One of the most revealing contradictions of left-wing ideology is the determination of liberals to bring as many Third World “immigrants of color” as possible into the U.S., where, if those same liberals are to be believed, they will face bigotry of appalling proportions. The ACLU, for example, claims that every institution of American government and private enterprise is pervaded by systemic bias against blacks and Hispanics. Cops lethally profile them; prosecutors and judges pack them off to prison because of the color of their skin; and universities, employers, and banks try to exclude them. (Such, also, is the position of the Obama administration.) Yet that same ACLU sues to knock down any legislated impediment to bringing as many aliens of color as possible into the country and sues to prevent any aliens already here illegally from being deported. (Such efforts also dovetail with the Obama administration’s own policies.) But why this open-borders push? Had those hapless immigrants stayed in their countries of origin, they would not have had to face the discrimination and oppression that, according to the liberal intelligentsia, characterize the U.S. and other Western nations.

This year alone has seen several Herculean efforts to impose the “West as the mother lode of all discrimination” template on outbreaks of violent hatred by Muslims. European feminists rushed to dismiss the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults by Muslim men as simply an outgrowth of Western patriarchy. The Islamic terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was somehow the product of American homophobia, exacerbated by opposition to transgender bathroom use. An “Interpreter” column in the New York Times twisted itself into knots trying to claim that Donald Trump’s criticism of honor killings was an attempt to shore up white-male dominance and to demonize the non-white-male Other—just like lynchings in the Jim Crow South.

But every so often a story slips through the liberal-media filter and escapes being slotted into the “bigoted Westerners v. harmonious Rainbow Coalition countries” narrative. Such was a recent story in the Los Angeles Times about two sisters from Tanzania with the Albino skin condition. Tanzanians view Albinos with fear, loathing, and cupidity. Because Albinos’ body parts are believed to carry magical powers, their limbs are highly marketable—once obtained, of course, through mutilation or murder. Attending school for the two sisters, Bibiana and Tindi Mashamba, was a nightmare; not only did other children throw rocks and spit on them and teachers beat them, but the threat of murder was ever-present. So, like many Third World girls, they simply stayed home. But even such a retreat from the public realm couldn’t protect them. The day after their father’s funeral (he died of AIDS), Bibiana’s leg and two fingers were hacked off in the hope of a lucrative sale.

Good Samaritans brought the girls to the Orthopedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles so as to provide Bibiana with a new prosthetic leg. And then students from USC’s law school started an asylum appeal for them. Did those law students seek to get them asylum in Nigeria, say, or Haiti, so that they wouldn’t be oppressed by white privilege? No, oddly, they targeted their asylum petition at the U.S. government, the place where victims of the brutality, superstition, and hatred that characterize so many Third World countries flee to (along with equally reviled Western Europe). The petition was successful, and now Bibiana and Tindi are students in Ojai, California, where they are eager to catch up on their lost schooling and go on to college. There are no reports as of yet of the girls being stoned in Ojai.

The girls’ adopted mother in Tanzania, a member of parliament who is also Albino, supported their asylum petition because Tanzania was not a “safe space,” she said. The MP herself does not risk going outside alone. One can only hope that when Bibiana and Tindi encounter American college students who complain about needing “safe spaces” on American campuses, the girls will enlighten them about what a real “unsafe space” looks like.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images


City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank. Are you interested in supporting the magazine? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and City Journal are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529).

Further Reading

Up Next