Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, immigration, Journalism Education

Albuquerque Journal accused of publishing ‘racist’ cartoon about Dreamers, decision also hurt reputable columnists and reporters

The Albuquerque Journal is feeling the public’s hate. Many are threatening a protest in front of the newspaper’s building and readers are cancelling their subscriptions.

Wednesday, the newspaper published a cartoon that many are calling “racist.” The Executive Director of the New Mexico LULAC Council said on Facebook “The comic portrays three youths dressed as thugs and terrorists and the caption reads ‘Now, Honey…I believe they prefer to be called ‘DREAMERS’…or future Democrats…”

Facebook Screenshot

The newspaper has been bombarded with hate emails, social media posts and more. Unfortunately also hurt by the publishing of this syndicated cartoon are the good reporters and columnists at the paper.

One of them is columnist, Joline Gutierrez Krueger. She had nothing to do with management’s decision to put the controversial cartoon in the Journal, but she is also being attacked for it. Here is what she shared on Facebook:


Facebook Screenshot


Joline told me  “This has been probably the roughest time I have ever dealt with, and I get criticism all the time.”

As I was writing this blog, Karen Moses, the editor-in-chief of the Journal issued an apology.

Political cartoons are often satire and poke at more than one point of view. I do not presume to know what cartoonist Sean Delonas was trying to convey in his cartoon that was published in Wednesday’s Albuquerque Journal. But on one level 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.

Obviously, that was not the message received by many readers. Instead, many saw an extremely objectionable cartoon and thought that was the position of the Journal. It is not.

In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, and for that, the Journal apologizesAlbuquerque-Journal-logo

In my opinion, Ms. Moses needs to apologize to her staff, especially the reporters and columnists who are out on the streets dealing with people face-to-face.

One more thing. I’m not sure how many Latinos work at the Albuquerque Journal, but next time ask one of them if a cartoon like this would be perceived as “racist.” I know if I was in that newsroom I would have said “Don’t publish it!”