Formerly known as an unidentified hero of Google Earth for flipping off the Wisconsin Governor’s Mansion, the woman behind the notorious photo has erased the blur in front of her face and discussed the photo.
As noted by Mashable, the woman is Ruth Smith, a children’s librarian, mother of two and clear critic of Gov. Scott Walker.
The picture was originally taken in 2011 when Smith still lived in Madison, but wasn’t noticed until The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about it in 2014. Smith opened up to The Badger Herald after she noticed a previous article while perusing Facebook.
Woman gives Governor’s Mansion middle finger, is crowned hero of Google EarthGov. Scott Walker has been a controversial figure in Wisconsin, particularly in Dane County. As the 2016 election once again showed, Read…
“I didn’t even bother to look at the article because I knew right away, I was like, ‘That’s me!'” Smith said. “I remember when it happened, I remember running home and telling my husband and some friends, but I really never thought that it would come up on Google Earth.”
Arguably the most impressive part of the photo is how clear-headed Smith must have been to achieve the timing master-comics strive for.
Positive she is not the first person to flip off the Governor’s Mansion while walking past, Smith is proud to be the one who happened to be there as the Google Earth car drove past.
“I saw this tiny, little white car driving maybe 10 miles an hour with this huge tripod on the roof and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, is that…’ and I was like, ‘Oh yes it is!'”
While Smith wholeheartedly stands behind her decision to give the mansion the middle finger, she admitted she knows this isn’t the serious political solution America needs, but rather offers entertainment to those that may disagree with the current state of politics.
Expressing these sorts of feelings can be cathartic and important for expression, regardless of political beliefs. However, Smith said real conversation is what really counts.
“I’m glad it’s entertaining, but what I did is kind of a crude gesture and doesn’t mean it’s making a difference,” Smith said. “It’s something funny. It’s good to get that out of your system, but in truth it doesn’t leave much room for discussion and nothing really gets done by doing that.”
Strong political media coverage is something Smith values as America steps into a realm of uncertainty pertaining to the role of the media. Smith said that people shouldn’t just focus on superficial acts, such as her own.
Understanding a large majority of Americans would strongly oppose what Smith has done, her explanation for her actions remain valiant and humorous.
“I want to make sure we are focusing on the right things in terms of our media coverage and it’s fun to have something light, and to bring a little humor in this time of political darkness,” Smith said. “I am certainly not a hero in any stretch of the word.”