FROM OUR READERS Letters to the Editor

Birth control cartoon sends unkind message

Published:March 10, 2012, 12:00 AM
Updated: March 10, 2012, 6:29 AM

I’ve been a fan of The News’ editorial cartoons since the days of Bruce Shanks. The artists have maintained their cutting-edge humor and perspective right through Tom Toles and now Adam Zyglis. The March 7 Zyglis cartoon, however, is just too far out of line to dismiss without comment. The concept that a lack of birth control and self control is a major contributor to the welfare rolls is an idea that is devoid of common sense. When welfare recipients are blamed for their own misfortune, we treat their misfortune as their own fault. They should have been born someplace else or kept that job that the bankers canceled.

It seems that the myth of “welfare queens” and “disability chiselers” will never die, in spite of the statistics that show the exact opposite. Welfare and disability payments have steadily decreased over the past 20 years, but that doesn’t get much notoriety when politicians want to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy by reducing humanitarian aid. Also unrecognized are the vast majority of unplanned babies that quickly grow into contributing adults through their own efforts and the help and sacrifices of their parents. Much room has to be made for the “unexpected” child who contributes “unexpectedly” great accomplishments.

The editorial cartoons are great lead-ins to the rest of The News’ editorial offerings and can say much with few words. Restraint, however, must be used lest an oversimplification sends an unclear or unkind message.

George J. Denecke