The statements French President made were racist no matter what context they were put in.
At a press conference in Hamburg, Germany during the G20 summit he was asked about the Marshall Plan for Africa. Macron went on to give his unfiltered views on Africa’s “real problems” which he believes to be demographics. The continents true challenges were civilizational including failed states, shaking democracies, trafficking, extremism and population growth. He then went on to say when there are “7 to 8 children per woman spending billions is pointless.”
This isn’t the first time Macron has made openly racist statements. In fact, a month ago when in the French region of Brittany he was discussing fishing boats and kwassa kwassa came up. Kwassa Kwassa were vessels used in the Comoro Islands mainly by migrants attempting to reach the French colony of Mayotte. Macron joked that that kwassa kwassa don’t fish much they deliver Comorians using a phrase that was known for implying goods and not people. Macron in this statement was blowing a dog whistle that he believed black bodies to be burdensome and invasive and whether or not his intention was to convey that it did.
These shocking remarks made by the French president are just a few in the cycle of French casual racism and condescending made about black people and Africa.
The claim Macron a head of state made about women having 7 to 8 children is simply unfounded. The only evidence to support is an extreme which has only been observed in the nation of Niger. Many analysts believe that the number is overstated and blown out of proportion.
The French president was hailed by activists for deeming “colonialism a crime against humanity” during his visit to Algeria. While that shows some willingness by him to make bold statements it does nothing to address the countless problems in not only Africa but his nation as well that stem from French colonialism and enslavement. Until there is meaningful restorative policy whatever he said or believes has no meaning at all. As a Djiboutian American who has seen first hand the effects
As a Djiboutian American who has seen first hand the effects of French colonialism, I think it is time for the government of France to address these issues in a meaningful way. Macron’s administration is not going to hand out reparations we should examine a new alley: education. The first step would be to start informing France and not just it’s youth about the colonial past and present instead of erasing and sweeping under the carpet the eugenics practices in Réunion and elsewhere.
I remember when my aunt told me about how when she graduated high school in Djibouti and went to pursue university in France. She did so because of the lack of higher education in Djibouti a nation that was just liberated from French Colonialism. She also told me how she called extreme racial slurs, shamed to no longer wear her hijab, treated as an inferior and told to go back to her country. Now that last one shocked me because how can you destroy and divide a nation into 3 and then treat those who come to you for the resources you robbed from them in the first place with utter disdain. It’s like if I ruined your college education and then you had to come work at my factory and I treated you like sh*t. It makes no sense in that context so why would it make sense on a national level.
President Emmanuel Macron has insulted millions of Africans around the world. He has insulted me and my people and should issue a public apology for his grossly insensitive remarks and should prioritize creating restorative policies for Africans in France and the nations who are the victims of colonialism.