Things That Matter

This Cartoonist’s Right To Free Speech Is Under Threat As He Loses His Job For A Cartoon About Trump’s Failed Immigration Policies

Political cartoons often land the artist in hot water – either with the public or their political target. But few could have seen this coming.

A Canadian cartoonist lost a long-term work contract with a news organization for a cartoon that they didn’t even publish.

The Canadian artist created this cartoon and allegedly lost his job because of it.

Credit: @Jason_Chatfield / Twitter

A Canadian cartoonist’s illustration of President Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants went viral last week. Two days later, Michael de Adder said on Twitter that he had been fired by a publishing company in New Brunswick, Canada.

De Adder’s illustration depicted Trump asking the two dead migrants, “Do you mind if I play through?”

The cartoon refers to the image of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, lying face down in water surrounded by reeds. The two drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River to get into the United States.

Both the cartoonist’s original piece and the tweet announcing that he had been fired have both gone viral.

The tweet that broke the news of his firing, has nearly 100,000 retweets, almost 200,000 likes, and close to 10,000 comments.

However, De Adder has taken to social media to clarify a few things after all the tweets started going viral.

Credit: @deAdder / Twitter

“The highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick,” De Adder tweeted. He later clarified that he had technically been under contract to work for Brunswick News Inc., and wasn’t an employee who could be fired.

In a tweet on Monday, de Adder said he never submitted the cartoon to Brunswick News “for fear that I might be fired.”

He told CNN Business in an interview on Monday that the cartoon ran in the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax on June 29, “after it went viral but before it went supernova.”

He described himself as feeling overwhelmed by the situation. “The way I was let go was swift and fell on the heels of the last refugee cartoon,” de Adder said. “I had every reason to suspect it was over that cartoon. … I was given no reason. I inquired and inquired,” he told CNN Business.

He added: “It was clearly my work. And Trump was always their No. 1 concern with me. Always.” He said he stopped sending Trump cartoons, adding “It got heated every time there was a Trump in the lineup.”

Reactions on Twitter came in fast and furious since de Adder tweeted his cartoon and news of him losing his job first broke.

Credit: @afcoory / Twitter

Like this Twitter user who pointed out the stupidity of the whole situation – that a cartoon upset the President of the United States and resulted in the firing of a journalist. That’s not how things are supposed to happen.

So, as she suggests, make sure you retweet the image so Trump continues to be annoyed by it.

Other’s hoped all the attention would help the artist win a Pulitzer for the cartoon.

Credit: @markmobility / Twitter

We’re sure he wouldn’t have trouble gaining the support of a few people.

And some expressed anger and outrage that the cartoonist depicting Trump’s immigration policies was fired, while the people actually creating the policies have faced zero punishment.

Credit: @renato_mariotti / Twitter

It’s become quite obvious where people’s priorities lay and unfortunately, with the US government, they do not lay with migrants or immigration rights.

Many called out the shocking consequences of simply telling the truth.

Credit: @Jason_Chatfield / Twitter

With all the talk of #fakenews, it’s shocking that when a journalist/artist is telling the truth and calling out the Trump administration for its inhumane and deadly immigration policies, they lose their job.

While many took to Twitter to express their solidarity with de Adder and to stand by his creative expression.

Credit: @nobyrnelaw / Twitter

Other’s were calling for a boycott of the media organization that terminated its contract with de Adder.

READ: Say Their Names: This Father-Daughter Pair Were Found Dead, Washed Up On Banks Of Rio Grande After Attempting To Swim Across

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

Things That Matter

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

A Texas sheriff is eating his words after his bigotted comments came back to bite him in the worst way.

A day after Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn referred to undocumented immigrants as “drunks” who would “run over” children, his own son was reportedly arrested on charges of public intoxication. It has also been revealed that his son Sergei Waybourn has been arrested before. In 2018 he was charged with assault and in recent years he was arrested for trespassing and theft.

Sheriff Waybourn’s comments sparked controversy when he spoke against undocumented immigrants at a press conference in Washington.

Last Thursday, the sheriff spoke at the conference alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence. Speaking in response to a ruling by a federal California judge made last month that imposed restrictions on ICE’s use of “detainers,” Waybourn underlined the consequences of releasing illegal immigrants with DWI and other crimes.

U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr.’s decision barred ICE from using online database searches to find and detain people based. Recently, the ACLU stated that since 2008, 2 million US citizens have been illegally detained because of such searches.

Waybourn pointed to his charge of inmates to give examples of high rates of repeat offenders. “If we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood,” Waybourn said according to New York Post. “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children.”

After his comments, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens called for Waybourn’s resignation.

According to Dallas Morning News, Domingo Garcia said Waybourn ought to “resign and apologize for his bigoted comments immediately.”

