From Our Future
Dear Ms. Linton,
This has undoubtedly been a difficult couple of days for you, both as a person and as the wife of the United States Treasury Secretary.
Nobody enjoys the sudden onrush of hostile attention that comes when something they've said goes viral, and not in a good way. Your public record, and even your recent infamous post, suggests you want to be a good person -- or, at the very least, that you'd like to be seen as one.
That's not how people are seeing you at the moment, and that has to be rough.
Perhaps it would help if someone explained why you've received so much negative attention in the last 48 hours.Bubble Life
Simply put: You live in a bubble. That's not your fault. It's just the way it is. According to the Internet -- the same Internet that has turned on you with such ferocity -- you were born into a wealthy Scottish family and educated at the prestigious St George's School for Girls and Fettes College.
Your family owns a real-life, honest to God castle, for God's sake.
A little self-awareness is therefore in order: Your experience is not like that of most people. Some people are born into privilege and make a dedicated effort to see life from other people's point of view. That does not seem to have been the case with you.Out of Africa
The controversy about your "memoir" of life as a volunteer teenager in Zambia suggests that you didn't see the people of Zambia at all. The country itself seems to have passed you by. There are, for example, no 12-inch spiders there.
You portrayed Zambia as a savage, untamed place where wild animals roamed the street. You also imagined they saw you as an idealized, almost heavenly figure: a skinny foreigner "with long angel hair."
Here's a tip: Zambia is not a wild land, and you were not the first blonde that the people there had ever seen. They have many foreign visitors. They are also familiar with European and American magazines, television, and film.
The only "angel hair" spoken of in the capital city of Lusaka, in fact, is served at one of the city's many Italian restaurants: here's a listing of the top five, courtesy of TripAdvisor. Casa Portico has good pasta dishes, we're told, while Frescobar is praised for its "great food and vibe."
You apparently do not appear to see the people of this country, either. In the United States, the wealthiest nation in human history, 45 million people live in poverty. That's unjust. Most of us have endured decades of wage stagnation, a dying middle class, rising deaths of despair, mass incarceration, and other ordeals undreamed of in your rarefied world.
That might help explain why you received a rather unfriendly response when you posted a picture of yourself exiting a U.S. government plane with your husband, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with the following comment: