Many have not forgotten that U.S. first lady Melani Trump wore a jacket written ‘I really do not care, do U?’ when she visited a children’s detention centre at the Texas border.
It was seen as a tone-deaf and blatant display of lack of empathy. Even the response from her team that the jacket had no hidden message was met with criticism.
We are shook by the blatant lack of empathy in Melania Trump’s jacket she wore to visit children in detention in Texas. pic.twitter.com/PtWOJSMk8z
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— Amnesty International (@amnestyusa) June 21, 2018
Now that the First Lady is travelling to four African countries to promote her child initiative called ‘Be Best’, her caring (or not) nature has been brought into question.
Be Best is a program Melania initiated early this year to promote children’s social and emotional well-being. It comes with three pillars: physical and emotional health, responsible social media use and the effects of the opioid crisis on children.
“We can and should teach social and self-awareness, positive relationship skills and responsible decision making. Let us teach our children the difference between right and wrong, and encourage them to Be Best in their individual paths in life,” she said at a press conference at the White House.
Why would she, after having ignored the plight of many American children, go all the way to Africa to promote such an initiative?
According to the statement from the White House, Melania will be in Africa to “learn more about the United States role in providing assistance to help countries become self-sufficient. Her trip will focus on maternal and newborn care in hospitals, education for children, the deep culture and history woven into each African country, and how the United States is supporting each country on its journey to self-reliance.”
It would be interesting to see and hear what Melania would say during her trip, especially against the backdrop of child detention in America; controversy over whether education is a fundamental right, and school shootings.
The visit by Melania has already elicited mixed reactions from people far and wide, starting with the first ladies of three African countries.
Isaura Nyusi, the first lady of Mozambique, stated that she is looking forward to seeing how Melania’s initiative would be implemented to address African challenges, according to the VOA.
Namibia’s first lady, Monica Geingos, hoped that the U.S. first lady would educate herself on Africa to break the stereotypes about the continent.
“I think the narrative that is generally crafted around African issues is really one of these poor, incapable, helpless Africans. And that’s not the narrative of Africa when you actually get to the continent. Even in the worst cases of poverty, you’ll find the most dignified Africans. And you can only treat them with dignities they deserve if you understand where they come from and what they deal with on a daily basis,” Geingos told VOA.
For Sierra Leone’s first lady, Fatima Maada Bio, Melania’s first task should be convincing African heads of state to establish an office of the first lady.
“I think the first lady of America, what she can do is actually start talking to African heads of state to start empowering the first ladies’ offices, because the first ladies’ offices, as much as we are not an elected office, but we can make very big changes to society,” she said.
Here are other reactions:
As Melania Trump arrives in Africa for her big solo tour, we asked locals of the countries she plans to visit what they make of the First Lady. Here’s the mood from Ghana, Kenya and Egypt.
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) October 1, 2018
Ain’t nobody excited about her visit man…
— Reginald Adjei (@reggiemka) October 1, 2018
I wish she had or has Uganda on her list no matter the situation Women like Melania can be of inspiration to the young girls and maybe she will use the tour to know what girls in Africa go through
— kabiswa Davis ???????????? (@DKabitswa) October 1, 2018
She is like the sealed can that has no branded paper. Ok what she has done for Americans? Ok what she did before to be first lady? pic.twitter.com/1l7FV5jLdw
— buyambo ka’dam (@BuyamboD) October 1, 2018
Oh dear! I am yet to see the TANGIBLE thing she has done for her country. I don’t why people would think or expect someone to give another what they haven’t given to their own. Sigh.
— Yusuf IBRAHEEM (@AfobajeII) October 1, 2018
So these people do come to the place they *shithole* after all but of course to come and show their superiority and continue stealing from us because thats all they do.I’ll reserve the rest for later !
— PaYnE KiLa (Pain Killer) (@Paynekila) October 1, 2018
She can Neva teach us anything..
— Joel Tetteh (@JoelTetteh20) October 1, 2018