In a rare episode for a First Lady, Melania Trump was met with boos and jeers in Baltimore on Tuesday. While on the road with her “Be Best” initiative, the First Lady stopped by the University of Maryland’s B’More Youth Summit for an event designed to raise awareness about the current national opioid addiction crisis. As CNN reports, Trump was booed for about one minute—but even once the jeers dissipated, the audience still heckled the First Lady throughout her speech. The first lady has endured jeers while appearing alongside her husband before, but this is the first time it’s happened to her during a solo appearance.
“Thank you to all of the students who are here. I am so proud of you for the bravery it takes to share that you have been strongly affected by the opioid epidemic in some way,” she said.
“Promoting education and awareness on these issues will always be one of my top priorities,” she concluded. “I am in this fight with you and I am fighting for you. I encourage you, if you are struggling with addiction right now, reach out for support—whether it’s a teacher, parent, friend, grandparent, coach, or pastor, talk to an adult in your life that you trust. It is never too late to ask for help.”
She was booed offstage (and while these may technically be the first boos, the First Lady was also met with protesters earlier this month when visiting the Boston Medical Center). And while the incident is rare, it’s not exactly surprising—on top of her husband’s countless public racist comments and policies that target minorities and immigrants, he has an unpleasant history with the city of Baltimore. Back in July, when in conflict with the Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (who passed away in October), President Donald Trump tweeted that Cummings’s Baltimore district was a “rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” We’d imagine that the attendees of a conference in Baltimore wouldn’t take too kindly to those comments.
This, however, is not the first time a First Lady has been booed in recent history. In 2011, Michelle Obama was met with boos during an appearance at a NASCAR race (Mrs. Obama was there to promote educational and employment opportunities for veterans). Hillary Clinton was also booed at least once during her time as First Lady—she was booed while promoting healthcare reform in Seattle in 1994. According to one report, Nancy Reagan was also once booed in England while in the country on a solo trip to attend the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.