It is my duty to inform you that extremely bigoted editorial cartoonist Sean Delonas is, as they say, “at it again.” This time, it’s in the pages of the Albuquerque Journal, where his latest squiggle has prompted widespread condemnation and a truly lame apology from the Journal’s editor.
On Wednesday, The Journal published a Delonas piece featuring a white couple being robbed by a pair of Latinx gang members, and a (presumably Muslim) suicide bomber carrying a machete for some unexplained reason.
“Now, honey,” the man is shown explaining to his wife, “I believe they prefer to be called ‘Dreamers’ … or future Democrats …”
The cartoon immediately prompted harsh rebukes, including from both of New Mexico’s senators:
Delonas—who has a well-documented history of using his medium to punch way, way down—has not responded publicly over the outcry. However, late Wednesday evening, Journal editor Karen Moses issued a statement addressing the offensive take:
Our editorial pages offer views from all sides of the spectrum, and we realize some of the content will offend readers.
We do not agree with many of those views, but their purpose is to spark discussion and debate. In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, nor does the Journal condone racism or bigotry in any form.
See, they didn’t want to offend anyone with the racism. They’re just trying to show “views from all sides of the spectrum.” Sure.
Journal opinion page editor D’Val Westphal also offered her opinion on the cartoon:
I read the cartoon as the muggers being clearly labeled as MS-13, and the conservative Anglo couple – with red tie and red purse, i.e. red state – reacting out of fear and labeling their attackers as ‘Dreamers’ and even Democrats. In my mind, it shows that fear and ignorance allow some groups to paint all with a broad brush.
Again, Delonas is a well-known racist who was definitely not trying to spark a conversation about fear and ignorance, but good luck with the “dumb Anglos” defense.
We live in a very politicized and reactionary time. But the mission of an editorial page is to explore all sides of an issue, to make people think and debate and examine closely the opposing view of an argument.
Unfortunately, this cartoon did not inspire that kind of discussion.
Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Others, like this one, are worth only two: Fuck off.