Lopez: Albuquerque Journal's Insensitive Cartoon Does Not Represent State

Feb 7, 2018

Credit Senator Linda Lopez

  Commentary: I am astounded that the Albuquerque Journal would publish such an outrageous editorial cartoon on the Page A14 Opinion section on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, that equates Dreamers with criminal MS13 gang members. It is yet another glaring example of the ignorance, racism and hatred openly permeating throughout our country since the election of Donald Trump, only this time it is strangely happening in New Mexico.

Such a blatant portrayal of racism might be better suited for the highly segregated counties of the early 1900’s Deep South — or, perhaps the hallways of the present White House — rather than within the pages of New Mexico’s largest newspaper. Although the Land of Enchantment has a colorful history of violent strife between people of different ethnicities, I would like to believe that we have risen above the ugly turmoil and have grown as a state that welcomes and tolerates people who are different than ourselves. And, yes, that includes Dreamers, who have proven themselves to be exceptionally motivated and eager to become productive American citizens.

For the Albuquerque Journal to run such an insensitive portrayal of Dreamers by unfairly comparing them with one of society’s most violent and unsavory criminal elements exhibits yet another example of institutionalized racism. In addition, equating the MS13 thugs in the cartoon with future Democrats leaves us with an obvious insight of the newspaper’s institutionalized partisanship.

The Dreamers who I represent in my district, as well as others who live elsewhere, are some of the hardest working, most generous and highly motivated people that I know. If they are swept away as insignificant pawns in an irrational chess game of national politics, our society in general loses. They are exemplary role models who should positively motivate our own citizenry. The blatantly unfair portrayal of Dreamers that the Albuquerque Journal chose to publish is not acceptable. Period.

Ignorance and intolerance stifle the development of any healthy society and such attributes in the editorial cartoon are not in the welcoming spirit of true New Mexicans. Those who are steering the state’s largest newspaper should know that.