Albuquerque Journal’s editorial cartoon creates controversy

A cartoon in the Opinion section of the Albuquerque Journal sparked controversy Wednesday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, it has a lot of people outraged.

When readers opened their issue of the Albuquerque Journal on Wednesday, they saw a cartoon in the Opinion section.

It shows a couple being held at gunpoint by a trio of young gang members. The husband, with his hands up, says, “Now honey, I believe they prefer to be called ‘Dreamers’…or future Democrats.”

That cartoon is now causing a lot of backlash with people here in Albuquerque.

“This is just false,” said Jennifer Tucker.

“Super, super disappointed in the Albuquerque Journal, that is not okay,” said Gabriela Hernandez.

The image has also created a stir in Washington.

In a joint statement, members of New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation say they respect the free press, but they do not agree with referring to a group of people as criminals and that it’s obviously racist.

“It’s not only attacking undocumented youth and families, it’s also attacking Democrats. So what does that say about the Albuquerque Journal? Where do they stand?” said Selena Ortiz.

The picture itself was syndicated from a website called Cagle Cartoons.

After receiving a lot of backlash for the cartoon, the Journal published two articles.

Karen Moses, the Journal’s Editor in Chief, says the goal of the image was to only create a conversation and not to offend anyone.

She added, “It appeared to us to be poking at President Trump’s rhetoric by portraying a quaking Republican couple who were painting Dreamers with a broad, totally false, brush.”

She apologized if it offended anyone, but for many people in Albuquerque, the damage has been done.

“This is not how you engage a conversation, by attacking our immigrant community,” said Ortiz.

“We’re not criminals. Our youth are not criminals. Our families are not criminals,” said Hernandez.

The DACA program is expected to expire next month. On top of speaking out against the cartoon image in the paper, many people marched downtown this afternoon to protest the end of the DACA program.

A protest is also planned at the Albuquerque Journal’s building Thursday night. It’s being organized by The Answer Coalition of New Mexico.

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