A doctor in Colorado lost both her position in a hospital and her medical school faculty appointment after calling Michelle Obama a “monkey face” who speaks “poor ebonic English.” Dr. Michelle Herren, a pediatric anesthesiologist, made the remarks after one Facebook user lauded the First Lady for being eloquent.
The Denver Post reported that Herren responded, “Doesn’t seem to be speaking too eloquently here, thank god we can’t hear her! Monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!” She accompanied her comment with a yelling image of Obama.
Even Obama’s Harvard education did not escape Herren’s judgment. She called the university a “place for entitled folks.” Herren herself graduated from Nebraska’s Creighton University School of Medicine. Her words backfired for Herren was terminated from her job as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine.
School spokesperson Mark Couch told the publication why they decided to fire Herren from her position.
“We are beginning the process to terminate Dr. Herren’s faculty appointment. She has expressed values that are at odds with ours and she has compromised her ability to meet the teaching and patient care mission of the School of Medicine.”
Apart from compromising her teaching job, she was initially suspended by the Denver Health Medical Center where she works as a physician. The hospital, which caters to many members of the minority population, said through a statement that they were “disappointed” and “offended” by Herren’s statements.
“Denver Health proudly serves people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and social backgrounds – and our staff and patient population truly reflect our diverse community and nation. We are reaching out to all of our patients, employees and physicians to reinforce our culture, mission and beliefs that all individuals regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation are deserving of dignity and respect.”
However, the hospital confirmed that Herren opted to voluntarily resign. She provided consultations and anesthesia services in the hospital for 10 years. At first, the hospital faced backlash on its Facebook page for showing apprehension to fire Herren.
“As a person of color, I would be afraid to be treated here by ANY of the staff here. You condone one; you probably condone many,” wrote Beckita Savir. Many claimed that Herren’s behavior is unbecoming of a doctor who should exemplify compassion and empathy. They urged the hospital to terminate Herren immediately if they don’t want patients to think that Denver Health is a “sanctuary for racist doctors.”
The hospital eventually earned praises for not condoning Herren’s racially-motivated hate remarks. Prior to taking down her own Facebook page, she reportedly argued that her statements were “taken out of context.” She said the term “monkey face” wasn’t racist for her. Herren also asked why it was acceptable to insult Melania Trump but not Barack Obama’s wife.
The Obama couple is sadly no stranger to disparaging remarks. Even their daughters have not escaped scathing statements from Internet trolls. When it was announced that Malia Obama would attend Harvard, racist Facebook users called her acceptance into the university as an example of “black privilege.”
Throughout his presidential terms, the first African-American president’s race was constantly brought up by his critics. In a recent interview with CNN, Barack opened up to Fareed Zakaria about the racist comments he needed to endure.
“Are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign ― the other? Are those who champion the birther movement feeding off of bias? Absolutely.”
The two-hour program, The Legacy of Barack Obama, also discussed how Donald Trump’s administration could possibly tear down everything that Obama worked on.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]