Peace Corps Volunteer Does 180 After Living in Africa: 'Trump Was Right'


We’re just a little over halfway through the month of January, but I think we’ve pretty much established what the “covfefe” of 2018 is going to be: “s***hole countries.”

It’s not even clear whether or not the president actually said those words, mind you, but it’s sparked a debate about the diversity lottery and other forms of visas for individuals from nations that wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for migration to the United States.

Oh, and it’s also given the left an opportunity to vehemently declare the president a flaming racist, but they’ve also utilized taco salads for that selfsame purpose. (Seriously.)

There have been plenty of people who have come to Trump’s defense over this matter, including the usual immigration hawks. One unusual defender of the president, however, is a former Peace Corps volunteer who says her time in Africa has convinced her that Trump is right on merit-based integration.

In a piece for the American Thinker published this week, Karen McQuillan argued that her experience in Senegal after college exposed systemic problems in that country’s culture which couldn’t necessarily be changed simply by offering American visas to those who wish to emigrate.

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“Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town. Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health. That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, ‘a fecalized environment,'” McQuillan wrote.

“In plain English: s— is everywhere. People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water. He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water. Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.”

The problem didn’t just involve the sanitary conditions, either. McQuillan noted cultural differences that could make integration into American society difficult.

“We hear a lot about the kleptocratic elites of Africa. The kleptocracy extends through the whole society. My town had a medical clinic donated by international agencies. The medicine was stolen by the medical workers and sold to the local store. If you were sick and didn’t have money, drop dead. That was normal,” McQuillan wrote.

Do you think immigration to the United States should be merit-based?

“In Senegal, corruption ruled, from top to bottom. Go to the post office, and the clerk would name an outrageous price for a stamp. After paying the bribe, you still didn’t know it if it would be mailed or thrown out. That was normal,” she continued.

“One of my most vivid memories was from the clinic. One day, as the wait grew hotter in the 110-degree heat, an old woman two feet from the medical aides — who were chatting in the shade of a mango tree instead of working – collapsed to the ground. They turned their heads so as not to see her and kept talking. She lay there in the dirt. Callousness to the sick was normal.”

And while one feels for those stuck in such an environment, McQuillan argued that the issue wouldn’t be solved by reflexively giving visas to individuals from a culture where integration into American society could prove exceptionally difficult difficult.

“The more I worked there and visited government officials doing absolutely nothing, the more I realized that no one in Senegal had the idea that a job means work,” McQuillan wrote. “A job is something given to you by a relative.  It provides the place where you steal everything to give back to your family.

“I couldn’t wait to get home.  So why would I want to bring Africa here?  Non-Westerners do not magically become American by arriving on our shores with a visa.”

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Indeed, McQuillan said her time in the Peace Corps gave her perspective in terms of how to fix problems in failed or failing republics.

“African problems are made worse by our aid efforts. Senegal is full of smart, capable people. They will eventually solve their own country’s problems. They will do it on their terms, not ours. The solution is not to bring Africans here,” she wrote.

“For the rest of my life, I enjoyed the greatest gift of the Peace Corps: I love and treasure America more than ever. I take seriously my responsibility to defend our culture and our country and pass on the American heritage to the next generation.

“We are lectured by Democrats that we must privilege third-world immigration by the hundred million with chain migration. They tell us we must end America as a white, Western, Judeo-Christian, capitalist nation – to prove we are not racist. I don’t need to prove a thing. Leftists want open borders because they resent whites, resent Western achievements, and hate America. They want to destroy America as we know it.

“As President Trump asked, why would we do that?” McQuillan concluded. “We have the right to choose what kind of country to live in. I was happy to donate a year of my life as a young woman to help the poor Senegalese. I am not willing to donate my country.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture