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Wole Soyinka gives up green card over Trump

Wole Soyinka told students at Oxford University of his intention to cut his green card and start packing up if Trump won the election. He realised quite early on Trump could win.  He said “That’s when I began to scream and to prepare, and say if this man gets in and it’s looking as though he might, me, I’m out.”

“The American society is a very peculiar one. There are so many nationalities, so many interests, so it’s quite possible for a demagogue to twang the negative chords in various constituencies of interest.”

“Even though they’re coming from different directions you can utilize that common negativity to pool them to back you. This is the story of many dictators, demagogues, populists, even progressive populists.”

“Obama was deriving no pleasure from handing over,” he said. “I watched the meeting, the body language, the tone, everything. This must be one of the most difficult duties he ever carried out as a president, I do not exaggerate. So I said I felt sorry for him.”

He also urged people to focus on important matters, such as the danger of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. “The important thing, what really matters, is the rhetoric that got him there,” he said. “There was a rhetoric against the black peoples and in particular, specifically named, Nigerians, and I responded to it, and that’s my business.”

Despite his stance he did not rule out returning to the US in the future. “If I find something is absolutely essential, yes, of course I’ll visit there,” he said. “But I will not go there on my own behalf and I’ll be going as ordinary stranger, an ordinary citizen.” “It’s more arduous, the queues are longer, you’re just carrying a regular visa, but I am willing to go through that if it becomes necessary.”