This comic from 2010 by political cartoonist Chris Britt hangs on Senator Ricardo Lara’s wall.
A group of anti-immigrant activists asked the city council Tuesday night to remove a satirical comic strip hanging in State Senator Ricardo Lara’s office in Long Beach after the group already appeared at his office to protest the comic‘s appearance on the wall.
“I find it to be condescending to the citizens of Arizona, the police officer community and people of German descent,” said Janet West, a representative from the protesting group We the People Rising.
The cartoon features police officers with guns pointed at a car full of Hispanic people while speaking with stereotypical German accents. A sign bearing the words “Velcome to Arizona: If You’re Brown, Leave Town” is situated above the officers.
The activists, identifying themselves as belonging to an anti-undocumented, grassroots organization, requested that the council force Lara to take down the cartoon.
“I find this wall hanging racist and very offensive. I believe they need to remove that wall hanging and we also should get a letter of apology from the city of Long Beach for even having that sort of picture on their wall,” activist Janice Montgomery said.
Senator Lara defended his decision to post the artwork in a statement, noting its satire:
“The satirical piece depicts Arizona’s well-known, discriminatory, anti-immigrant and anti-Latino attitudes in recent history. I obtained the piece at an ACLU of Southern California event where I proudly accepted the Legislator of the Year Award in the Assembly for my work on behalf of all Californians.”
The complaint was made during the council meeting’s public comment portion, so the council has not discussed the issue in session.
This is not the first time We the People Rising has gone after Lara.
The group’s website urged constituents to protest the enacting of SB 1159, which Lara sponsored. It was made law in late September of this year. The law allows people seeking professional licenses to use voter identification cards instead of social security numbers as proof of identity. The move panicked conservatives, who worry that it provides a loophole for people who entered the U.S. illegally to obtain professional licenses.
In the end, Lara seems unmoved, noting that while he “certainly respect individual art critiques, and also value diversity of opinion such as those expressed by the artist, the art piece will remain on the wall and my district office will continue to welcome all constituents, even those belonging to groups like the Tea Party.”
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