation (WHO) urged Ugandans and tourists on Friday to avoid entering caves with bats in the East African country after a Dutch woman returned home with deadly Marburg haemorrhagic fever.

And the actual WHO press release reads:

No citizens of other countries were involved in this trip except for a local tour guide, but the cave in the Maramagambo Forrest is known to be a tourist attraction... WHO has informed the Ministry of Health Uganda which will take appropriate steps nationally to investigate these events, and WHO has recommended that the MoH advise all residents and travellers to avoid entering caves with bat populations.
Posted by rb | July 16, 2008 1:32 PM

@10: Judah, you should end your last sentence with ", as usual."

Posted by pragmatic | July 16, 2008 1:34 PM

Thanks to CM for helping me prove my post name. Although "Latent" is beginning to be a stretch.

Posted by Charles_Mudede_Is_A_Latent_Racist | July 16, 2008 1:36 PM

I am waiting to hear Charles explain why he put [white] in his post....

C'mon Charlie, don't let people second guess you. Why did you do it?

Posted by Hartiepie | July 16, 2008 1:56 PM

You know what, Charles? That posts lacks any journalistic integrity. You blockquoted an article, inserted your own inference of race that was never there in the original, and throw it up on the Web. Not only was the inference of race not there, but if you had bothered to look at WHO or any other news source, you would find that it's the exact opposite, and that WHO is working with Uganda's Ministry of Health on the matter to get information to both residents and tourists. Pretty pathetic.

Posted by rb | July 16, 2008 2:02 PM

charles can't be racist, just prejudiced. sick of having to explain this. slog commenters overwhelmingly need a class on racism 101

Posted by bridget | July 16, 2008 2:10 PM

@16 Stop being sick. Stop being wrong.

Posted by umvue | July 16, 2008 2:22 PM

Charles also is confused about the method of transmission. Fruit bats don't bite, and the disease is not transmitted by bites.

Posted by Fnarf | July 16, 2008 2:28 PM

@14, it was a reference to the expression: "a white man's grave."

Posted by charles mudede | July 16, 2008 2:30 PM
@14, it was a reference to the expression: "a white man's grave."

Uh, no it wasn't.

I mean, that may be what it was in your mind, but nobody reading that -- including people who have read an obscure 1954 travelogue by a wayward Scot -- would have read the phrase you wrote and thought, "Oh, he's referring to Africa as a white man's grave."

When nobody understands most of what you say, I think you need to consider the possibility that it's not because they're stupid; it's because you're a terrible communicator.

Posted by Judah | July 16, 2008 2:36 PM

Charles, if you are referring to Donald MacIntosh's work that is set in Nigeria, not Uganda, which makes for a very obscure, even inaccurate, reference.

Posted by inkweary | July 16, 2008 2:44 PM

Who knew. Racist bats.

Posted by Vince | July 16, 2008 2:46 PM

This time of year, at dusk, I look towards the horizon looking for bats. I never see any.

Where are Seattle's bats? It's too damn bad and it makes me wonder what's wrong with our city that we have no bats.

Posted by Westside forever | July 16, 2008 3:15 PM

@ 23, your mind is my mind.

Posted by charles mudede | July 16, 2008 3:30 PM

@23 Seattle's bats are many places. Usually easiest to see near water. From, e.g.,

If you are interested in observing the Arboretum's bats, we encourage you to come down to the Lagoons around dusk (July and August are best) and position yourself so that you can see a patch of sky and its reflection in the water. Against this backdrop, bats can easily be seen flying across the water's surface for about 30 minutes.

The schedule for Green Lake Bat Walks is here:

Posted by umvue | July 16, 2008 3:44 PM

I saw a whole bunch of bats above Lk Washington when setting on a park bench near that gazebo thing that's by the little Kirkland waterfront area. You know that tiny little cute park next to the restaurants and there's a dock.

Anyway there were plenty of bats and they were totally awesome.

I didn't get bit though, so that helped.

Posted by daniel | July 16, 2008 3:44 PM

Release the bats! Release the bats! Don't tell me that it doesn't hurt!

Posted by Abby | July 16, 2008 3:47 PM

@ 23 -- This time of year, at dusk, tens of thousands of Seattlites gather south of Pioneer Square wondering the same thing.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 16, 2008 3:58 PM

16: No, there's a difference between interpersonal racism and institutional racism. It's only a narrow group of social scientists that believe that racism can only be practiced by the dominant group- well them, and Spike Lee. Much in the same way marginalized white trash can be ideologically fascist, marginalized blacks can be ideologically racist, even if their racist belief is something outlandish like whites are superior to them.

I like how people take a few years of social sciences and sort of assume that a handful of sociologists' opinions are the last word on racism without bothering to engage the actual debate over the word. Sure, racism as a US instiution is white supremacist, but that doesn't mean that racists ideas can't trickle down.

You can be a victim of institutional or open racims and still hold racist beliefs. How else do you describe the Nation of Islam's belief that the white man was created by a mad scientis? Is that merely prejudiced, or does it cross the line into racist ideology? I'm going to have to go with the latter. And btw, if Charles happed to live somewhere where his ethnic or racial group was dominant, he could be racist in the sociological sense too.

So you might want to think your position over a bit more.

Posted by Jay | July 16, 2008 4:05 PM

You won't find bats on the horizon. You'll find them swooping very low, especially over water. That's where the bugs is at.

Posted by Fnarf | July 16, 2008 4:20 PM


I think you're crazy.

Batshit crazy.

Posted by Gnarls Mudede | July 16, 2008 4:23 PM

Thanks to The Who, I won't get bitten again.

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | July 16, 2008 4:27 PM

Nice one cookie monster.

Posted by elswinger | July 17, 2008 12:48 PM

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