The Belleville News-Democrat in southern Illinois posted a political cartoon this week featuring Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in what is a clear reimagining of Norman Rockwell's historic Civil Rights Era image, The Problem We All Live With.
The cartoon, illustrated by conservative cartoonist Glenn McCoy, reworks Rockwell's image of a black child, flanked by police officers, as she walks to class at the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in 1960 New Orleans, six years after Brown v. Board of Education.
In Rockwell's original painting, a young Ruby Bridges passes by a wall on which the word "nigger" is scrawled and a tomato has been thrown at her by the crowds of racists who would congregate in front of schools in order to intimidate black students from attending, requiring that the children be escorted by policemen. In McCoy's Trying to trash Betsy DeVos, a diminutive DeVos is similarly surrounded by guards, but "conservative" takes nigger's place as the slur now spray painted on the wall.
While the Belleville News-Democrat didn't include a explanation of McCoy's take other than its title, the implications being made are difficult to misinterpret.
Video of DeVos looking utterly freaked as she was blocked by protesters from entering a DC middle school went viral last week, dovetailing weeks of vociferous outcry from the public. And Senate Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren did their jobs when they grilled DeVos during her confirmation hearing and demonstrated to the world that she's woefully unfit for the position.
McCoy's cartoon appears to compare DeVos being put through her paces as being just as traumatic and terrible an experience as being a young black girl living in the 1960s South, one who was literally attacked for attempting to get the education that the Supreme Court ruled was her Constitutional right.
When I reached out to the Belleville News-Democrat for comment about its decision to run McCoy's cartoon, I was told that McCoy would be in contact "if and when he had anything to say."