Governance – “Uncouth Words”
African Union – Press Statement for Immediate Release ECOSOCC’s Response to President Trump’s ‘Shithole Remarks’
January 16, 2018
African Civil society under the auspices of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union received with utter shock the news of the uncouth words used by the President of the United States in reference to African people and people of African descent. We condemn in the strongest terms the racist undertones of this language and the clear expression of naivety about the place, role and value of African people by the President of the United States.
In Africa we highly respect elders and the language that elders use should be respectful and one that befits the positions that they hold. The President of the United States should be an elder and should exude wisdom, deep respect of cultural and social diversity and value of humanity. But unfortunately the President of the United States seems to be depicting the contrary!
We therefore call upon all citizens’ and peoples’ groups, religious and faith leaders, private sector and professional organizations, academics and civic actors in the US and Africa to condemn this language in the strongest terms. Citizens across the world should be respected for what they are and referred to in appropriate and respectful language. To continue to propagate racism through language in the world, is to fuel other types of violent behaviors that we see around the world.
We ask that the US President seriously considers withdrawing this statement and issue a public apology to the all Africans and people of African descent in the world. The President should note that the social, economic and cultural contributions of Africans in the United States is one of the highest in the world. The United States has a big number of African people in a diversity of professions that do not fit the despicable description used by the US President.
One of the Agenda 2063 Aspirations developed by African people and its leaders is: An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics. ECOSOCC as an Organ that promotes and popularizes the Agenda 2063 and strives to build an Africa and world that is ethical and value-based. We therefore call upon the President of the United States to embrace this aspiration and other progressive and positive aspirations of the African people.
African civil society and ECOSOCC therefore joins the rest of the world to condemn the language of the President of the United States of America. We call upon the President of the United States to restrain himself as well as educate himself about the world and its people and ensure that he espouses the values that the United States people have been known for over the ages.