In unguarded comments following the recent G20 meetings, French President Emmanuel Macron chided African nations for having too many children, bringing an avalanche of accusations of racism crashing down upon his head.
As European nations languish with negative population growth, the French President blamed big families for Africa’s poverty and underdevelopment. Asked about the development of Africa at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Macron pointed to the “7 to 8 children” African women are having as a “civilizational” problem demanding a solution.
“When countries are still having seven or eight children per woman, you can spend billions of euros on them but you won’t stabilize anything,” Macron quipped.
— Politis (@Politis_fr) July 10, 2017
In response, even the left-wing online magazine Quartz acknowledged: “Of course what Emmanuel Macron said was racist,” while noting an exaggeration of African population estimates as well as the “long history of population panic and its use in racist ideology.”
On social media, many commenters expressed their indignation and anger with Macron, while others noted the irony as European nations find themselves obliged to bolster their ebbing numbers with mass migration.
Honteux de dire ça : Le vrai problème de l’Afrique selon Emmanuel Macron ? Les Africaines, qui ont «sept à hui… https://t.co/Cabz01C1Tk
— Verlaine (@VerlaineDJENI) July 11, 2017
Another commenter posted a list of the leaders of European nations, including Emmanuel Macron, who have no children themselves, suggesting that this may influence their apparent lack of concern for the future of their own culture.
And here’s a clue why the Western European leaders don’t seem to care about the continuation of their culture……. pic.twitter.com/G8K3fcpR47
— Bill Dean (@CanaDean) July 8, 2017
Included in the list were the leaders of eight European nations, as well as the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The Financial Times reported in May, 2016, that Europe was experiencing the “largest population loss in modern history.” For its part, the UK-based Telegraph explored “how Europe is slowly dying despite an increasing world population” while the Irish Times wondered aloud, “Why is Europe losing the will to breed?”
One cannot help but query why Macron doesn’t look to his own nation’s fertility problems rather than attempting to export them to Africa, where children are considered a treasure instead of a liability.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome