A CNN report indicated that a swarm of Africanized bees attacked a group of firefighters and police officers in California. Some Twitter users, however, didn’t have much to say about those that were attacked – instead they criticized the news network for referring to the insect using that name “Africanized.”
CNN’s news team reported in an article that a swarm of approximately 40,000 killer bees attacked police and firefighters who were responding to an emergency call for a patient that reported a bee sting.
A group of firefighters and police that were responding to a bee sting were attacked by a swarm of nearly 40,000 Africanized bees.Three of the first responders were rushed to the hospital, while the others quickly shut down the block.
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2020
With the help of a beekeeper, they managed to control the situation, but not before ending up with seven people injured by bee stings; five of them needed to be transferred to a nearby hospital to receive urgent treatment.
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The news report was attacked by CNN’s audience who considered that using the term “Africanized bee” is racist.
CNN, however, was only using the scientific name with which this species of bees are known.
While their official name is “Africanized bee,” they are also known as “killer bees” and are considered amongst the most dangerous species of bee.
This species is known by this name since they are the result of the mixture of multiple types of European bees with the East African lowland honey bee – this being the reason why they are called “Africanized”, according to The Smithsonian Institute.
However, some Twitter users considered that CNN referring to the bees with this term is a low-key way of insulting black people.
The negative comments towards CNN are varied and can still be seen on the original tweet.
It’s 2020 and media still uses ‘Africanized’
— Magdalena (@mags_iarba) February 22, 2020
Kinda racist calling angry dangerous bees African bees….
— Undercover Tiger (@propilot123) February 22, 2020
— تانشه (@jzycaramel) February 22, 2020
They’ve been calling swarms “Africanized” since the 90’s. “Soft” racism at its finest. Sure, there’s a species of bee called the Africanized Honey Bee, but damned if you’ll see the press check on it they are correct.
— Nate Coombs (@n8coombs) February 21, 2020
Finally, some even suggested that CNN should have indicated that this is the scientific name of the bees so that it was the scientific community that received the criticism.