Ann Coulter calls US Ebola doc “idiotic,” Africa “disease-ridden cesspool”

Lead Republican thinker Ann Coulter has declared war on American Ebola victims.

In particular, Coulter is upset with Dr. Kent Brantly, a Texas doctor who caught Ebola while doing medicinal missionary work in Liberia.

Brantly and his family travel around the world providing basic medical services in regions of developing countries where basic medicine is rare.

In her latest screed, Coulter says Brantly is “idiotic” for going to a continent that she refers to as a “disease-ridden cesspool.”

Yes, imagine a doctor going where there is disease. What was he thinking?

Coulter says there’s more than enough spiritual healing needed at home in Amurika, so why go and help those darn furnrs.

Ann Coulter wishes John Edwards were assassinatedExcept one problem. While Ann Coulter divides the world up into Americans and others, and Republicans and others, and good Republicans and others, actual good human beings see people as, you know, human beings. And a Liberian in need of medical care is no different from an American in need of the same. They’re both human beings, and Dr. Brantly doesn’t lower the value of the social good by helping a cesspool Liberian instead of a vainglorious American.

Oh, and Jews.

Coulter apparently thinks one of the reason all of our good doctors are leaving the country in order to help dark less-deserving dark people is because of the Jews.

Of course, if Brantly had evangelized in New York City or Los Angeles, The New York Times would get upset and accuse him of anti-Semitism, until he swore — as the pope did — that you don’t have to be a Christian to go to heaven. Evangelize in Liberia, and the Times’ Nicholas Kristof will be totally impressed.

Which explains why American Christians go on “mission trips” to disease-ridden cesspools. They’re tired of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tired of being called homophobes, racists, sexists and bigots. So they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works, forgetting that the first rule of life on a riverbank is that any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.

Actually, missionaries have been going to “convert the savages” for at least 500 years, and then some. They were doing it back in a day when racism was still a virtue, and nobody had ever even heard of the term “homophobe.”  So no, Ann, missionaries didn’t recently flock to developing countries because they could not preach bigotry in America.

Coulter is confusing missionaries with Republican activists, who regularly travel the world attempting to spread intolerance that is no longer tolerated at home.

But getting back to the main point, what’s so wrong about trying to provide medical services in an African country that’s wanting in health care? I don’t get it. Yes, there are Americans in need too, and how are their lives any more worthy than the life of an African child? (Not to mention, when is the last time Ann Coulter worked at one of those American clinics for the poor that she’s now criticizing Dr. Brantly for not working in?)

This is what’s so dangerous about the Republican insistence on the concept of “American exceptionalism.”  They don’t just think our country is great, they think we’re somehow god-ordained better than the rest, and that therefore our lives are somehow more worthy, have more value, than the lives of those unfortunate enough not to be born American. And it leads them, when they’re caught being brutally honest (as Coulter is wont to do), to the conclusion that it’s “idiotic” to attempt to save the lives of people outside of our borders.  And I just don’t buy it.

Everyone has a cause, everyone has a purpose. We all can’t spend our days fighting on behalf of every issue. I have chosen to devote a good chunk of my life to civil rights, and more generally international social action (I’ve done a lot of international trainings of civil society groups, teaching them to use the Internet for marketing and social change).  And because I’ve devoted myself to becoming an expert in those areas, I haven’t had as much time to develop an expertise in the environment, or racial issues, or women’s issues. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about those issues. It doesn’t mean that I don’t write about those issues from time to time, because I do. But it would be impossible for me to be good at what I do if I tried to be everything to everyone and every cause, lest I leave someone or some thing out.

It’s a gripe I have with the “intersectionalistismyadayadacumbaya” crowd. They want people, and advocacy organizations, to work on every issue simultaneously because it just wouldn’t be fair for, say, a gay rights group to work on gay rights and not climate change. (Though, of course, in Coulter’s case, she’s not worried that Brantly is working with too few nationalities — she thinks Brantly is working with the wrong nationalities.) While it’s all well and good for progressive groups to support each other, and thus for gay groups to support union issues while unions support gay rights (your basic political quid pro quo backscratching to mutual gain), it’s quite another thing entirely when you insist that gay rights groups work on every non-gay cause under the sun, at the expense of their overall mission, which is to promote the civil rights of the people they represent.  No one has unlimited resources, be they time, money, or manpower. You have to triage your concern, or you’ll end up accomplishing nothing.

