On Friday, January 27, 2017, the newly inaugurated president of the United States issued an Executive Order barring citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen entry into the United States for 90 days; prohibiting all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days; and banning Syrian refugees for an indefinite period of time. This decision is the practical equivalent of a ban against Muslims entering the United States. In the days that followed, airports across the U.S. became chaotic sites where visitors, refugees, and legal U.S. residents from targeted countries were rounded up, questioned, harassed, and detained without due cause.
In the aftermath of these disturbing events, the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) unequivocally states that Donald Trump’s order is antithetical to the principles that our organization holds most dear. We believe in the beauty of diversity, the strength of democracy, and the fundamental rights of all humans. We strongly oppose the reactionary, xenophobic, racist ideologies that drive this Executive Order, and call for the immediate repeal of this discriminatory act.
We affirm, again, that as scholars of Africa and the African diaspora, we are committed not only to producing and disseminating scholarship on the global Black experience, but also to defending the most vulnerable in the places where we live and study—the members of our worldwide community who are people of color, LGBTQIA people, Muslims (and other religious groups facing discrimination), immigrants (documented and undocumented), the differently abled, and women. We stand in solidarity with people of all religions, ethnicities, genders, and cultures who are taking to the streets and fighting against the rise of a fascist regime that seeks to strip people of their humanity, and we pledge to foster an inclusive, welcoming intellectual and political environment at our upcoming 2017 conference in Seville, Spain.
Leslie M. Alexander, President
Elisa Joy White, Vice President
Laura Rosanne Adderley, Secretary
Walter C. Rucker, Treasurer
On behalf of the Executive Board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)