The Senegalese and us: Peace Corps experience was instructive for idealistic volunteer

by WorldTribune Staff, January 19, 2018

The “greatest gift” one volunteer received from serving in the Peace Corps was realizing how much she “loves and treasures 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,” Karin McQuillan wrote for American Thinker on Jan. 17.

Senegal ‘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.’ / AP photo

“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 added; “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.”

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a few decades later, liberals would be pushing the lie that Western civilization is no better than a third-world country,” McQuillan wrote. “Or would teach two generations of our kids that loving your own culture and wanting to preserve it are racism.”

McQuillan noted how “something as basic as family” was so different in Senegal.

“Family was a few hundred people, extending out to second and third cousins. All the men in one generation were called ‘father.’ Senegalese are Muslim, with up to four wives. Girls had their clitorises cut off at puberty. (I witnessed this, at what I thought was going to be a nice coming-of-age ceremony, like a bat mitzvah or confirmation.) Sex, I was told, did not include kissing. Love and friendship in marriage were Western ideas. Fidelity was not a thing. Married women would have sex for a few cents to have cash for the market.”

The Ten Commandments “were not disobeyed – they were unknown,” McQuillan wrote. “The value system was the exact opposite. You were supposed to steal everything you can to give to your own relatives. There are some Westernized Africans who try to rebel against the system. They fail.

“Americans think it is a universal human instinct to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s not. It seems natural to us because we live in a Bible-based Judeo-Christian culture.

“We think the Protestant work ethic is universal. It’s not. My town was full of young men doing nothing. They were waiting for a government job. There was no private enterprise. Private business was not illegal, just impossible, given the nightmare of a third-world bureaucratic kleptocracy.”

McQuillan noted that “Non-Westerners do not magically become American by arriving on our shores with a visa.”

Senegal, she wrote, “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.”

McQuillan continued: “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?

“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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