Newspaper Under Fire For Alleged Racist Cartoon
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DETROIT — A Dearborn newspaper has been accused of publishing a racist cartoon, Local 4 reported.
The cartoon featured in the Sunday, June 19 edition of the Dearborn Press & Guide has touched off a firestorm from ethnic groups across metro Detroit who characterized it as derogatory and incredibly divisive, the station reported.
The cartoon depicted what appeared to be a Mexican man wearing a sombrero who had just crawled through a hole in the border. The man in the sombrero was holding his hand out to what appeared to be a white man who was labeled as a “taxpayer.” The dialogue for the man with the sombrero read as follows: “No amigo, I’m not interested in the immigration office. Just the welfare office!”
The bottom of the cartoon read: “Services for legal and illegal immigrants cost taxpayers over $68 billion per year.”
About 30 representatives from different ethnic communities including the American Jewish Committee, Institute of Mexicans in Michigan, the Council of American Islamic Relations and several other groups, gathered Thursday morning at New Detroit Inc. on West Grand Boulevard to speak out against Jim Williams, the president of Heritage Newspapers, which publishes the Press & Guide.
Ismel Ahmed, the director of ACCESS, an Arab community social services organization, received a disturbing letter in the mail after the cartoon ran in the paper, the station reported. The letter stated:
“It is a shame that the cartoon in the paper singled out Mexican people. It should have singled out your Arab people. What do your people contribute to Dearborn? Tax evasion. Narcotics pedaling. Noise. Dirty houses. Women wrapped up like mummies, and now even murder. You people are a curse on Dearborn. You are the worst people to come to this country.”
Ahmed said his organization believes the letter is an example of the kind of thinking that the cartoon has inspired.
The community leaders plan to picket in front of the newspaper’s offices and have asked advertisers to pull their support and readers to cancel their subscriptions. They are also asking for a meeting with the publisher to discuss the issue.
(Posted on July 28, 2005)