Cartoon by Ramses II on Trump’s idea of building a wall that Mexicans should pay for. * “Barda” means Fence, barrier or wall.
Normally problems usually follow the publication of the cartoons, but in this case this has not been the case. The cartoonist has been fired in advance.
Raúl Martínez, a cartoonist from Tijuana (Mexico) who signs as Ramsés II, received on Saturday 30 July 2016 an email from The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper in San Diego, California, for which he worked.
The letter informed him of the decision not to publish his latest cartoon and informed him that his services were being terminated.
The newspaper, which is known for its conservative editorial line and at different times openly Republican, found the use of the Nazi swastika very extreme and Lilia O’Hara added that she had not heard Trump talk about war, so with this absurd argumentation they decided not to publish the cartoon and to fire him, all in one fell swoop.
Note the subliminality of his statement of intent that this is not the first time “the approach doesn’t work” and that he doesn’t want to “make it work twice”.
When you get to this point of extreme editorial “tutelage” there are only two possibilities, either the cartoons are really bad or the editor wants to mould and direct the author’s opinion without offering much room for movement or too many concessions to free expression. In this case my money is on the second option.
Mail published in the web by the author. (Click to enlarge)
This is how Raúl Martínez replied to the newspaper’s email.
And then he commented on the internet about his dismissal(Source)
“I thank my friends for the support they gave me today after I got my ass kicked by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
[…] Starting tomorrow I will get up stronger, shake off the dust and continue walking more firmly to be able to humbly communicate through my strokes the news as I have done uninterruptedly for 27 years”.
Raúl Martínez, Ramses II, draws for El Mexicano and previously for BC Noticias.
Interview with Raúl Martínez
Martín Raúl Martínez Robles, better known by the pseudonym “Ramses II”, which is an abbreviation of his first and last names ( RAúl MartíneZ roblES ) and the “II” is because his father RAúl MartíneZ roblES “Ramses”, who was also an editorial cartoonist at the now defunct Diario Baja California, invented this pseudonym, only he changed the “Z” in Martínez for “S” so that it would read like the Egyptian pharaoh “RAMSÉS”.
Born in Hermosillo, Sonora (Mexico), where he has lived all his life, 45 years in this border city of Tijuana Baja California, with which he claims to feel identified and which he considers his city.
How long have you been working for The San Diego Union-Tribune and how often did you send your cartoons?
On Saturday 19 March 2016 was my first public appearance in the pages of the weekly Hoy San Diego edited and directed by Mrs. Lilia O’Hara.
The weekly San Diego Hoy, is an alternative weekly to the prestigious and largest daily newspaper in San Diego, California, called“The San Diego Union-Tribune“, a conservative / republican newspaper 100% Anglo-Saxon.
Cover of an issue of Hoy San Diego from March 2016
It was not until Saturday, July 30, 2016 that Ms. O’Hara notified me via email. After having sent her my cartoon, she decided to terminate the working relationship, making it clear that she was leaving the editorial cartooning services because it was not convenient for the newspaper HOY and for me. At the same time she thanked me for my enthusiasm and wished me “the best of luck”. Lilia also offered to send me the invoice for my last cartoon.
This work was published only once a month and I remained a contributor for six consecutive months.
I did the cartoons and sent them from my office in Tijuana.
Were the cartoons published in print or also online?
The cartoons I did for“Hoy San Diego” were done with pencil and sometimes with brush and India ink, scanned, illuminated with computer programs and sent via e-mail.
Hoy San Diego used to publish them in the printed newspaper even though they have an online page. I don’t know why they were not published there.
I understand that the paper has gone through different stages in terms of its editorial line.
You didn’t think you could get in trouble sending a cartoon like that to a conservative/republican paper?
So far I think the United States of America is a 100% free country where freedom of speech exists, or at least I thought it did.
I have seen TV shows, cartoonists from that same country making fun of the Republican candidate Donald Trump. J I have never heard of anyone being sued, put in jail, fired from their job or had them assassinated.
It’s worth noting that, within newspapers, editors seem to confuse that a cartoon graphically represents a reporter’s story. In my view, a cartoon does not represent a reporter’s story. On the contrary, the political cartoon informs by itself and also gives an opinion of its own in a cruder and simpler way.
In a few words I synthesise the news and at the same time I can give an opinion of a fact.
Cartoon published in March/2016 in Hoy San Diego, curiously presents Donald Trump “sowing hate”. It accompanies an opinion piece critical of Trump.
What do you think of the reasons you were offered for terminating the relationship?
It seems very drastic to me, taking into account that the cartoon is unpublished, it was never published, and as long as the cardboard remains inside the newsroom, changes can be suggested to the texts, patches to the graphics and even the total change of the cartoon and theme itself.
But to dismiss for a fact that has not caused damage to the newspaper company really does seem excessive to me. Besides, I always offered the editor the freedom to choose the theme she suggested and received silence in response.
In the email you publish, the newspaper talks about other cases in which“the cartoon approach has not worked“. What exactly did they mean? Have they rejected other cartoons before?
On one occasion I sent an issue related to the right to medical services for children under 19 years of age of undocumented parents in California, this was a proposal made two years ago by senators that the editor of Hoy San Diego said she didn’t know about.
The editor of the publication rejected my cardboard because she said she was unaware that the story was already a law. She said she didn’t have a story to back up my cartoon, so we both agreed to change the subject.
I later received an email from the editor saying that she was right about the issue and that she would ask a reporter to handle the story.
As far as I can see there is no such blurring but rather it seems that the editor is misinformed.
I haven’t found many reviews on the subject. What has been the repercussion of your dismissal in the media? Have you received support from other authors?
Yes, I have received a lot of support, even from the public, they have shared my articles many times, I have been interviewed by UNIVISION from Los Angeles, a television station from Tecate, Periodismo Negro from Mexicali, the magazine Códice from Tecate, I received support from the Comisión Ciudadana de Derechos Humanos del Noroeste AC and the Asociación de Periodistas de Tijuana (APT) notified FAPERMEX Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas Mexicanos, AC.
*Images sent by the author.
Related: more cases in other countries