World Prince William Accused of Racism Over African Population Comments
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Prince William has been accused of racism for comments linking the human population of Africa to pressure on wildlife.
The Duke of Cambridge gave a speech to the Tusk Conservation Awards calling for the natural world to be protected from the impact of human beings, but his comments sparked a backlash onafter being reported in the U.K. press.
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William, a Tusk patron, handed out prizes to leading conservationists from African nations at the ceremony on Monday. He told the audience in London: "The increasing pressure on Africa's wildlife and wild spaces as a result of human population presents a huge challenge for conservationists, as it does the world over.
"But it is imperative that the natural world is protected not only for its contribution to our economies, jobs and livelihoods, but for the health, well-being and future of humanity.
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"We owe it to our children and future generations to act now."
William did not specifically mention population growth. However, his comments were condemned by many on Twitter as an attack on the continent's Black population by a figurehead from an institution with a colonial history.
Conservative commentator Michael Knowles said: "'If the natives keep reproducing, there won't be as many impalas for me to shoot!' Morally backward as this line of thinking is, one cannot help but be amused by the audacity."
“There are too many Africans” is quite the position. https://t.co/ZyjtaQawlE— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) November 24, 2021
lol he is so hateful it's actually funny. https://t.co/rnNhadFcjx— Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) November 24, 2021
Franklin Leonard, a movie executive and founder of the Black List, wrote: "'There are too many Africans' is quite the position."
Bolu Babalola, the British author of Love in Color, wrote: "lol he is so hateful it's actually funny."
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Survival International, which advocates for tribal people around the world, wrote: "Prince William says mounting pressure on Africa's 'wild spaces as a result of human population' is a 'huge challenge for conservationists'. Staggered by the racism & hypocrisy?"
"If the natives keep reproducing, there won't be as many impalas for me to shoot!"
Morally backward as this line of thinking is, one cannot help but be amused by the audacity. https://t.co/KhzKo2X4pV— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) November 24, 2021
The human rights organization also shared a video of Mordecai Ogada, a Kenyan ecologist, saying: "The fact is, if we look at absolute figures, Africa is more sparsely populated than Europe or Asia, and the fact is the absolute numbers of people in Africa are far from being a problem for our environment.
"More so for the very light footprint of the people here."
He added: "The average western family of five will have a carbon footprint of a few hundred Maasai tribesmen in Kenya."
William, who has three children with his wife, said in his speech: "Africa's extraordinarily rich biodiversity has the ability to sequester vast amounts of carbon.
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"But this is only possible if these landscapes remain truly intact and are protected as functioning eco-systems.
"Our wildlife plays a vital role in keeping nature in balance and maintaining this precious cycle of life.
"If we keep destroying or removing the threads that make up the natural tapestry of life on earth, it will simply begin to break down, exacerbating climate change still further."
Newsweek has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.
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