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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

We live in a world full of myths. Never mind the tales of Japanese-animated Italian-American plumbers loading up on mushrooms and picking fights with fire-breathing dinosaurs, nor the tales of an undocumented bunny who can’t keep track of his eggs. (And why do we insist on sending our children to pick up after his mess?) No, what we wish to discuss is the collection of falsehoods so many of us commonly accept as “probably true.”

Ann Coulter returned to the political scene April 5 to grace us all with her infinite wisdom. Now, immediately, we at the Alligator are caught in a dilemma with Coulter: On the one hand, we don’t want to waste our time — or yours — addressing her likely improvised talking points. But she made a comment to Chris Matthews on MSNBC that can’t go unchallenged. Responding to Matthews on abortion and pro-life, Coulter professed, “Women are going to get a lot more abortions if we don’t close our border with Mexico and bring in all of Latin American rape culture.”

For reasons we can’t fathom, Matthews didn’t even question Coulter’s response; he just went on to the next commentator and then ended the segment with, “You’re amazing, Ann Coulter. Thanks for coming on.” Really, MSNBC? Well, we’ll pick up where Matthews should have left off. Clearly Coulter is trying to score political points, perhaps to regain some momentum for her 2014 book “¡Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole.” Maybe she’s trying to give us a sneak peek of her sequel?

If Latin American culture was really so as complacent with rape, then Latin America should top the charts of countries with high rape incidents per 100,000 citizens, right? Well, any list we could find actually only had two Latin American countries, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, among the top 10. In fact, the U.S. ranks higher than all of the other Latin American countries.

To these figures, some might react with, “Oh, well, it’s probably those illegals doing the raping here, isn’t it?” No, once again, not factually correct. According to a 2015 report from the Immigration Policy Center, immigrants are actually less likely to engage in criminal behavior than native-born citizens.

This only makes sense: If you’re an undocumented individual, the last thing you would want to do is engage in behavior that would get you tied up with law enforcement. And as far as this craze with the Mexican border, studies from the Pew Research Center reflect that net immigration from Mexico is actually below zero, meaning we have more immigrants moving back to Mexico than new immigrants entering the states. So, what’s a wall or stricter border fence going to do, keep immigrants in?    

This isn’t to say illegal immigration isn’t an issue, or that rapes don’t occur in Latin America: It is, and they do. But to speak so generally and inaccurately about these issues only hurts us in the long run. We need to start approaching these issues with more maturity, or at least stop inviting people like Ann Coulter on national television. We’re looking at you, 24-hour news media. High ratings aren’t worth misinforming the public.

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