Melania Trump Slammed for Visiting Kenya Wearing a Hat Commonly Associated with Colonialism
Melania Trump is catching a lot of heat for wearing a white pith helmet, which is commonly associated with Colonialism, while visiting Africa
First Lady Melania Trump is catching heat yet again over her clothing choice.
On Friday, while visiting a safari in Nairobi National Park in Kenya — a stop on her first solo trip to Africa — FLOTUS was photographed wearing a white pith helmet, a hat most commonly associated with colonialists.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, European military personnel often wore pith helmets as they sought out colonies in Africa and Asia. The hats remained popular with those who moved to colonized countries and are seen by many as symbolic of the oppression of colonization.
Shortly after the sighting, several people called Melania out on Twitter. “Melania Trump wearing a pith helmet on her trip to ‘Africa’ is more than a silly sartorial choice. It’s a reflection of her outdated understanding of Africa,” Kim Yi Dionne, a political-science professor who specializes in African politics at the University of California, Riverside wrote.
“Also, she was photographed in safari attire multiple times on this trip,” Dionne added.
Matt Carotenuto, a historian and coordinator of African Studies at St. Lawrence University wrote, “Melania completes the stereotype trifecta– elephants, orphans and even the pith helmet.”
FLOTUS’ accessory of choice came just one day after she was greeted in Malawi with a crowd of protestors, including two carrying a sign that read: “Welcome to Malawi #NOTAS—HOLE!,” according to the Associated Press.
The hashtag was a reference to her husband Donald Trump’s remarks in January in which he reportedly referred to some African nations, along with Haiti and El Salvador, as “s—hole countries.”
Malawi was the first lady’s second stop on her four-nation tour of Africa.
While there, she reportedly toured outdoor classrooms at Chipala Primary School in Lilongwe, before giving remarks as the U.S. ambassador passed out 1.4 million books paid for through a national reading program funded by the U.S.
“I wanted to be here to see the successful programs that [the] United States is providing the children and thank you for everything you’ve done,” Melania said.
The first lady arrived in Ghana on Tuesday and stayed in the capital city of Accra, where she met over tea with Ghana’s first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, at the presidential palace.
On Wednesday, she visited Cape Coast Castle, a former slave holding fort on Ghana’s coast.
After Kenya, FLOTUS will travel to Egypt before returning to Washington, D.C., on Sunday.
In June, Melania ruffled feathers once more when she visited McAllen, Texas, to visit migrant children who were separated from their parents as they were held at detention centers on the Mexico-U.S. border.
For the trip, FLOTUS wore a green Zara jacket featuring the words “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”
After many slammed the First Lady for being insensitive, her communications director, Stephanie Grisham came to her defense.
“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message,” Grisham said in a statement. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe (Much like her high heels last year).”