• University of Colorado
    University of Colorado
  • Racial prejudice
    Racial prejudice
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Dr. Herren was accused of racism when, in 2016, she posted to her Facebook racially charged comments about former White House First Lady Michelle Obama. Under a photo of Obama, Herren wrote “monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and I am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!”[1]

Herren defended her comments, claiming she was unaware that the term “monkey face” is racist, and argued that there is a double standard where insulting first lady Melania Trump is permitted, but not Obama.[2]

Herren has since removed her Facebook page, and was fired from her positions as both an anesthesiologist at Denver Health Medical Center, and her faculty appointment at Colorado University. Dean John J. Reilly said of Dr. Herren that, “she has expressed values that are at odds with ours and she has compromised her ability to meet the teaching and patient care missions of the School of Medicine.”[3]

[1] Elizade, E. (Dec. 1, 2016). University plans to fire Colorado doctor after Michelle Obama ‘monkey face’ Facebook comment. New York Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/university-plans-fire-colo-doctor-flotus-racist-comment-article-1.2895147

[2] Golgowski, N. (Dec. 5, 2016). Doctor Calls Michelle Obama ‘Monkey Face,’ But Says She’s Not Racist. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doctor-michelle-obama-monkey-face_us_584069a7e4b017f37fe35241

[3] Garrison, R., Allen, J. (Dec. 2, 2016). Dr. Michelle Herren resigns from Denver Health after racially charged Facebook post. ABC Denver 7. Retrieved from http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/doctor-resigns-from-denver-health-after-racist-post

Departmental Contact

Dr. John J. Reilly Jr., Dean of the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine

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