Remembering that Africa is not monolithic but rather is a continent with over 50 countries that are very different from each other, the ebola epidemic has some interesting dimensions.
Picture the largest, most influential country on each end of the continent. Egypt in the north; South Africa in the south; Nigeria in the west; Kenya in the east. Each of these countries has several smaller nations in its orbit. What each of these nations does *not have (thank God!) is an ebola epidemic.
Nigeria had ebola break out, thanks to a dying man who arrived from Liberia, but it has been largely eradicated, only a couple of months later. Nigeria, which is not really a third world country anyway, handled its outbreak responsibly and got rid of it.
Why have these nations been so successful in staying free of ebola while the U.S. has not? Do the words “travel restrictions” mean anything to us?
You see, ebola is not a civil rights issue. It is not a case of the U.S. (and other countries) showing hatred for Africans by not letting them in freely during an epidemic. Their own fellow African nations are not letting them in freely. There is a good reason for that. You don’t show sympathy for people dying of a virus by letting them share it with you.
We need to send aid in all of its various forms to the three stricken nations but what we do *not need to do is let their citizens come to the U.S. to escape the epidemic, possibly bringing it with them. It is just not sensible to have unrestricted travel from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone right now.