Melania Trump is gaining an unnecessary reputation for being a tone-deaf public figure with no clue of context and respect for her audience. Heavy is the crown that the First Lady of the United States of America wears and replacing it with a colonialist pith helmet is simply a bad idea especially when you are in Kenya. This is not the first time she has been "sartorially insensitive" and at this point, we cannot be faulted for thinking it was deliberate. Vox reports that in June, "While boarding an Air Force plane to visit migrant children at the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday, Melania Trump wore a jacket with the phrase 'I really don’t care, do u?' scrawled on the back." Trump's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham dismissed the outrage sparked by the jacket by simplistically arguing, "It is just a jacket."
Grisham was wrong. It was not just a jacket and Melania's husband pointed that out on his favourite platform: Twitter. The President of the United States of America said the jacket was for the Fake News Media and "Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!". Indeed Melania has proved she does not care but we are not convinced all she does not care about is the Fake News Media. She also does not care about offending migrants and Africans! As Matthew Carotenuto, a St Lawrence University historian, said, "It's like showing up to a meeting of African-American cotton farmers in a Confederate uniform."
One Twitter user asked, "Why is she dressed like she's about to exploit the Belgian Congo?" Equally poignant is another comment by another user who said, "She does seem to be in her 'King Leopold' best." The pith helmet was won by explorers in the 19th century and then colonial officers. It has rightly become a symbol of oppression. Either Melania Trump did not know that or she was here to celebrate the darkness of our past. Considering that her husband thought Nambia was a country that exists in this continent and that a number of African countries are shitholes, one might be happy to forgive the good lady. No one is giving her good advice.
President Trump failed to pronounce the name of the country Namibia, instead referring to the Southern African country as "Nambia."
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