As surely as the sun rises in the day,
white people stay wilding. This time, a cartoonist is drawing fire after publishing a cartoon that compares Donald Trump’s secretary of education, Besty DeVos, and the first black child to attend an all-white school in the South, the iconic Ruby Bridges.
Many have picked up on the fact that the cartoon by Glenn McCoy, published in the Belleville News-Democrat, imitates Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With, which depicts 6-year-old Ruby’s historic walk into a Louisiana school as U.S. marshals escort her past an angry white mob that’s threatening her.
McCoy’s cartoon noticeably appeared after protesters managed to block DeVos from entering a Washington, D.C., public school while chanting, “Shame.” Needless to say, the cartoon didn’t go over very well, and thus the dragging and fact-checking began.
It should honestly be common sense that protests against DeVos—who somehow scraped through Senate hearings while not being able to answer basic questions—and the virulent racism Ruby faced are not the same. However, as they say, common sense is not all that common.
So, the artist in question, McCoy, came out and told Talking Points Memo on Wednesday that he put together his cartoon in order to shed light on what he believes is a toxic political environment.
“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,” McCoy told the site in an emailed statement. “I’m surprised that some readers see ‘hate’ in this cartoon when I thought I was speaking out against hate.”
McCoy told TPM that he honestly saw similarities between the DeVos and Ruby Bridges situations, adding that he thought protesters were hateful toward DeVos when they blocked her entry into the D.C. school.
“The drawing depicts a woman passively walking while being protected from angry protesters,” he added. “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. I did, however, see hate going in the other direction which is what made me think of the Rockwell image.”
McCoy then did the usual thing, you know, apologizing if “anyone was offended,” but insisting that he just wanted to create dialogue.
“The level of toxicity in today’s political climate has reached ridiculous levels,” his statement read. “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.”
Because the public attempting to hold a public official accountable is hateful.
I mean, I guess.
But sound off: What do you think about McCoy’s statement and the overall cartoon?
Read more at Talking Points Memo.