Glenn McCoy can of course draw whatever he wants. And the Belleville News-Democrat can run whichever of his drawings it thinks is worthwhile editorial. It’s disappointing to this reader, however, that you find worthwhile his recent cartoon depicting Betsy DeVos in Norman Rockwell’s iconic school desegregation painting.
Who in their right mind can conflate the plight of African-American schoolchildren in the 1960s with that of a billionaire who wants to privatize education and donated her way to become education secretary? The former braved mobs of tomato-throwing racists because they wanted a top-quality, public school education. The latter, a former ingénue of private schools, turned tail when confronted by a gaggle of protestors as she tried to enter a Washington D.C. school. What does Betsy DeVos want? To upend a public education system she was never enrolled in and knows nothing about.
In Rockwell’s painting, a young girl is walking past a wall on which a racist slur has been written in all caps. In McCoy’s depiction, that word is replaced with the word “Conservative.” Anyone who feels that “conservative” has come to be as pejorative as one of the most hateful words in our language deserves pity (i.e. they’re pitiful). They also clearly need an education.
David Momphard, Collinsville