Dora the Explorer Gets Dragged Into Immigration Debate

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SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters/Corbis

How did a children’s cartoon character become an unlikely symbol for this vehement fight?

Anti-immigration websites have been posting a (somewhat disturbing) doctored photo of Dora posing for a mug shot, her left eye swollen shut and her lip bloodied. She has been charged with “Illegal Border Crossing Resisting Arrest.” The image was first created for a contest on the fake news site FreakingNews.com late last year.

As the Associated Press explains, Dora’s familiarity as the most famous Hispanic character on American children’s television makes it easy for activists on both sides of the debate to use her image to symbolize their positions.

Of course this isn’t the first time children’s characters have been drawn into the political fracas. Back in 1999, the late Jerry Falwell denounced the purple, purse-carrying Teletubby Tinky-Winky for being a “gay role model.” The classic Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie have also been invoked over the course of the gay marriage debate. (via The Associated Press)

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