The Africana Studies Program at Lehigh University is disgusted by the recent RACIST comments by President Donald Trump referring to Africans as people from “shithole countries”; that Nigerians would never go back to their huts if allowed to enter the United States; and claims that all Haitians have AIDS. Africans and people of African origins have contributed enormously to the development of the United States and continue to do so today.
Historically, enslaved Africans’ labor and skills were used to construct the United States. Just to mention a few examples, enslaved people built the White House, where these despicable comments were expressed, and Haitians died fighting for the United States during the Revolutionary War.
Everyone deserves to be respected and acknowledged, rather than being constantly racialized, stigmatized and dehumanized. The faculty of the Africana Studies Program at Lehigh are standing against racial bigotry and all forms of hate. Divisive statements like those made by Trump undermine basic human decency, respect for diversity, inclusion and equity, and are completely out of place at Lehigh. We will continue striving to establish a welcoming environment and unity on our campus, in our communities and in the world at large.
Finally, the faculty of the Africana Studies Program at Lehigh support The African Union’s demand for an apology from Trump. (http://www.nan.ng/news/racist-remark-au-demands-apology-trump/)