Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Reason President Obama Hung A Racial Painting in the White House: Is It Art or Politics?

Pictured with President Obama are Ruby Bridges (the subject of the painting) and two reps of the Norman Rockwell Museum

In July 2011, President Obama hung Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting “The Problem We All Live With”  in a hallway near the Oval Office. As a result, a debate has started as to President Obama's motives for hanging the painting. Some view it as a political move meant to quiet the criticism the president has faced for his failure to address problems in the black community. On the other hand, there are people who feel there's no agenda behind the hanging of the painting (which reportedly will remain there until October 2011).

Last Friday, The Young Turks had an interesting debate on the topic. I side with Michael Shure. In addition to not thinking putting the painting up is political, I also don't believe President Obama is naive enough to think such a gesture would appease those disappointed because he hasn't fixed problems such as the high unemployment rate among African-Americans. Also, according to an article on Politico.com, President Obama keeps other emblems of the civil rights movement near him so the hanging of the Rockwell painting isn't an isolated incident.

One last thing, I also disagree with Cenk Uygur's assessment that the hanging of the painting is safe from criticism by the "Fox News of the world". Please! Cenk should know better than practically anyone how the right-wing noise machine operates.

What do you think... was the hanging of the painting a political move or not?

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