In the same room that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gave his speech, a Chicano cartoonist spoke loudly through his cartoons. Lalo Alcaraz has been an artist for the Arizona Republic and the Los Angeles Weekly.
Alcaraz draws on topics of the day. He covers subjects as diverse as health care reform, the voting rights of women in Iran and the sectarian violence in Israel.
“My main thing has been to call out hypocrisy,” Alcaraz said.
Immigration and other issues involving Chicanos are Alcaraz’s main focus. Alcaraz incorporates pop-culture references for a light-hearted approach to political cartoons.
Alcaraz addressed the issue of immigration with a few key words.
“You can build as many border walls as you want, but it won’t change the fact that we are intertwined,” said Alcaraz referring to the United States-Mexican border.
He first became interested in drawing when he was a high school art teacher’s assistant. Alcaraz then met a group of Chicano muralists that showed him, “it’s okay to put politics in art and not just draw pretty pictures.”
Alcaraz received much attention for a cartoon he drew called “The Little Judge.” The cartoon depicts his daughter pretending to be a judge while a picture of Sonia Sotomayor hangs in the background.
Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice in 2009.
She hung a copy of the cartoon in her office.
“Each time I look at it, it gives me the motivation to continue,” Sotomayor said in a thank-you note she sent to Alcaraz.
The cartoonist unveiled his newest work, “Fuertes con el Censo 2010.” The comic, commissioned by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, depicts an immigrant family in the United States that is afraid to fill out the census form.
Alcaraz ended his speech by drawing a picture of his character “La Cucaracha,” and dedicating it to MCC.
To find more information and view cartoons by Alcaraz, visit his Web site at http://www.laloalcaraz.com