Rios Still Pushing Diseased Immigrant Myth

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association continues to push the thoroughly racist Myth of the Diseased Immigrant, using staggeringly stupid arguments for her position. She says all those kids from Central America are unvaccinated (actually, more likely than Americans to be vaccinated) and just don’t know how to use the bathroom.

After reading a Washington Post story about the illness that didn’t mention any connection with immigration, Rios went ahead and suggested that Central American children who “were shuttled to unknown place around the country” spread Enterovirus D68 to other kids.

Rios backed up this assertion by claiming that immigrant children don’t have any basic understanding of hygiene and are largely unvaccinated, despite the fact that Central Americans have a higher vaccination rate than U.S. youth. She even claimed that the kids don’t even know how to use the bathroom.

“We have vaccinations and hygiene and cleanliness and we teach people in western civilization how to go to the bathroom properly, how to take care of things, how to do things in a sanitary way,” Rios said. “Do you not think that when we open our borders to a glut of people from another world who have never been trained, don’t know that, that that’s not going to bring in disease?”

This is just plain xenophobic bigotry of the type that appeals so strongly to the conservative mindset. We know from many psychological studies that conservatives respond very strongly, and very viscerally, to both out-group threats and to the three of disease. Combine the two together and you get the basis for all manner of racism and xenophobia.

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  • keithb

    Why am I reminded of the scene in _The Grapes of Wrath_ when the kids see a flush toilet for the first time?

  • raven

    1. The most numerous people coming into the USA are Americans. They travel out for vacations and business and then…come back. It’s not uncommon for them to bring in foreign diseases.

    The numbers are huge here, something like 60 million visits out country every year.

    2. Another common group are tourists from the rest of the world. It’s millions a year.

    3. And college students. Amazingly enough, an American university education is highly prized in most of the world.

    Something like 1 million college students are in the USA for education.

    Compared to the influx from legal travel, a few tens of thousands of Central American children is a rounding error.

  • raven

    Rios:

    …Central American children who “were shuttled to unknown place around the country” spread Enterovirus D68 to other kids.

    wikipedia:

    Enterovirus 68 (EV68, EV-D68, HEV68) is a member of the Picornaviridae family, an enterovirus. First isolated in California in 1962 and once considered rare, it has been on a worldwide upswing in the 21st century.

    In reality, Enterovirus D68 was discovered in California in 1962, It’s always been in the USA.

    Those Central American kids are more likely to get it here than bring it here.

  • Al Dente

    I’ve been in Central America. Flush toilets are quite common, even in small towns.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The Melting Pot in action.

    It’s nice that the Spanish have integrated enough that they can latino-bait hispanics.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    “… we teach people in western civilization how to go to the bathroom properly, how to take care of things, how to do things in a sanitary way”…

    … conservatives respond very strongly, and very viscerally, to both out-group threats and to the three of disease.

    Plus Rios has found a way to discuss poo-poo and ka-ka on the radio, a surefire audience-exciter!

    And why does medical school take so many years to complete if they don’t even have four subjects?

  • teawithbertrand

    I’d like to hear what Thom Tillis thinks about this discussion of bathroom habits. I mean, if requiring restaurant workers to wash their hands after using the toilet is egregious government overreach…

    And Ed’s point about out-group threats and disease threats is well taken. It’s two great tastes that taste great together for these folks. One of the more overtly racist assholes I know is sure that all diseases, from the flu to measles to herpes, all came to this country via “illegal immigrants”. This person is not creative nor intelligent enough to have come up with this (or any) hypothesis on her own, and so was fortunate to have it spoon fed to her by the RWNJ media.

  • Michael Heath

    It’s my understanding that aspirations for personal hygiene, both individually and within municipalities, came from native American populations as observed by European explorers. This comes from the book, 1491.

  • marcus

    Michael Heath @ 8 This is kind of a shot in the dark but I think that perhaps this idiot is making reference to the Latin-American practice of depositing toilet paper in a waste receptacle instead of the bowl, due to, I presume, plumbing issues.

  • lorn

    Conservatives are, as a type, very sensitive to issues of purity and easily slide into the emotional/visceral reaction of disgust. The popular conceit within western conservatism is that they have a corner on the market in purity while other cultures are unclean. This is contrary to historic fact. Many cultures had the basics of sanitation right, some even had a primitive understanding of germ theory, while Europeans were still shitting into the streams they drank out, tossing raw sewage out of windows, of and washing their hands primarily as a means of avoiding getting filth on their clothing.

  • StevoR

    .. we teach people in western civilization how to go to the bathroom properly, ..

    Whose “we” here – hopefully not Ted Nugent!

    Then a week before, (the draft medical inspection thingy – ed) I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up. See, I approached the whole thing like, Ted Nugent, cool hard-workin’ dude, is gonna wreak havoc on these imbeciles in the armed forces. I’m gonna play their own game, and I’m gonna destroy ‘em. Now my whole body is crusted in poop and piss. I was ill.

    yep, another great example of Western civilisation set eh!

  • StevoR

    PS. Meanwhile in other news :

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31744616

    Liberia is now ebola free for the first time in quite a while after the last patient Beatrice Yardolo, 58, left a Chinese-run treatment centre saying she was “”one of the happiest persons on earth” and has survived and recovered.

  • StevoR
  • StevoR

    @ 7. teawithbertrand :

    One of the more overtly racist assholes I know is sure that all diseases, from the flu to measles to herpes, all came to this country via “illegal immigrants”.

    Is this individual descended from the Native Americans by any chance? If so, xe could have a point. Because a certain group of illegal immigrants that came over on the ‘Mayflower’ among other early sailing ships *did* indeed spread and introduce a lot of nasty formerly unknown diseases with devastating effect – e.g. smallpox , measles, chicken pox, etc .. – into a previously huge population that had no natural immunity to them. Sometimes these diseases were even spread deliberately.

    This person is not creative nor intelligent enough to have come up with this (or any) hypothesis on her own, and so was fortunate to have it spoon fed to her by the RWNJ media.

    For a certain value of “fortunate” I guess.