In the end, you’re forced to rely on the (true) belief that saving the world isn’t a zero-sum game. While you devote all your free time to climate change, others will step up to fill in the gap elsewhere, be it on gay rights, saving the whales, or even God forbid saving the Liberians.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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196 Responses to “Ann Coulter calls US Ebola doc “idiotic,” Africa “disease-ridden cesspool””

  1. The very topic of Coulter means that the subject at hand is immature.

  2. MJ says:

    Because pondering the cleanliness of her sexual organs leads to nothing concluding the accuracy or inaccuracy of her statements.

  3. atalex says:

    No, your not. So, tell me: What is the point — what is the fucking point! — of trying to remain high-minded when discussing one of the vilest and most inhuman creatures to hold a prominent place in American politics?

  4. Houndentenor says:

    Oy. You are just not going to let this go.

  5. MJ says:

    I’m not better than that, and neither are you. You are siding with Franklin Graham just because Ann Coulter criticized him. (Just like gays siding with the homophobic Palestinians ONLY because U.S. evangelists are pro-Israel; or hating the Irish so they can appear classily pro-UK). The only reason I’m siding with Ann Coulter is because in this case she’s right.

  6. Houndentenor says:

    The alternative is to let the guy die. I don’t find that acceptable.

  7. MJ says:

    Then you (with rmthunter below) DO support Franklin Graham. Kent Brantly works for Graham. To get more converts for Graham. I’m not criticizing you out of some vague principle here or trying to be lofty. The gay Africans that wind up victims of these evangelized (or Islamacized) nations REALLY suffer in barbarous ways. For you guys to support Franklin Graham’s agenda, ONLY because Ann Coulter has taken the other side, is pretty selfish…since you yourself don’t live in the danger zone, don’t you think ?

  8. MJ says:

    Then don’t sugggest anything if you’re going to hide under your bed from follow-up questions. Save that wuss behavior for the JMG blog.

  9. MJ says:

    I’m not the moderator, but maybe we could keep that kind of immaturity to other blogs.

  10. atalex says:

    To be fair, Coulter is probably an expert on “disease-ridden cesspools” given the state of her vagina.

  11. walexzee says:

    You see reasons why Republican will never win presidential election. A racist like this DumbHead Coulter can never win election because if she do…….. There will be WORLDWAR III

  12. Houndentenor says:

    I still think Coulter is wrong that we should let medical missionaries die. She’s a sociopathic manipulative hatemonger. I can’t believe you’re actually siding with her. I realize you are rightfully angry about what Evangelicals are doing in Africa but don’t let that anger make you as hateful as they are. You are better than that.

  13. Houndentenor says:

    I think we have pretty good information about Ebola. Read what experts are saying, not the hysteria-provoking misinformation on cable news (any station) that wants people to panic to increase ratings. The people most at risk are health care workers, which is how this guy got infected.

    As far as the anti-gay work goes, I AM gay (in case you are new here and don’t know that) and am often criticial of the homophobic work of right-wing ministers like Rick Warren in getting people killed in Africa for being gay. Fuck Rick Warren and fuck the mainstream media for not researching the story and letting him lie on the air. I got rid of cable a few months ago which has greatly improved my life because there is no actual news on any tv station. I am with you on that issue. I don’t see how allowing someone to die from a disease we may be able to save him from will change any of that. I realize that the same people would be happy to let me die but I’m better than they are. (Not that such superiority required much effort on my part. When the bar is that low there’s not even any jumping required to clear it.)

  14. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, and that’s terrible. Is there something I can do about that because if there is (and it doesn’t involve money because at the moment I don’t have any) I will do it.

  15. Houndentenor says:

    what goulo said. I personally know people who do medical missionary work. I don’t think much of the religious part of what they are doing but the medical part is very real and there is nothing that would replace their work if they stopped.

