The Indianapolis Star on Saturday said it “erred” in publishing a cartoon that depicted undocumented immigrants crashing a white family’s Thanksgiving dinner.
The cartoon by Gary Varvel showed the white family’s patriarch holding a turkey at the head of the table and saying “Thanks to the President’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.” A man in a mustache and two others are shown climbing into the family’s dining room through a window.
The cartoon was published Friday, the day after President Barack Obama announced executive actions to temporarily shield approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
At one point on Saturday, the newspaper apparently edited out the “immigrant” man’s mustache:
— Margarita (@margarita) November 22, 2014
The newspaper later removed the cartoon altogether. Executive editor Jeff Taylor called the cartoon “inappropriate” in a column explaining its removal.
“Gary did not intend to be racially insensitive in his attempt to express his strong views about President Barack Obama’s decision to temporarily prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants living and working illegally in the United States,” Taylor wrote. “But we erred in publishing it.”
Taylor wrote that Gary instead meant to “illustrate the view of many conservatives and others that the president’s order will encourage more people to pour into the country illegally.” He added that removing the cartoon was not to be construed as a comment on Varvel’s particular take on the immigration debate.
“The depictions in this case were inappropriate; his point could have been expressed in other ways,” Taylor wrote.
View the cartoon below:
Screengrab via Margarita Noriega
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.