Time for the latest dispatch in our ongoing series, "Let's Stop Embarrassing Ourselves With Our Ebola Response, World." It's only human to feel a little alarmed at scale of this terrible epidemic (though you should not panic). But no matter how badly you want to help, maybe don't throw a tone-deaf dance party fundraiser.
The Village Voice reports on the reaction when a New York City nurse pitched 14,000-member Facebook group Queer Exchange on a fundraiser, with proceeds going to an organization such as Doctors Without Borders. Given how desperately MSF has been fighting Ebola—they say they're pretty much at their breaking point—it's great that people want to help however they can. But perhaps there was a better approach than uploading a photo of Oprah, encouraging everyone to be their best selves and suggesting a dance party:
Burnaby asked the group to post some of their favorite dance songs which would be turned into a Spotify playist for the "giant dance party."
"My proposition is as simple as spotting a dyke on the L train," she wrote. "...We are committed to healing all the beautiful people affected by this disease in West Africa and the [Democratic Republic of the Congo].
"Queer Exchange: Lets do what we do. And fucking dance. And even more importantly, be the difference that we already are."
The Voice reports that this was not well received: "Dance party saviors of the world unite, the only thing you have to lose is your money which will probably be sucked into the salary of some NGO administrator. This is a bunch of fucking bullshit. From the way everything is worded in the original post to the Oprah picture," responded one member.
But it's practically tasteful compared to the "Saturday Night Ebola Fever," a Halloween costume bash scheduled for London club The Scotch of St. James by an events company, the Telegraph reports. Not that it's REALLY Ebola-themed, per se, insisted a spokesperson:
"The theme is Saturday Night Fever, not Ebola. This has always been about charity, we wouldn't want to make fun of people dying.
"Calling the event 'Saturday Night Ebola Fever' is just a play on words. We are not trivialising it, we intended this to be a helpful thing.
"If it has not come across that way maybe we should not go ahead with it."
They announced plans to collect a voluntary £10 donation (good try, guys), but that didn't impress charity CEO Tom Dannatt, who told the Telegraph: "If it is a discretionary donation – attaching a charity's name to the branding of a night - that's not charity, that's just wrong." The organizers have since apologized and renamed the party.
Image via Getty.