Thursday, 19 January 2017

#Wolexit...Wole Soyinka says He Has Made his Green Card “Inoperable”

Soyinka in an interview with The Atlantic on Tuesday, said that he had made his green card “inoperable”.
While spending Thanksgiving with his family in the United States, Soyinka says, he followed through on a pledge he made shortly before the U.S. election: to destroy his U.S. permanent-resident card, or Green Card, if Trump won the presidency.He said he obtained his Green Card during his “political sabbatical” at Emory University in the ’90s, with the help of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Soyinka told me that he has now rendered his Green Card “inoperable,” without going into further detail. “I don’t have strong enough fingers to tear up a Green Card,” he added. “As long as Trump is in charge, if I absolutely have to visit the United States, I prefer to go in the queue for a regular visa with others,” he said. “I’m no longer part of the society, not even as a resident.”
His self-described “Wolexit” from the United States is an act of protest against what he views as Trump’s xenophobic campaign rhetoric regarding specific ethnic, racial, and religious groups, including blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. It’s a statement by a man who in the past has warned of humanity’s terrible tendency toward “[p]olarizations within various micro-worlds—us versus the inferior them.”
“Trump’s wall is already under construction,” Soyinka recently told The Interviewmagazine in Nigeria. “Walls are built in the mind, and Trump has erected walls, not only across the mental landscape of America, but across the global landscape.”
But Soyinka is not necessarily urging others to follow his example and join the resistance to Trumpism. He appears to be withdrawing from the political dysfunction he denounces instead of trying to resolve it. He has characterized his decision as a “personal” and “private” one, to which “[n]o one else is invited.” (Soyinka vowed to tear up his Green Card in a question-and-answer session with students at Oxford University, not in some showy press conference, and he hasn’t much welcomed the media attention surrounding his move.)
In tampering with his Green Card, Soyinka told me, “I delivered myself from uncertainty, from discomfort, from internal turmoil.”  

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