The European Commission is facing criticism after posting about the NextGeneration plan on Instagram which included a photo featuring a dark-skinned man with a child and the flag of the European Union. “Think future,” states the caption under the picture. Critics are particularly concerned about what they say is the “exaggerated effort to include dark-skinned people in European society”.
The European Commission has responded that European society is diversified and will be presented in this way.
The Commission published the post on its Instagram profile on April 14 with a brief explanation of what the Next Generation plan is supposed to represent.
“Combined with the long-term EU budget worth €1.8 trillion, the Next Generation EU temporary instrument will boost the recovery and help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe,“ the European Commission wrote in an original post.
“Together, we can shape the world we want to live in,” the European Commission added.
However, many users were outraged by the post. In the comments section, several users criticizing the European Union’s efforts to overly comply with progressives and the left-wing Black Lives Matter movement. According to critics, the EU also does not sufficiently support European culture and opens the door to migrants from Africa.
Some also drew comparisons to a well-known National Geographic cover that featured a number of migrants labeled as the “new Europeans”.
The Italian Il Giornale daily, reporting on the issue, stated that it is not primarily the fact that the Commission published a post illustrated with a father of African descent, but precisely that “it does not want to portray us (Europeans) as ‘white’ because of the fear of retaliation by Black Lives Matter or some salon intellectual in its service”.
The European Commission responded by writing,”We are saddened to see a number of negative reactions based on the skin color of the father and child pictured in this post.”
“European society is diverse. This is a strength for Europe, and we want to represent that in our posts. We do not tolerate racist or xenophobic comments on our page,“ the European Commission added.
A number of Western countries promote the idea that “diversity is strength”. However, countries such as the United States are significantly occupied with debating race and producing race-related news reports. Racial tensions remain high, and Black Lives Matter has been accused of deploying divisive rhetoric and fueling nationwide riots that resulted in between $1 billion and $2 billion worth of damage and dozens of lives lost last year, including Black victims. In Europe, the issue of migration has grown increasingly divisive, with polling showing that most Europeans are against the idea of more non-EU migration. Meanwhile, populist leaders in Europe have accused the European Union of promoting more immigration despite the wishes of Europeans.
Title image: From left, President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography Portuguese Ana Paula Zacaria, European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica and member of the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt address the media regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe Executive Board at EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Francois Walschaerts, Pool via AP)