You probably don’t think of Norman Rockwell as incendiary, but his 1960 painting “The problem we all live with,” now on loan to the White House, which has hung it in the West Wing, was unsettling, and intentionally so. And that’s a good thing, remarks Pejman Yousefzadeh:
Yes, we have made tremendous strides when it comes to race relations, and yes, the election of an African-American President ought to be celebrated even by those who disagree with that President politically, given that that it shows us that America has come a long way since the days when a little girl could be called the n-word merely for wanting to be educated. But of course, racism still exists, and it needs to be confronted. Confronting it by hanging a painting in the White House whose image is designed to unsettle is a small act. But it is a positive and important one.
Besides, it’s not feasible to hang either the remaining white separatists or the professional race-baiters, in the West Wing or anywhere else.