LOUISVILLE, (WDRB) -- Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin is firing back at a political cartoon he calls overt racism.

The cartoon -- published by the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper -- shows Bevin crouched under a desk, as an assistant tells him, "Sir, they're not terrorists... they're your own adopted kids."

The cartoon, by Joel Pett, is in response to Bevin this week saying Kentucky shouldn't allow any Syrian refugees to live here.

Bevin, who has four adopted children from Ethiopia, says "Shame on Mr. Pett for his deplorable attack on my children and shame on the editorial controls that approved this overt racism."

Pett, a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, spoke with WDRB by phone Thursday evening. He didn't offer an apology, but an explanation.

"I was trying to say that for politicians like Matt Bevin and others, in this case specifically him, who are demagoguing this thing that happened in Paris to crack down on Syrian refugees is basically despicable," Pett said. 

Pett says management hasn't asked him to apologize for the cartoon, but says he will write an article explaining his view point.

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