AFRS Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order

The faculty members in the Department of Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte express deep concern regarding the recent executive order signed by President Donald Trump restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries – Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Yemen. On the basis of our history as individual scholars, the ethical and professional concerns that guide our field of study, and the unalloyed commitment of our field to social justice and responsible scholarship, we urge our fellow American citizens and colleagues to rally behind the efforts asking the President of the United States to rescind this executive order without delay. We are convinced as scholars that an executive order that restricts the entry of Muslims from certain countries into the United States does nothing to ensure the security of this nation of diverse people and creeds. We are aware of the distress that this presidential action, and the likelihood of its expansion to other countries, is causing our colleagues and students. As descendants of those who were historically persecuted by the law, as scholars who study historically oppressed populations, and as citizens in a country whose institutions continue to marginalize minority and poor populations, we know too well the damages that President Trump’s executive order would cause law-abiding citizens, their families, and neighbors. All discriminatory laws are unjust, including those that target anyone based on religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, class, national origin, or certain abilities. We have an obligation to continue to use the academic spaces of our department to support those in distress and to work towards just laws, orders, and executive actions. We urge our colleagues and students who may be affected by this executive order to take advantage of the advisory service being provided by UNC Charlotte’s International Students and Scholars Office. We call upon our professional organizations – the African Studies Association, the Middle East Studies Association, the National Council for Black Studies, the Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Caribbean Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association, and Civil Liberties organizations, among others, to coordinate efforts that would legally obstruct the implementation of this unjust executive order.