  16. Houndentenor says:

    If anything I said or did implied that I think anyone anywhere at any time is above scrutiny or criticism then that was a mistake on my part.

  17. MJ says:

    emjayay : In spite of that adorable pic (which you probably don’t deserve) I’m still expecting you to get back to me with contact info. for a right wing gay group that will be effective at fighting world homophobia. Because….

  18. MJ says:

    And….people like Brantly and Graham…maybe ?

  19. MJ says:

    I already said I hope he proves through. BUT he shouldn’t have entered the U.S. untl we know more about how the disease is spread (they CAN mutate). And there’s good probability, looking at his work and history and social circle and employers, that his work is assisting Liberia on it’s road to being a homophobic tyranny.

  20. MJ says:

    So the people stopped it. Every year thousands of child slaves are sold throughout central Africa Today.

  21. MJ says:

    You upvoted the staement about Franklin Graham. Why do you try to backtrack?

  22. MJ says:

    You upvoted the statement that Franklin Graham can do good things in Africa and that his Samaritan’s Purse shouldn’t be judged.

  23. MJ says:

    Twice the door has smacked YOU in the ass. When you approved (upvoted) the statement about being able to expect Franklin Graham to do good things in Africa, and secondly when you used a form of the useless “troll”. (Thirdly, let’s see YOUR medical degree than you can guage Dr, Mark’s posts as being more extensive than yours or mine).

  24. Guest says:

    Evil people will always have a difficult time understanding why some people act unselfishly.

  25. The_Fixer says:

    First of all, you are making a hell of a lot of assumptions about what you think I believe. I don’t think you have a clear insight as to what I believe, especially in light of this particular comment. Let’s run through a few.

    First off, no, selfish Ann Coulter is not right by standards of decency and the ideals of Christianity. Coulter’s public statements have always supported the Christian right, and often using the most uncomplementary and insulting of language directed at those with whom she disagrees. She feels right at home amongst the Franklin Grahams of the world.

    To assume that I endorse these organizations because I said that these Christian organizations did a good thing would be completely wrong. As a card-carrying Atheist, I have an obvious conflict with organized religion. However, I am also a realist. A great many people in this country, and the world over, subscribe to the teachings in a more than 2,000 year-old book that not only has little relevance in our world, but is flat wrong in a lot of its declarations. When the more extreme right evangelical base does something other than spend its time bashing LGBT people and making it more difficult to live in peace, I recognize that. It does not mean that I endorse everything that they do. It means that they did one thing right, and they should be recognized for doing something other than being their hypocritical selves. It’s a small concession that reasonable people give when looking at a situation in detailed, nuanced terms.

    You referred to “the average gay” as being simple-minded and seeing the world in black-and-white. That’s a bit ironic; I’ve tried to look beyond the religious right’s usual hateful agenda to see them as actually having done some good in this one case. People capable of looking at issues with subtlety and detail can divorce one good deed from a series of less-than-virtuous deeds.

    Regarding Ms. Coulter’s premise, that the doctor in question was stupid for going over there, and that they were stupid to bring the doctor back here for treatment: Wrong. In today’s world, we are ever more connected than at any time in history. Not only in terms of communication, but in terms of our ability to quickly travel around the world. Diseases can do the same. While ebola is not a world-wide epidemic, it could be if we don’t get a handle on it. Treating the people who have this disease benefits us all, because it could very well spread under uncontrolled circumstances – i.e. a planeful of infected people, unaware of their infectious status, arriving in the U.S. and scattering throughout the country. These medical professionals are arriving under very controlled circumstances with little danger of infecting others. Read some of Dr. Marks posts here on Americablog – they are well-reasoned, fact-based and reflect his knowledge of the situation (which, I guarantee, is much more extensive than yours or mine). Successful treatment of these people could very well help in treating others who are infected, and it could save lives. If you’re a true humanist, you want to save lives, even the lives of the ones with whom you disagree or find distasteful.

    That should fully explain my view of this. If that bothers you, then we’ll just have to disagree. I’ve seen you trolling for an argument here in several comment posts, and this is as close as I am gonna get to chomping on the bait. Have a good day, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of this debate; it is done with.

