Target: Glenn McCoy
Goal: Admit to the invalidity of a cartoon comparing billionaire Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ experience with that of Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white school in the South.
A cartoon comparing controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos with Ruby Bridges, the first black student to attend an all-white school in the south in a step towards integration, has been publicly criticized for its unjust message. Demand that the illustrator apologize for this offensive comparison and admit that the opposition an unqualified billionaire has faced is nothing like the violence a young black child faced for trying to attend school.
The Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois published a cartoon by Glenn McCoy that was meant to imitate Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With,” a painting detailing the walk of black 6-year-old Ruby Bridges into an all-white school as she was escorted by U.S. Marshals to protect her from a white mob.
DeVos has been criticized extensively by activists, educators and the public for wanting to change the U.S. school system to focus on private, Christian schools, for donating large sums of money to politicians in order to sway them toward her damaging views on education and her confirmation as Secretary of Education, her opposition of LGBTQ+ rights and more. DeVos has proven to be anything but a victim and is instead the epitome of white privilege and class privilege.
To compare her to a child who faced real danger to gain her right to an equal education is offensive. Demand the cartoonist apologize for this attempted smear on the struggle of Ruby Bridges and admit there are no real similarities between Bridges’ and DeVos’ experiences.
Dear Mr. McCoy,
You’ve already responded to the criticism surrounding your cartoon comparing Betsy DeVos to Ruby Bridges by attempting to apologize if anyone was “offended” and by doubling down on your stance that the two situations are similar.
To say that the longtime fight for civil rights that made Ruby Bridges’ walk so dangerous and historic is anywhere near the same as the valid criticism that Betsy DeVos has faced for buying her way into our government is unjust and perpetuates the support of white privilege in this country.
This cartoon is insulting the the countless lives that have been lost in the fight for civil rights by saying their hardships are the same as the objection faced by a white billionaire. Admit that these struggles are nothing alike and apologize for this slap in the face to those facing real, imminent struggles in this country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore