A political cartoon published in a southwestern Illinois paper is stirring up a lot of controversy online this week.
The Belleville News-Democrat posted the cartoon by conservative cartoonist Glenn McCoy featuring Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in what is a clear recreation of the Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” It appears to equate DeVos, Trump’s controversial pick for secretary of education, with the first black child to attend an all-white school in the South.
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.
DeVos faced protests that briefly prevented her from entering a school in Washington D.C. last week. Needlesstosay, people were not happy to see the comparison of the white billionaire to the young black child who fought against horrific racism.
The cartoon was created by artist Glenn McCoy who responded to backlash in a statement to Talking Point Memo, saying he wanted to open a dialogue.
“My cartoon was about how, in this day and age, decades beyond the civil rights protests, it’s sad that people are still being denied the right to speak freely or do their jobs or enter public buildings because others disagree with who they are or how they think,” the statement read. “I’m surprised that some readers see ‘hate’ in this cartoon when I thought I was speaking out against hate. The drawing depicts a woman passively walking while being protected from angry protesters. Isn’t that what went down the other day when Devos visited a school to do her job?
“You may disagree with her on issues but I didn’t see any hate coming from her,” the statement continued. “I did, however, see hate going in the other direction which is what made me think of the Rockwell image. That was the only comparison I was drawing. The level of toxicity in today’s political climate has reached ridiculous levels. I regret if anyone was offended by my choice of metaphors but my intention was to focus on the protesters being hateful and to open up a dialogue on this point.”