Melania Trump's jacket: Does she really think we don't see the symbolism? | Elizabeth Wellington

Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump arrives at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Thursday, June 21, 2018, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center run by the Lutheran Social Services of the South in McAllen, Texas.

I kind of liked it when first lady Melania Trump’s to-die-for Dolce & Gabbana, Dior and Valentino ensembles simply telegraphed to the world that she was filthy rich and amazingly out of touch.

But now I have proof that this woman is as ice cold as her very well-tailored outfits implied.

On Thursday, Trump decided to make her fast-fashion debut in a $39 Zara olive green fatigue jacket with the question, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”  splashed across its back.

In a perfect world, a first lady probably wouldn’t wear anything with an uncaring sentiment. Her unofficial platform is to care. First ladies are the embodiment of empathy.

But the Lady Trump took her insensitivity to the next level.

Because she chose to wear this hooded jacket as she boarded a plane at Joint Base Andrews on her way to visit immigrant children at the Texas border. I’m gonna repeat that in all caps, because, yes, I’m yelling: SHE WAS ON HER WAY TO VISIT IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AT THE TEXAS BORDER! The same immigrant children who were separated from their parents upon entering the United States as they left the terror in their own countries. 

Last weekend, it was reported, the first lady urged the president to do something about the administration’s policy to separate children from their families. And yes, finally, the president signed an executive order Wednesday that reversed his administration’s family separation policy. That’s what makes this fashion choice all the more weird.

Even if her words and actions say that she disagreed with the Trump administration’s former policy, wearing a jacket emblazoned with a slogan of apathy shows how far removed she is from the human suffering around her.

Trump changed out of the offensive jacket — that she so swankily paired with skinny white jeans and a pair of green and white Adidas  — before she got off the plane in Texas, replacing it with a tan khaki button up. And the first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said there was “no hidden meaning behind the jacket.”

Her husband seems to disagree, tweeting it was an indictment of the news media. ” ‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!” he tweeted.

I don’t believe either.

This is the woman who, coincidentally, wore a pussy bow blouse to a debate days after then-candidate Trump used the word to pejoratively describe his prowess with the ladies. She’s done a fantastic job thus far telegraphing herself through fashion.

>> READ MORE: Melania Trump’s blouse has a crazy name, and it spoke volumes

Say I did believe her. Say I was on her perfectly coiffed side and this awful choice of a hoodie was just a fashion faux pas. That would actually be worse.

Because it would be the absolute, unequivocal proof that not only does the first lady have no interest in what’s going on around her, she doesn’t want to. She doesn’t have to.

Like many of the other women who surround Trump, the first lady’s very presence is key to pushing the administration’s agenda.

From the moment it became a global headline that children were being separated from their parents, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders has done an awesome job deflecting for the president. Last week, in the very same tone as the 1960s segregationists, Huckabee repeated over and over again that it was “very biblical to enforce the law” when reporters pressed her about this current White House’s policy. I cringed. Separate but equal was the law of the land once, too.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended Trump when he called some immigrants animals. These are people. They may even be gang members, but they are people. And referring to them as less than that should not justify inhuman treatment.

Until yesterday, when she thanked her dad for his compassionate stroke of the executive pen, Ivanka Trump, the first daughter whose job it was to help her father tap into his humanity, was largely silent on the entire immigration issue.

How did America’s worst evils of injustice happen? In part because the women in the lives of these men of power either co-signed or simply looked the other way.

Like Melania Trump, they really didn’t care.