  26. Houndentenor says:

    My point was that we shouldn’t abandon this doctor when he needs medical care because we don’t approve of the organization he’s associated with. I don’t like that reasoning at all, and I think if you consider the implications of that line of thinking you wouldn’t either.

  27. Houndentenor says:

    The only reason there isn’t slave trade running through rural Alabama is because we fought a very bloody civil war and forced them to stop and amended the constitution so they couldn’t start up again.

  28. Houndentenor says:

    Agreed. But those things didn’t have to go together.

  29. Houndentenor says:

    So if someone I don’t like does something that thing automatically has to be bad? I don’t support Franklin Graham. I think he’s a horrible person. I do support medical aid work, no matter who is doing it.

  30. Houndentenor says:

    I don’t support anything Franklin Graham. I just don’t think we should allow people to die of Ebola if we can help them, which is what Coulter is suggesting we do. We can talk about the actions of Evangelicals in terms of harm to gay people and others in African nations, but that is separate from the medical missionary work. I reject false binaries. Just because the two sometimes go together doesn’t mean that it has to be all of one and none of the other.

  31. Houndentenor says:

    That’s a good question and should be answered by someone familiar with their culture and history. Perhaps it’s always been part of their culture. Perhaps they learned it from the British during the colonial period. Perhaps it was spread by Fundamentalist Christian missionaries. Or most likely some combination of the three. In the last few decades American Evangelicals have worked very hard to get anti-gay laws passed in African countries with some success. Rick Warren, for one (which he denies in the US but that’s a lie).

  32. rmthunter says:

    Oh, a Godwin. I should have figured you’d get there eventually.

  33. rmthunter says:

    Did you really pose that question? And you can’t figure out the answer for yourself?

  34. rmthunter says:

    Yes, well we know that from listening to the anti-gay right in this country. I’m not addressing claims, I’m looking at what Brantly was actually doing.

  35. MJ says:

    It’s in the order of no such thing. Let others read and decide.

  36. rmthunter says:

    Your reading comprehension is somewhat lacking. If you need a translation of my comment about Graham, it’s more on the order of “if, in spite of himself, Graham has done some good in the world. . . .”

  37. MJ says:

    I don’t have any direct evidence onhand that those working for Hitler were all Nazis, either, but…..

  38. MJ says:

    How could everything re. Uganda, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and maybe next Liberia, NOT be filtered through my bias against Christian missionaries ?

  39. rmthunter says:

    Do you have any evidence that Brantly is homophobic himself? And can you explain why that is relevant to Coulter criticizing him for going to Africa to help in a public health crisis?

  40. MJ says:

    Any Reverend can claim anything. Claim he’s following the teachings of Christ, etc., and it doesn’t necessarily mean he is.

  41. rmthunter says:

    Read Matthew 26. And what has Jim Jones got to do with anything?

  42. rmthunter says:

    I’d be more willing to pay attention to your remarks if you’d stay on topic rather than trying to filter everything through your obvious bias against Christian missionaries. As it is, your reply to my comment is irrelevant.

  43. goulo says:

    OK. So I’ll bow out and wish you a good day! :)

  44. Moderator3 says:

    My concern was not about insulting a moderator. We have very thick skin.

  45. MJ says:

    I was directly insulting some of theother posters, I’ll admit. I was genuinely complimenting Goulo. I wasn’t insulting any moderator. But I’ll tone it down, especially as far as the amount of my posting.

  46. MJ says:

    No, I’m not saying all people aren’t mixtures of good and bad and shades of gray and it’s all complicated and all that. And I’m glad you don’t either. But there ARE some cases where the bad will so far outweigh the good that…….ones good acts just can’t make up for it or used to excuse anything. Look at Dr. Michael swango,for instance. He successfully treated a lot of people, but he’s also suspected of murdering as many as 60 people over time. That 60 people pretty much negates everything else. And that’s how seriously wrong/bad/rotten I see Franklin Graham and this ebola doc. So…we’ll just have toagree to disagree on some of this (IF we disagree).

