Obama Installs Racially Charged Painting

Norman Rockwell work includes racial epithet

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 24, 2011 3:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – The nation's first black president has hung a painting with the N-word outside the Oval Office, in a nod to the civil rights movement, reports Politico. President Obama last month had Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With" installed in the White House; the painting shows a black child, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges, en route to her newly integrated New Orleans school as the wall behind her shows graffiti including the racial epithet and "KKK," as well as a splattered tomato.

Bridges herself, now 56, lobbied the president to install the painting. “It did have a lot to do with this particular president,” Bridges says. “He is a president of mixed race. I did feel if anyone would hang the painting, it would be him.” Obama invited Bridges to the White House to see the painting, telling her, “I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here, and we might not be looking at this together."

President Obama and Ruby Bridges look at Norman Rockwell's The Problem We All Live With.
President Obama and Ruby Bridges look at Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With."   (White House)
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