By Raynard Jackson
I have had it with all the whining and complaining I am hearing from Africans regarding the growing demand from Americans to deny travel to the U.S. for Africans from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea because of the Ebola epidemic that has infected those countries.
Let’s be clear: No one has a right to travel to the U.S. It is a privilege conferred upon would be travelers at the sole discretion of the U.S. Our government, like others around the world, has the right to deny anyone entry into our country for any or no reason at all.
Except for Obama, every president has put the safety of the American people before “political correctness” or the sensitivities of foreigners. President Obama seems to be more concerned about hurting the feelings of Africans or hurting their economies more than protecting his own people.
If your neighbor’s kids have come down with a cold or the flu, you don’t allow your children to go next door to play with them until they have totally recovered from their illness. That is reasonable and normal thing to do for any responsible parent.
This whole Ebola crisis has less to do with science and more to do with the American people having absolutely no trust in Obama. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been a total disaster.
So, this demand by the American people for a ban on travel from the three affected African countries is a result of people’s lack of confidence in Obama. Since we can’t believe anything this administration has to say, it seems only prudent to push for a moratorium on all travel from the countries impacted by Ebola.
People who share my views have been labeled as xenophobic, an abnormal hatred or fear of foreigners. So let me make sure I understand the logic here. The American people have been constantly lied to by this president on everything from Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, immigration, Syria, and now Ebola. But now we should still trust him and ignore the dangers of Ebola?
Americans are called xenophobic because we want to protect our country and its citizens. Well, you Africans should know and understand one thing. More “legal immigrants” are admitted into the U.S. annually than all the other countries of the world combined. How many people are clamoring to leave the U.S. for West Africa?
Some Africans who are now American citizens have been staging protests across the U.S. To my African friends on both sides of the Atlantic, if you don’t like the idea of protecting America and its citizens first, solve your own problems. Stop calling on America every time you get a cold or a headache. We have sent thousands of military personnel and hundreds of medical professionals to West Africa at no cost to these African countries. So, a little gratitude would be helpful and appreciated.
America has absolutely no obligation to help Africa during this crisis; but because we are America we feel we have extended a helping hand. .
The president of Liberia, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson said, “the whole world has a stake in preventing an unfolding catastrophe in Liberia … It is the duty of all of us as global citizens to send a message that we will not leave millions of West Africans to fend for themselves.”
Many West African medical professionals refuse to go to their home countries because they have an obligation to protect their own families here in the U.S. The most notable example of this is President Johnson’s own son, Dr. James Sirleaf.
He is a graduate of Morehouse College and went on to earn his medical degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He is married with four children. He now runs the emergency room at a hospital in Albany, Ga. After he and his mother came under heavy criticism for his refusal to go to Liberia and help with the epidemic, he responded by saying, “The symbolism of me going there [to Liberia] and potentially getting Ebola when I have a nine- and a seven-year-old at home isn’t worth it just to appease people. I’ve made a commitment not to live in Liberia for many reasons, and I think my contribution [contributions through his medical charity that he has since removed all personnel from Liberia] means more.”
Is Dr. Johnson also xenophobic? Or, is he simply using common sense? .
In the immortal words of Colonel Nathan R. Jessep (played by Jack Nicholson) in the hit movie, “A Few Good Men,” I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man [or country] who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.