The ice bucket challenge is a social media phenomenon that has spread all over the world. People have posted millions of video of them dumping a bucket of ice water over there head after nominating three other people to do the same thing in the next 24 hours. If you did not complete the challenge within 24 hours of being nominated the consequence was for you to have to donate 100 dollars to ALS organization. The challenge was fun and made a huge difference in the ALS community, it gave millions of people more awareness of the disease which lead to 200% increase in donations to do more studies to try and find a cure.
If you take a step back and look at the whole picture you realize something bigger about the Western society as a whole. This disease itself affects mostly white men, it was not commonly known before the challenge but it brings light to the question of how health care and wellbeing are reflections of structural inequality. Take the Ebola virus for example; this disease that did not achieve the same amount of positive publicity, but yet has killed millions of poor African individuals. Ebola did not become a trend where people in the United States donated millions of dollars to. But what if we had? Would Ebola still exist today? Would it still be as big of a problem and health risk in parts of Africa? Western society shows who they care for and what they are willing to pay to save it. It’s just more to show that the publicity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was not an accident but a demonstration our society’s creation of hierarchy and importance.