  47. Moderator3 says:

    Where I come from, this is known as a back handed compliment. You’ve made a sweeping comment that has basically insulted all the commenters. I understand your anger, but can you tone it down?

  48. goulo says:

    OK, you seem to take an extreme view that if someone does bad thing X, then that overrides good thing Y which they do and so one should only criticize X and not praise Y.

    E.g. people who elect to drive cars everywhere are doing ecological harm in the long run, but still, a doctor who drives to work is also helping people, and I wouldn’t say he’s a 100% bad person unworthy of any respect/praise just because he drives a car.

    By your reasoning, it seems like essentially everyone is bad & blameworthy & unworthy of any praise (we all do something wrong, after all, being imperfect humans). Which doesn’t seem a workable or useful attitude for me. I’d rather note/acknowledge both the good and the bad in a person. Seems fairer to the person, as well as more intellectually defensible, and more inspiring/useful.

  49. MJ says:

    Providing medical treatment momentarily might be a good thing, but….in the long run…is it really so, IF it’s all part of a bigger plan to evangelize the people ? It could bring more death in the long run, right ? Medical missionaries were used to evangelize Nigeria, and now the Christians there are so paranoid about devils and demons they actually, quite regularly, murder children who are suspected of being possessed (just one example).

  50. goulo says:

    I think a doctor risking his life helping sick people is obviously doing good. Do you disagree? Attacking him for that medical help (especially with an implication that US sick people are more deserving of help) seems clearly wrong.

    That doesn’t mean he’s not ALSO doing bad in other ways, e.g. spreading evangelical BS & homophobia.

    A person is typically not simply All Good or All Bad.

  51. MJ says:

    Goulo : (Finally, though….somebody here sounds reasonably intelligent).

  52. MJ says:

    You’re wrong. The people here are so simple-minded that they are all supporting the evangelist doctor and his homophobic boss just BECAUSE they don’t like Ann Coulter. You are actually imaginging they can think in shades-of-gray on this blog.

  53. MJ says:

    Well…Houndentenor already gave the thumbs-up to rmthunter’s statement that Franklin Graham can do good things in Africa, so………….?

  54. MJ says:

    And, yes, comparatively Africa IS a cesspool. There’s not a slave trade running through rural Alabama. And Mexico and Alabama aren’t the rape and AIDS capitals of the world like South Africa is.

  55. goulo says:

    What are you talking about? That’s a simplistic all-or-nothing view.

    Criticizing Coulter’s self-serving sensationalistic bigotry does not imply that one unquestioningly supports the guy she’s attacking. You can find plenty of comments at this blog criticizing the evangelical angle of the doctor’s work.

  56. Bill_Perdue says:

    The press are controlled and owned by the banksters and the ultrarich who are, without exception, right wing and they’re the same people who own the Democrat and Republican parties.

    Just as there are no real differences between Democrats and Republicans there are no real differences among the media controlled by the rich. A case in point. Fox’s anti gay sentiments are well know and so are those of MSNBC. Regarding the passage of Putin’s antigay laws MSNBC either exercised self censorship to keep the franchise for the Sochi Olympics or simply bowed to the demands of the bigot Putin. NBC was fully aware of the progress of the Russian bigot law as early as 2006: “Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and their stakeholders, including American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation… .”
    via JMG

    They continue to have a cozy relationship with Putin. “Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts will host the 2013 Miss Universe competition in Russia, replacing Bravo star Andy Cohen, who turned the host position down because he’s “concerned for his safety” as a gay man in a country with anti-gay laws.”

    copy made

  57. MJ says:

    You obviously don’t know of the method evangelists use to “buy” the people using doctors and medical assistance. The doc himself doesn’t have to be actually preaching, as long as the others in his outfit are.

  58. MJ says:

    You actually support Franklin Graham’s interference in Liberia? Are you aware of what gays go through in African countries that have been evangelized ?

  59. MJ says:

    And you’re certainly not going to say AIDS, statistically, is the same in North America as it is in Africa….?

  60. MJ says:

    I still want to know why you support Franklin Graham’s interference in Africa. Is it because you’re safe from the severe anti-gay persecution we see constantly over there ?