Nigerian-born Nobel laureate winner Wole Soyinka has promised to destroy his green card and leave the United States if Republican nominee Donald Trump wins the November 8th American presidential elections. Soyinka, who won the 1986 Nobel prize for literature, made the promise while delivering a seminar to students at Oxford University on Wednesday.
The Guardian reports that Soyinka told the audience that, “If in the unlikely event that [Trump] does win, the first thing he’ll do is to say [that] all green card holders must reapply to come back into the United States. Well, I’m not waiting for that. The moment they announce his victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up.”
Soyinka, who is a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of American Affairs, warned about the rise of what he calls “ultranationalism,” or fascism on the international scene. He stressed that the rise of far-right groups and parties across Europe and the rest of the Western world was merely history repeating itself.
“What is happening in Europe shouldn’t surprise any of us. It has happened before,” he said.
“We were here when Enoch Powell was leading his thugs out to drive Blacks from here. It’s a constant fight to try to get a nation to recognize its own noble persuasions, its own persuasions of the loftiness of human possibility.”
Soyinka also slammed Brexit, Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union, calling it a “ridiculous decision.” He further urged his audience to resist any incendiary messages meant to stir up the worst in our common humanity.
“It’s for young people like you to say no to them whenever that happens.”
Trump has run a campaign that derives most of its following from the far-right movement. His most fervent supporters are often non-college educated, White men who are anti-immigration and anti-integration.
Trump has repeatedly stoked the flames of racism and segregation in his stump speeches and interviews on the campaign trail. In one instance in February, Trump caused international outrage when he refused to publicly denounce the endorsement he received from former KKK leader David Duke, who told his followers that “voting for anyone but Trump would be a treason to your heritage.”