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Arts & Culture

Political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz brings his award-winning comic strip La Cucaracha to San Antonio

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Through these projects, Alcaraz was able to address issues such as anti-immigrant hysteria, racism, police brutality, and the lack of Latino media representation to eager audiences at colleges and community centers around the country. And while other Latino artists were pushing for acceptance in the entertainment industry and academia, Alcaraz was pushing societal buttons and boundaries through a more subversive approach.

In 1994 at the height of anti-immigrant hysteria in California, Alcaraz and Pocho co-founder Esteban Zul challenged then-California Governor Pete Wilson's anti-immigrant hard-line policies by creating an even harder-lined fictitious support group called Hispanics for Wilson. Led by Daniel D. Portado ("Daniel D. Ported," Alcaraz in Hispanic drag), Hispanics for Wilson issued a press release on September 16, 2004 that called for undocumented immigrants to "self-deport." Neither Telemundo, which interviewed a deadpan "Daniel D. Portado" on international television, nor Pete Wilson, who later espoused self-deportation, realized they'd been had until it was too late.

Although Alcaraz was surprised to have self-deportation resurface last year, he thinks Romney's defeat was a sign of positive change.

"The whole country is rejecting these backwards ideas," he said.

Hear Alcaraz talk about Mexican Mitt, his controversial political cartoons, his award-winning comic strip La Cucaracha, and his website pocho.com (for which this writer is a contributor) at the McNay on Saturday. Alcaraz's presentation is part of the "Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection" exhibition which ends its run on January 27.

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