Historian Kevin Kruse Takes Down Conservatives’ Betsy DeVos / Ruby Bridges Comparison

So, yesterday afternoon, this happened:

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We are apparently that far through the looking-glass.

The cartoon refers to an incident last week when a handful of protestors blocked DeVos from entering a public school in Washington, D.C. DeVos was ultimately able to enter the school. Many Democrats later condemned any efforts to prevent DeVos from entering public schools, arguing that it is important for DeVos to gain greater understanding of the positive work done by public schools. And yet, someone saw fit to create the above cartoon.

The cartoon, of course, copies a famous Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges, a black girl who desegregated her New Orleans elementary school. For a year, Bridges walked to school every day flanked by U.S. marshals assigned to protect her from the enraged and violent crowds of white protestors. But I’ll let historian Kevin Kruse explain, because he took this cartoon down, and he took it down hard.

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Kevin Kruse is a historian of the twentieth century U.S. at Princeton. He literally wrote the book on white flight. Actually, if you’re interested, I highly recommend reading his book. I read it several years ago, and was both fascinated and horrified by what I learned. All of this is to say that Kruse is highly qualified to address the issue at hand—and I am very glad that he did.

In the meantime, I’m with journalist Jamelle Bouie on this one:

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