Is Betsy DeVos the New Ruby Bridges?


Ruby Bridges, November 11, 1960.  That is one brave 6-year-old.

I am sure many of you are familiar with Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting The Problem We All Live With.  The painting depicts Ruby Bridges, a 6-year-old black child who desegregated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.  The painting shows Bridges being escorted to school by federal marshals amid attacks from white protesters.  It is an iconic image of the Civil Rights Movement:


Last week Glenn McCoy, a conservative political cartoonist, compared the plight of Ruby Bridges to the plight of Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education.  I am assuming that McCoy is comparing the Bridges episode to this:

Frankly, I think DeVos was treated poorly by these protesters.  But I don’t think the way she was treated merits McCoy’s comparison:


Princeton historian Kevin Kruse has been quite critical of McCoy’s historical comparison and the people who are defending it.  You can read his tweets here.

.  Here are a few of them: