Several years ago, Google Earth captured a Madison, Wisconsin, woman giving the a big middle finger to the state’s governors mansion. Today, she’s become an internet hero.
The lakeside compound where the photos were snapped is home to controversial politician (and failed Republican presidential candidate) Scott Walker. The woman, who Mashable has identified as Ruth Smith, told us she actually made the gesture in June 2011 right as Walker was facing a contentious recall vote. Though, her sentiment is as relevant for angry progressives today as it was then.
Smith, a childrens librarian and a mother of two, said she’d made a habit out of giving the finger or yelling something if she passed the mansion while out on a run. That day, however, she spotted a small white car with camera tripod approaching, so she held her gesture higher and longer than she might have otherwise. Sure enough as the car passed she saw the Google logo and felt triumphant.
Her protest was first spotted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 2014, but it wasnt until this week that the story really took off after her one-woman demonstration was highlighted by local paper the Badger Herald. Smith, who left Madison for Colorado in 2014, says the reaction has been mostly positive. Shes glad people appreciate the humor in the admittedly crude gesture, but she took pains to say the attention should really be on those who are out there working every day for social justice.
Still, her middle finger move seems to be hitting a nerve and has made her into the hometown hero the people need for the Trump era.
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