The cartoon came days after protesters in Washington, DC, blocked Betsy DeVos from entering a public school while yelling, “Shame!” Having to enter the building through the side entrance.
The cartoon shows a DeVos being escorted inside a school under heavy guard. Which immediately draws a direct connection between the iconic image of Bridges — the 6-year-old African-American girl escorted by federal marshals into an all-white New Orleans school in 1960— and an incident last week in which protesters temporarily blocked DeVos’ entrance into a meeting at a middle school.
RW political cartoonist Glen McCoy created the image on the left.
On the right is Norman Rockwell's image about the Civil Rights Movement. pic.twitter.com/mbW2J6kRrX
— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@leahmcelrath) February 14, 2017
Many criticized Betsy DeVos during her confirmation process, calling into question her advocacy for private schools over public ones, her extreme wealth and complicated web of investments, a history of opposition to LGBT rights, and her stances on Common Core, sexual assault prevention, student loans, and higher education.
There was no way McCoy should have attempted to make that comparison to Ruby Bridges because It shows Bridges being escorted into the New Orleans school six years after the Brown v. Education case declared “separate but equal” public schools unconstitutional. Bridges became the first black child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South.
However, McCoy’s image of DeVos just invokes an incident in which protesters blocked her from entering D.C.’s Jefferson Middle School Academy. But Betsy DeVos and her handlers eventually found a back door and to attended the event anyway.
McCoy responded to criticism stating, “I thought I was speaking out against hate. It’s 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. 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.”
Still, many view that the connection shouldn’t been made by McCoy because it portrays two different messages and two completely different women.
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