[Ed. – One man’s racism is another’s pragmatism.]
Emmanuel Macron, the youthful and ambitious president of the French, likes to talk about African birthrates. In the summer of 2017, he answered a question about why there couldn’t be a Marshall Plan for Africa by calling the continent’s problems “civilizational,” and lamenting that African countries “have seven or eight children per woman.”
This was attacked by some as racist, defended by others as hardheaded realism about development economics. Macron obviously felt comfortable with what he’d said, because he returned to the idea last month at a Gates Foundation conference. (Bill Gates himself has also been talking a lot lately about population control and development in Africa.) “I always say,” Macron told the assembled do-gooders, “‘present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.’”
This time there was a specifically female response: A Catholic University of America professor, Catherine Pakaluk, posted a photo of six of her eight children under the Twitter hashtag #postcardsforMacron, and soon there was a flood of female Ph.Ds posting pictures of their broods.