Letters to the Editor

Feedback on Joel Pett's Nov. 19 cartoon

Cartoon illogical

If the intention of cartoonist Joel Pett was to criticize Matt Bevin’s immigration policy, it’s interesting how he completely missed the fact that the cartoon makes the opposite case. The fact that Bevin adopted refugees -- and pays for them with his own money (not taxpayer money), welcoming them into his own home -- annihilates the fearful racist charge.

This lack of logic is further proof that our current political divisions can’t be bridged with reason. It would have been much more effective for the newspaper to come up with a substantive argument. This behavior is a microcosm of our country's current political climate.

We can do better. We must.

Amy Scott


Cartoon on target

I want to thank Joel Pett’s for his cartoon and column about Matt Bevin and his tantrum concerning the cartoon. The counties where Medicaid is most used certainly got what they voted for and what they will potentially lose. Bevin comes out with so many tyrannical edicts as to be almost, but not quite, funny. Does he really think can make us shake in our boots?

I believe he has delusions of grandeur and should re-read the Bill of Rights concerning freedom of the press and freedom of speech. His threats -- “our administration won’t tolerate” and his taxes are “nobody’s business,” are laughable at best, tragic at worst.

Joel Pett is a political cartoonist of the highest regard and I have always enjoyed his cartoons. His sense of rightness is so on target, and, since Kentucky is now, by its own ignorance and true lack of education, stuck with Bevin, I look forward to your responses in the next four years.

Debra Stewart


Bevin thin-skinned

Like many others, I find Joel Pett’s cartoon tasteless. However, if Gov.-elect Matt Bevin is going to let this kind of shot stick to him to the extent that he feels he has to respond to it, he’ll have precious little time for governing.

Still, Pett felt the need to respond and explain, which tells me that he understands that the cartoon did not convey its (or any) essential point. A political cartoon should be well-drawn, clever and poignant. Pett’s cartoons are usually none of the above, and this one is no exception.

David P. Nutgrass


Slap at the adopted

I am writing in response to the offensive editorial cartoon targeting innocent children as terrorists because they joined a family through the gift of adoption. Shame on Joel Pett and the paper for printing this. We teach our children to not bully others due to differences and yet you dismiss this and target innocent children to bully.

Children who are chosen through the gift of adoption are not considered by their parents as “adopted children,” only as our children. An apology is owed to the Bevin family as well as all adoptive families.

Amy Matthews


Racist standard

Joel Pett’s cartoon is quite possibly the most racist piece I have ever seen in the Herald-Leader. Dragging a political leader’s family into the fray has become standard practice sadly, but this is beyond the pale. If Gov-elect Matt Bevin’s adopted children were any other race or ethnicity, this cartoon would have never been made.

Lexington’s Arts Review Board recently suggested to Mayor Jim Gray that the Breckinridge and Morgan monuments be removed from the courthouse square because, among other reasons, they do not meet our collective community standards. Please explain how Pett’s cartoon comes anywhere near meeting those standards. even considering his typical satirical takes on all things current events.

Wayne Fielder


Bevin hypocritical

My parents adopted me and my two sisters, but I have an issue with foreign adoptions. From time to time the media embrace the stories of the rich and famous from the world of politics, entertainment who seem to have a run on adoptions from Africa and China.

Many new famous parents of foreign adoptions sadly seemed to place them on display to share with the world, “Look, I care.” I find it hypocritical that the very rich complain about cost and the red tape of American adoption yet take trip after trip to a poor country, pay fees and Lord knows what else to adopt a child.

There are boys and girls of all races across this country who would love a permanent loving family. As to Gov.-elect Matt Bevin and his outrage, he had no issue exploiting his children in hopes of getting votes. He is a hypocrite.

Bob Talley

Bowling Green

Leave kids out of it

As governor, Matt Bevin will likely do extensive damage to Kentucky’s health care, education, economy and overall reputation. That is no excuse for targeting his children, biological or adoptive, in cartoons. Although it may be unintentional, Joel Pett has subjected them to unwanted attention, finger pointing, whispers and perhaps worse. Bullying children is not OK. Ever.

Kay H. Robert


Wrong on refugees

Joel Pett’s editorial cartoon is a perfect example of why the liberal agenda and its chokehold on the media is one of the nation’s biggest problems. The risk of terrorist attacks on American soil is real and the lack of control of who enters this country whether from lax border control, immigration or refugee and student visas makes the risk even higher.

To those who say wanting to restrict the free flow of refugees shows a lack of compassion, I encourage you to offer to take in a refugee family or individual into your home. Taking It is ironic that the cartoon is trying to imply that Bevin’s caution at accepting refugees into Kentucky in light of safety shows a lack of compassion while the actions of his life have proven his compassion. That is typical of liberals and big government to want to project onto others how they should behave while acting contrary.

Debbie Conway

Smiths Grove

Think of refugees

I saw the cartoon on a local newscast. Racist? I don't think so. I’m so sad for our country that the majority of the population, to say nothing of the elected officials, would close our borders to children and adults who have been forced by ISIS to flee from their homeland. Yet, these same people want boots on the ground.

I think these boots should be filled by these same politicians and led by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush. It was, after all, the invasion of Iraq that caused the formation of ISIS. I'm certain that many of the population are the same persons who lined the streets to see Pope Francis. Would he share their views about immigrants from Syria? I think not.

Delores Eisenbels


Children bullied

As a retired school teacher and knowing how fragile our precious children can be, I am appalled by the cartoon by Joel Pett depicting Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s children as terrorists. This is an insult to all adopted children and their parents. I admire him for choosing to adopt these homeless babies. The families who have lost loved ones at the hand of terrorists would not find this funny. Those families that have lost loved ones in our military would not find this funny. Those front line responders’ families would not find this funny. Making fun of adopted children’s origin is not funny.

We talk about bullying with our children and how we all must be aware of signs of it happening. What a sad occurrence that little children have to be attacked in print.

Karen Grubb


Great cartoonist

Political cartoons can depict greed, intolerance and absurdity in ways writers cannot. Cartoonists need only inspiration, symbols and perhaps a few choice words to convey messages of such clarity and truth that we are in awe of their knowledge and their talent.

Joel Pett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, often creates cartoons that speak for children and others who can’t speak for themselves- the poor, the “huddled masses” or the “wretched refuse” of a “teeming shore.”

Emma Lazarus gave us the words; cartoonists show us the reality.

Shirley Bachetold


Editor’s note

Joel Pett’s Nov. 19 cartoon critical of Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s stand on Syrian refugees generated many phone calls, emails, letters, tweets and postings from throughout the state and nationally. Here is a representative sample of the issues raised.