A Colorado doctor is being dragged all over social media after calling first lady Michelle Obama “monkey face” on Facebook while defending herself as “still not racist.” But that’s not the worst par of his punishment.
Dr. Michelle Herren, a white pediatric anesthesiologist at Denver Health Medical Center and a faculty member at University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been ordered to stop seeing patients and is being fired from her medical school teaching job.
Herren made the comment after another Facebook user called Obama eloquent, The Denver Post reported.
“Doesn’t seem to be speaking too eloquently here, thank god we can’t hear her!” a post attributed to Herren read. “Monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!”
Herren also criticized Obama’s Ivy League education: “Harvard??? That’s a place for ‘entitled’ folks said all the liberals!”
JoAnn Nietto, who spotted Herren’s comments on a friend’s Facebook page, told ABC-7 News that she flagged the post for the University of Colorado medical board after it stayed there for four days.
“It really outraged me to see that she works at Denver Health, which serves a huge minority population,” Nietto told the Denver Post.
“We are beginning the process to terminate Dr. Herren’s faculty appointment,” Mark Couch, spokesman for the school, told The Denver Post. “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.”
Herren has since taken down her Facebook page. She said her comments were taken “out of context” and claimed she didn’t realize the term “monkey face” is racist, according to ABC-7, which spoke to her by phone. Herren suggested there’s a double standard that permits insulting future first lady Melania Trump, but not Obama. HuffPost couldn’t reach Herren for further comment.
Denver Health, where Herren makes a reported $363,600 annual salary, said in a statement posted on Facebook Wednesday that Herren “will not be seeing patients or providing anesthesia services” at the hospital until further notice. The hospital added that it was “deeply disappointed” as well as “offended” by Herren’s words.
“Denver Health is deeply disappointed by the remarks posted on social media by Dr. Michelle Herren against the First Lady of the United States. We are offended by the comments made by this individual, who was acting independently in her private capacity.”
“Her views are contrary to the mission and values of Denver Health, and to our staff and patients. 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,” their statement reads.