A political cartoon published in a southwestern Illinois paper is stirring a lot of controversy online.
The Belleville News-Democrat posted the cartoon by conservative cartoonist Glenn McCoy. It features Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in what is a clear recreation of the Norman Rockwell painting, "The Problem We All Live With."
my god pic.twitter.com/AhN1R4eRgX— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) February 14, 2017
The original painting shows six-year-old Ruby Bridges, escorted by four U.S. Marshals, integrating into an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960.
Bridges was, in fact, the first black child to desegregate an all-white school in the U.S., inciting protests across the country.
Here is Norman Rockwells The Problem We All Live With showing courageous 6 yr old Ruby Bridges integrating her school pic.twitter.com/YnmX5qphUX— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 14, 2017
Rockwell's painting displays tomatoes being thrown at Bridges with an expletive scrawled on the wall behind her.
The political cartoon portraying DeVos prompted outrage on Twitter with its suggested parallels.
The Betsy DeVos as Ruby Bridges image is a reminder that some women are always infantilized, while little black girls treated like adults.— Christiana A Mbakwe (@Christiana1987) February 14, 2017
Racism takes many forms. Sometimes, it compares Betsy DeVos to the black girl going to school in Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With." https://t.co/kdnXwSm7Uu— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 14, 2017
Equating DeVos, a well-connected billionaire who paid her way into the Cabinet, with the heroic Ruby Bridges is ignorant and offensive. https://t.co/5Q2tGWb4Ob— Tim Gibson (@timgibson) February 15, 2017
Ruby Bridges at 6 yrs old experienced racial ridicule. And is STILL living amongst us to see DeVos be compared to her. TRASH.— CP3No (@jumpedforjoi) February 14, 2017
Ruby Bridges' likeness/story is untouchable. DeVos is an agent of power who chose to hold this position. she faces protest not persecution.— Austin Hayden (@sargulesh) February 14, 2017
This is not the first time Rockwell's painting has been used in a political cartoon.
Cartoonist Mike Lester recreated the painting using Rush Limbaugh as the subject a few years ago.
(© 2017 WVEC)