In response, Waybourne said his comments had been taken out of contexts and his office released a statement saying that “Sheriff Waybourn was not referring to all legal or illegal immigrants when making his comments about DWI/DWI repeat offenders. He was speaking toward the charges of DWI and DWI repeat offender in the context of illegal immigration.”

In response to the news of his son’s arrest, the sheriff said he is “deeply saddened by Sergei’s choices.”

According to WFAA, he said that “It has been many years since he disassociated from our family. We, along with many family members have made efforts over the years to help him – all to no avail. It is always sad when drugs take control of a person’s life. His choices and actions have lead to this situation.”

ICE Keeps People In Cages And Now A New Survey Proves It’s America’s Most Hated Government Agency

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ICE Keeps People In Cages And Now A New Survey Proves It’s America’s Most Hated Government Agency

Pew Research Center, a reliable source for polling about U.S. politics and policy, found that Americans like ICE the least of all federal agencies. While public trust in federal institutions is at a historic low, many expressed favorable views of agencies that provide social services and goods. 

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. postal service (free mail delivery!) ranked highest with 90 percent, with the National Park Service coming in a close second at 86 percent, and NASA in at third with 81 percent. 

However, Pew notes, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the sole agency asked about in the survey viewed more negatively (54% unfavorable) than positively (42% favorable), while the public is divided in its view of the Department of Education (48% favorable, 48% unfavorable).”

ICE ranked the worst federal agency by Americans.

While ICE is the most hated federal agency, the distaste for the organization is largely split across partisan lines. About 70 percent of Republicans and right of center independents view ICE favorably, but only 19 percent of Democrats and left of center independents do. However, overall ICE had the lowest favorability ranking of the bunch with the least percentage of 42% and the highest percentage of unfavorability with a percentage of 54. 

Other organizations that were ranked unfavorable were ones that appear to be failing the public, the second most-hated was the Department of Education, and the third most-hated was Veterans Affairs. Both of the organizations have been under scrutiny for years, while the Dept of Ed. has come under more fire under United States Secretary of Education and Trump appointee Betsy DeVos. 

Criticism of ICE mounts with Abolish ICE.

Abolish ICE is a political movement that advocates for the abolition of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Abolish ICE has gained more momentum since 2017 when the Trump administration began ramping up stricter immigration policies, including banning Muslims, diverting $6.2 billion in funds to build a wall at the southern border between U.S. and Mexico, and utilizing a child separation policy. 

Abolish ICE proponents note that ICE was created in 2003, and thus, it is not necessary to monitor immigration and maintain border security. 

“In this era, ICE has just taken off the gloves, going full throttle without regard to consequences,” Katrina Eiland, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrant Rights Project, told PS Mag. “This is a perfect example of that. They don’t have any logical enforcement priorities anymore—everyone is an enforcement priority.”

While ICE was initially intended to monitor and deport immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S., under the Trump administration, and sometimes in Obama’s, it has been used to track those who have committed the “crime” of entering the U.S. without documentation. 

Activist and writer Sean McElwee is credited with popularizing the #AbolishICE hashtag in 2017 which catapulted it into a movement in the real world spawning protests. The Hill also notes that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought the call to action into the political sphere. 

“The biggest moment for the Abolish ICE movement though came after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, upset Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), in a primary. As she leapt into the spotlight, she brought the calls to abolish ICE, into the national debate,” according to The Hill

“Within days of her victory, abolishing ICE had become a litmus test for Democrats running in the midterms and for those seen as potential 2020 presidential contenders.” 

Advocates believe ICE is a tool of white supremacy.

ICE has used increasingly brutal tactics like force-feeding detainees on hunger strikes, arresting citizens on the basis that they “look Hispanic,” and arresting undocumented immigrants when they show up for court appearances. 

The ACLU believes ICE and Border Patrol have increasingly abused their power, claiming their removal tactics take away immigrants’ rights to a fair hearing and that they potentially violate many of the Fourth Amendment’s protections including, ” the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and freedom from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and national origin.” 

“The central assumption of ICE in 2018 is that any undocumented immigrant is inherently a threat. In that way, ICE’s tactics are philosophically aligned with racist thinkers like Richard Spencer,” McElwee told PS Mag

“Though the [Democratic] party has moved left on core issues from reproductive rights to single-payer health care, it’s time for progressives to put forward a demand that deportation be taken not as the norm but rather as a disturbing indicator of authoritarianism.” 

Pew notes that just 17 percent of adults say they trust the federal government to do what is right, while 71 percent say they trust the government “only some of the time.” While it remains to be seen if ICE will ever be abolished, it is clear that the majority of Americans would prefer it that way.