Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:38 am
By Ademola Adegbamigbe
Mr Donald Trump who was sworn in as President of the United States on 20 January 2017 will leave office tomorrow, Wednesday, 20 January 2021. In four years, he became a bogeyman to a large percentage of his people and outsiders. He kept the world in tenterhooks by the way he governed, making people to fear that he might, one day, set the globe on fire! That period of apprehension will be over tomorrow. Professor Wole Soyinka was among those who saw through the man and gave a storm warning to US voters that they were about to buy themselves a pile of troubles if they voted Trump in as President. Soyinka was ignored.
In fact, some Nigerian critics went to town, calling the Nobel Laureate names because he threatened to tear his American Green Card if Trump won the election. He won. In fact, on 2 November 2016, six days before the US election, Soyinka, as UK Guardian put it, told a student audience at Oxford University’s Ertegun House that he would hold his own, self-described “Wolexit” if Trump won, and destroy his green card. “If in the unlikely event he does win, the first thing he’ll do is to say [that] all green-card holders must reapply to come back into the US. Well, I’m not waiting for that,” he said at the time. “The moment they announce his victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up.”
Now that Trump is leaving, TheNEWS asked Soyinka a question, as a form of send forth for the President. That is, tearing his American Green Card was a symbolic repudiation of what Donald J Trump stood for. Is he ready to get it back now that America has got rid of Trump? And what did Soyinka think of America, where Trump got over 70 million votes?
Professor Soyinka replied: “All right. Let’s take this as my last quack on Donald Duck.The dangerous misfit has been handed his terminal comeuppance. From now on, any invitation to revisit the subject will be re-directed to prior statements which are available in print – interviews, publication series such as INTERVENTIONS etc.etc. However, with the end-game in close sight, I suppose your question is quite legitimate. Let us spend a little time on why Yes, or No!
“That final vote tally! – Yes, it merely goes to underline some over-simplification of my personal position in many quarters. Nothing symbolic about that act, by the way – perish symbolism! Therapeutic perhaps, yes, but also confession of a foreboding and thus, a personal, precautionary measure. Who, after all, was Donald Trump but yet another political hustler who however did humanity the favour of laying out his divisive, anti-human political agenda well in advance. My indictment – since indictment it proved to be – was of the American people themselves. My declaration was simply that if that society elected a self-revealed racist demagogue, a fascist in every fibre of his being, as its president, I no longer wished to be part of that society. As stated in some other interviews, I have a history of close attachment to the Black Liberation struggle of the US, all the way back to the early sixties when many of Trump’s Nigerian pathetic babblers were still in their diapers – which some of them never shed, mentally. As usual, they poked their snouts into a relationship that was no concern of theirs and certainly beyond their capacity for historic reconstruction, or contextual analysis.
“Going by some of those comments, it would have been a just decision for me to have torn up the Green passport instead, and retained the Green Card. That thought did cross my mind. Who wants to be counted as sharing a servile mentality whose self-debasing utterances merely echoed how their forebears collaborated in the dehumanization and sale of their own kind into slavery. Donald Trump who had dismissed their race as shithole descendants should not be offended by word or gesture – anyone who dared had to be fawningly repudiated and vilified. So you see, those constitute a spiritual augmentation of the 70 million plus who voted for a serial, compulsive liar, a closet Klansman who set out obsessively to dismantle the achievements of the first black president of that nation, Barack Obama, but finally proved less of a man than that predecessor, since he could not take defeat. He continues – even this this moment – to whine and whimper. He has given joy to both reigning and aspiring African dictators, past masters of the “Sit-tight” syndrome whose blueprint he shamelessly stole – and without even acknowledgement of African copyright!
“Little wonder Donald Trump went ballistic with the cry of Foul Play! His absentee ballots which, to attempt to estimate from the sheer volume and intensity of media hysteria over WS’s ‘disrespect’ of the Green Card, must have accounted for some ten million votes from the satellite state called Nigeria alone! So, there is your answer. Donald Trump and his constituency lynched George Floyd and many more of his race. Here, we lynch school pupils, traumatize them for life, sell the females – yet again – into slavery. That the same unrepentant misfit should earn the votes of nearly half the votes of America’s supposedly mature, supposedly history conscious population – not counting the unsolicited votes from his Nigerian slave plantation – is too unsettling. I am already trapped in one shithole country, why should I rush to restore the duplication of my status? No, I shall not be applying for restoration of the Green Card any time soon. One Green document will more than suffice!”