Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"THE PROBLEM WE ALL LIVE WITH"
That's the title of the famous Norman Rockwell painting dipicting Ruby Bridges of New Orleans walking to her first day of school.
Ms. Bridges was only six years old when her parents volunteered her to help integrate New Orleans schools. As a result, she became the subject of a Norman Rockwell painting that captures her innocence and the malignant hatred the little girl endured on the day she walked into the all white William Franz elementary school in NOLA.
"The court-ordered first day of integrated schools in New Orleans, November 14, 1960, was commemorated by Norman Rockwell in the painting The Problem We All Live With. As Bridges describes it, "Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras." Former United States Deputy Marshal Charles Burks later recalled, "She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn't whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier, and we're all very proud of her."--Wikipedia
The Norman Rockwell painting was recently placed in the White House on a temporary basis.
The election of our first bi-racial president has brought out the racism that never really disappeared after the Civil Rights Act, but, instead, went underground; and in parts of this country, flourished. All one has to do is read the comments under the report in Politico to understand that reality. All one has to do is look at the racist emails sent around by conservatives who think it's only a "joke" to depict the First Family as primates; all one has to do is stomach one afternoon listening to Rush Limbaugh bring Mr. Obama's race into his rants against the president's policies and then listen to his followers call it "comedy;" all one has to do is read the remarks spoken by members of the media and Congress--remarks that, make no mistake, are based on Mr. Obama's race.
This weekend a memorial to The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., will be dedicated at the Mall in Washington, and already I've read people complaining about this the way certain people complained when a day was set aside to honor Dr. King's birthday.
None of this surprises me; all of it saddens me. I thought, within my lifetime, I would see a lessening, not an increase of the problem we all live with.