It was bad enough that Melania Trump lamented the slaughter of African elephants even though her stepsons hunt them and her husband’s administration made it possible to import elephant trophies into America again.
But observers were further taken aback by the tone-deaf outfit the first lady wore in Kenya. She donned a startling symbol of colonial rule: a white pith helmet, once preferred by Europeans in African colonies and elsewhere.
“It’s like showing up to a meeting of African-American cotton farmers in a Confederate uniform,” tweeted Matthew Carotenuto, a historian at St. Lawrence University in New York.
The first lady “completed the stereotype trifecta: elephants, orphans and even a pith helmet,” he wrote.
Several people ranked the first lady’s cringeworthy helmet right up there with the jacket she wore to visit detained migrant children earlier this year ― after her husband’s administration had separated immigrant kids from their parents.
The first lady traveled to Texas wearing a jacket that read: “I really don’t care, do U?”
The first lady is apparent ticking off a list of things clueless visitors do while in Africa, inspiring a #FlotusinAfricabingo hashtag. The list includes items such as “Awkward dancing: Check” and “Wear exotic skin shoes: Check.”