Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Garth Rattray | The ape in heels

Published:Monday | November 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Michelle Obama (right), America's First Lady.

The recent American presidential election was never just about politics for me. True, the Democratic candidate represented the typical Establishment politician that many were railing against. Added to that, she never melded with many common citizens and their concerns. Plus, she had a lot of unanswered questions, unresolved issues, blatant evasions and unclear explanations.

However, her opponent demonstrated serious personality flaws, childishness, issues with ethics, variable veracity, selective memory lapses, misogynistic traits, flip-flopping statements, a history of racial prejudice, significant assistance from renegade computer hackers and at least one foreign power, inciteful, insulting rhetoric, fear- and hatemongering, and a very weak grasp on the reality of how the country and the world work.

He earned the admiration of white supremacists, and that does not bode well for the United States of America. I found that his negatives were greater than hers. Nonetheless, he triumphed in the Electoral College votes.

I feel strongly that Mr Trump cannot deliver on most of his campaign promises and we are already seeing him walking back on several of them. He will face a very rude awakening when he tries to construct a wall between the USA and Mexico and to dismantle international agreements, treaties, trade deals and associations.




For those who feel that 'outsiders' (like me) should not concern ourselves with American politics, remember that such a powerful country has worldwide influence. Don't forget the 2007 US subprime mortgage crisis that led to the collapse of the housing bubble, a recession, and a global financial crisis.

With Trump's win came unprecedented protests against a president-elect and a slew of vile rhetoric, overlaid with brazen racial epitaphs from despicable individuals hitherto cowering in their dark corners, afraid to reveal their venomous fangs - until now.

His irreverent history and behaviour have facilitated and encouraged such things. And, recently, a certain Pamela Ramsey Taylor from Clay County posted this racist Facebook remark about First Lady Michelle Obama, "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a Ape in heels ... ." Taylor has grievously insulted every single person of African heritage - dead, living and yet to be born.

This is exactly what I meant last week when I opined that Trump has unmasked America. Ms Taylor's English leaves much to be desired, but her message was nonetheless very clear. She represents a large, indeterminate group of hate-filled and bigoted, racist airheads emboldened by their champion, Donald Trump.




That 'ape in heels' is the 44th First Lady of the United States of America. Obviously, many cannot stand the thought of an intelligent, very educated, attractive, hard-working, moral, affable, eloquent, sophisticated, upstanding, honest, squeaky-clean, inspirational lawyer and First Lady who just happens to be African-American.

Melania Trump plagiarised parts of a 2008 Democratic National Convention speech made by that 'ape in heels', yet they reduce her to the status of a mere primate. I saw this coming when, during the second presidential debate, the topic of global warming was raised and Trump blurted at Mrs. Clinton, "... YOUR president Obama ...", cue divisiveness, disrespect and hate.

I am particularly disturbed by the 'ape in heels' statement because, after all that Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Rosetta Parks, Martin Luther King and many other civil-rights and ethnic-pride leaders and luminaries have achieved; after all the invaluable contributions to culture, science and society that people of African descent have made; after Barack Obama ascended to the most powerful position on the entire planet, caricatures of the president and his wife as monkeys have been circulating and many can only see the best of us as apes.

I believe that if we had not struggled for our rights, given the opportunity, backward-thinking, dimwits (like Pamela Ramsey Taylor) would have relegated our entire race to a bunch of underling servants for eternity.

Actions by people like her leave a nasty stain on that nation. The decent, ethical citizens who are free of the mental shackles of hate and prejudice don't deserve to hear from such individuals. Pamela Ramsey Taylor wants a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady. She ought to Google 'Michelle Obama Bio', then Google 'Melania Trump Bio', and compare for herself.

- Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to and