An editorial cartoon comparing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos being blocked from a school to young black student Ruby Bridges integrating a school in 1960 generated outrage on social media Tuesday, including a rebuke from Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The editorial cartoon by Belleville News-Democrat cartoonist Glenn McCoy alludes to a 1963 Norman Rockwell painting “The Problem We All Live With.” President Barack Obama had the painting hung in the White House for a brief time during his second term. The News-Democrat is owned by McClatchy, as is this publication.
Bridges, then 6 years old, integrated the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans on Nov. 14, 1960, six years after the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
DeVos, a billionaire school choice advocate, was a controversial pick by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Education. The Senate confirmed DeVos 51-50 with Vice President Mike Pence casting the first tie-breaking vote for a Cabinet nominee in U.S. history. Two Republicans voted against DeVos.
DeVos was met with protestors on a trip to a D.C. middle school on Feb. 10. DeVos eventually got into the school.
“No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children,” DeVos said in a statement released later in the day.
The website Fusion says the implications being made are difficult to misinterpret. Vox says conservatives can’t stop comparing DeVos protests to segregation. Huffington Post says people are shocked by the cartoon.
Chelsea Clinton wasn’t the only person to tweet about the McCoy’s cartoon.
The News-Democrat contributed to this report.