Roswell newspaper publishes the most racist cartoon of the week… again

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Remember this? : “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”   

Someone should remind the Roswell Daily Record what it means to be New Mexican.

The newspaper made famous for publishing the story of a purported UFO crash in 1947 is becoming infamous in the 21st century for publishing the most racist editorial cartoon of the week – again.

The Roswell Daily Record, daily publication of 11,000 circulation covering Roswell, New Mexico, published this cartoon from cartoonist Keith Bell this week:

Roswell Daily Record, Editorial Cartoon by Keith Bell, Week of 2/15/15

Roswell Daily Record, Editorial Cartoon by Keith Bell, Week of 2/15/15

Here’s the message from the editorial page of the Daily Record to readers:

“Roswell signage suggestions…  to clear up any confusion about where some people should go.”

Those “some people” appear to be Chaves County’s estimated 35,676 Hispanic residents (see the US Census data here for that) that are told to go “811 miles west” to the “Cesar Chavez home and national monument” and the county’s 1,711 African-American residents who are told to go 1,272 miles east to the “Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home and national historic site.”

In case you didn’t get the full message, cartoonist Keith Bell added two birds chatting in the corner.  “What this town really needs is a Larry Bird Boulevard” says one.  “Yea!,” says the other.  You’ll remember Larry Bird as a world-renowned Boston Celtics player from the team’s 1980s-era NBA franchise.  We can’t find any record of him having any association with Roswell.

Sidebar: Larry Bird was recently at the center of another racist rant.  In April of last year, (Former) NBA owner Donald Sterlingwas questioned by his girlfriend about Bird when he said black people should not come to his LA Clippers games.


Take Action

The last two times the Roswell Daily Record published racist cartoons, leaders called for apologies but those fell on deaf ears.  It’s time to hold the advertisers who provide the funding for the paper’s public platform to be held accountable.

Take action and demand the Daily Record’s advertisers pull out of the paper until they sever ties with their cartoonist and apologize to New Mexicans they offended.

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And it’s not like the Daily Record can claim this one slipped by them.

In May 2011, the Daily Record was called out for publishing this cartoon that was considered racist against local Hispanics.

Roswell Daily Record, May 13, 2011

Then State Democratic Party Chair Javier Gonzales called on the paper and cartoonist to apologize.

Republican Governor Susana Martinez got in on the act a few months later saying the paper’s cartoons went “too far” after several others (sorry, we couldn’t find those by publishing time, but we’re still looking).  From KRQE in February 2012:

A series of political cartoons against driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants is causing quite a stir. Even the governor says the newspapers cartoons go too far.

The cartoons in the Roswell Daily Record poke fun at the law that gives driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. They’ve run in the paper over the last year, including one from Friday that features a caricature of an immigrant whose only able to muster the word “si.”

“Here you have a gentleman with a cap and a Mexican flag on it,” said Javier Martinez from the Partnership for Community Action. “You have this own here crossing the border. As a person of color, they’re very offensive.”

[Javier] Martinez called these political cartoons downright racist.

In case you were wondering how the local paper of record in a minority-majority county could get away with publishing racist editorials, you might be enlightened by data from the US Census which reports that while more than 1/2 of the county is Hispanic, Hispanics represent just 23% of the locally-owned businesses share that distinction.

And discrimination is nothing new to the alien city.  Public outcry over a proposed anti-gay city ordinance prompted city leaders to defeat the bill in 2013.  ProgressNowNM and Equality New Mexico led that action.

As you might expect, tourism counts for a huge portion of Roswell’s economy.  The State Tourism Department reported that tourist (of all stripes) contributed $132M to the county’s economy in 2011.  As a city square at the center of the Hispanic-heavy Southwest, promoting anti-Hispanic rhetoric on the editorial page of the paper of record is probably a bad idea.  Someone should tell the chamber of commerce.


Watch KOB-TV’s story here:

KOB TV's "Some Calling Roswell Carton Racist"

KOB TV’s “Some Calling Roswell Carton Racist”


Take Action

The last two times the Roswell Daily Record published racist cartoons, leaders called for apologies but those fell on deaf ears.  It’s time to hold the advertisers who provide the funding for the paper’s public platform to be held accountable.

Take action and demand the Daily Record’s advertisers pull out of the paper until they sever ties with their cartoonist and apologize to New Mexicans they offended.

b4cbe-sign_petition_button