I didn’t realize that people actually thought this was the case:
President Barack Obama has taken a decidedly low-key approach to racial issues since he became America’s first black president two years ago. But in a hallway outside the Oval Office, he has placed a head-turning painting depicting one of the ugliest racial episodes in U.S. history.
Norman Rockwell’s “The Problem We All Live With,” installed in the White House last month, shows U.S. marshals escorting Ruby Bridges, a 6-year-old African-American girl, into a New Orleans elementary school in 1960 as court-ordered integration met with an angry and defiant response from the white community.
How does one say that with a straight face give Obama’s rapid ejection of Jeremiah Wright from his public circle of friends and his statement about police acting stupidly with reference to Henry Gates, to name a couple items? How is that low key?
From further down in the article, where Ruby Bridges is quoted, comes the most mind-bending piece of all:
But in an interview with POLITICO, Bridges, now 56 and still living in New Orleans, said she began reaching out to the president last year — through Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick — to move the painting to the White House because she believed the image would resonate with Obama.
“It did have a lot to do with this particular president,” Bridges said. “He is a president of mixed race. So I believe he is about the same things that I am. You cannot look at a person and judge him or her by the color of their skin. … I did feel if anyone would hang the painting, it would be him.”
Allow me to paraphrase. “His skin is like mine so he cares about the things I care about. You can’t judge a person by his skin.”
Color me confused.