In case you don’t follow international politics, most everyone on planet Earth was thrilled when Emmanuel Macron recently won the French Presidency over Marine Le Pen (the latter was kind of like a European Lady Trump, and in some ways actually worse).
But now, after Macron’s latest comments on Africa, some people are claiming he’s just as bigoted and racist as all the other politicians we’ve come to hate -- like Trump.
Macron was attending the G20 summit and was asked by a reporter from the Ivory Coast why there was no Marshall Plan for Africa. (The “Marshall Plan,” if you’re interested, was when America gave about $130 billion (in today’s money) to Western Europe right after WWII for reconstruction. This question, then, was demanding why G20 leaders, who control most of the world’s wealth, weren’t doing the same for struggling Africa)
"The Marshall Plan was a reconstruction plan,” answered Macron. “The challenge of Africa is totally different and a lot more profound, it’s civilizational today.”
What he’s implying there is that Africa’s problems aren’t due to some external force like colonization; they’re the African people’s own damn fault. And he would immediately dig that hole deeper by implying part of the problem is African women having “seven or eight children.”
Not. OK. The internet immediately called him out for the racism inherent in these statements:
Others would point out that Africa was doing just fine until the Europeans arrived a few hundred years ago and started wrecking everything they found: starting the slave trade, plundering resources, cutting up territories and so on.
Of course, he's not the only politician to ignorantly refuse resources to Africa. Less than 2 months ago Trump took a similar stance with his budget proposals for the United States, which would cut 28% of our foreign aid budget -- much of which lands in Africa.
We thought Macron was better than Trump. Maybe he's not.