Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sat down for an interview with FRANCE 24 and she shared her thoughts on topics such as social media, Donald Trump and feminism.
The Americanah author, while speaking to FRANCE 24’s Sonia Dridi during the first “Night of Ideas” in Washington, said the most challenging issue of our time is critical thinking.
One of the things I find most concerning is that I think critical thinking is imperial. I think that we have to be very careful that we don’t lose sight of how important it is to think critically. I sometimes worry that technology means that we lose sight of empathy. And this evening I talked about how social media can sometimes make us forget that there’s an actual human being on the other end…
I think that the ability to think critially and the ability to feel empathy those are very important.
Sharing her opinion about social media and its uses, she admitted that she is not a big fan of social media but agreed that it can be a good thing if used right.
I think like most things in the world, it’s not so much that it’s inherently bad, it’s how we use it.
When asked if she thinks that “Trump’s America empowers public display of racism” , she replied: “Absolutely”
We have to remember that it’s in this period, in this presidency, that we have had people who parade publicly and they are very open about being white supremacists and it is important to remember that people have died, that a young woman was mowed to death by somebody who is a white supremacist.
“What was your reaction when you heard Donald Trump refer to African countries as shithole countries,” Sonia Dridi asked to which Ms Adichie replied:
“Oh, I didn’t have a reaction. I think that some things are not worth reacting to some things are just inconsequential”.
Speaking more about Trump, she said:
I think that the American president is very similar to an African Big Man in so many ways, sort of intentionally and stubbornly ignorant, very disrespectful of everbody else… that short of thing.
Chimamanda added that many women have now been forced awake in the Trump era because they have come to realize that there are many rights they previously enjoyed that are now in jeopardy. This, she said, has made more women become involved in politics.
“I’m very excited about the number of women who are becoming politically active. I find it very exciting because I think it’s long overdue quite frankly, but also because it’s wonderful to know that women can now run as individuals rather than running as ‘The Woman Candidate’. In the end, my idea of feminism is one in which people can be individuals. So, I find it very exciting and I’m kind of looking forward to what will happen.”