Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom’s prime minister, is facing a backlash over a 20-year-old column where he said young people had “an almost Nigerian interest in money”, implying that Nigerians love money or are greedy.
The column was written when Johnson was a writer and editor of The Spectator.
According to The Guardian UK, the prime minister said black people were “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.
In a diary piece for the Independent in 1999, Johnson wrote that Tony Blair, former UK PM, made people feel good about getting rich.
“All the young people I know – ie those under 30 – are just as avaricious as we flinty Thatcherite yuppies of the 1980s in fact, they have an almost Nigerian interest in money and gadgets of all kinds, ” he wrote in the column.
Johnson was also sad to have described Islam as the reason for with Islam world are backward compared to the west.
Also, he reportedly wrote that Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west.
In another old column, Johnson was said to have blamed single mothers for “producing a generation of ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children”, adding that social housing was enticing for them to become pregnant.
Weyman Bennett, the co-convenor of Stand Up to Racism, described Johnson’s words as “deeply racist and offensive”.
“This can be added to the ‘piccaninnies’ and ‘watermelon smiles’, the abject refusal to properly apologise and change his behaviour around racism.
“Boris Johnson is unfit to be a prime minister that represents the entire United Kingdom.
“He had demonstrated this by lying and falsely representing black, Asian and different communities inside this country.
“This is deeply offensive and unforgivable and should not be ignored and he should be held to account.”