• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Baltimore crash: Racist cartoon targeting Indian crew sparks outrage

The animated video portrayed individuals dressed in loincloths, presumably representing the Indian crew, preparing for the impending crash.

The cartoon, shared with the caption “Last known recording from inside the Dali moments before impact,” quickly went viral. (Photo credit: @FoxfordComics)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

In the aftermath of the devastating collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which claimed the lives of six individuals, including presumed casualties, a disturbing incident has emerged that has sparked widespread condemnation.

A US-based webcomic, Foxford Comics, shared a cartoon that depicted the incident in a deeply offensive manner. The animated video portrayed individuals dressed in loincloths, presumably representing the Indian crew, preparing for the impending crash.

Accompanied by audio featuring individuals swearing with a stereotypical Indian accent, the cartoon provoked outrage for its racist portrayal and derogatory depiction of the crew.

The cartoon, shared with the caption “Last known recording from inside the Dali moments before impact,” quickly went viral, amassing millions of views and thousands of comments.

Critics lambasted the account not only for its racist caricature but also for its disrespectful portrayal of the ship’s crew, who had been commended for their actions in the wake of the tragedy.

Indian economist Sanjeev Sanyal highlighted that the ship likely had a local pilot guiding it at the time of the incident, emphasising that the crew had promptly alerted authorities, which contributed to limiting casualties. Despite this, the crew faced mockery and ridicule in the wake of the cartoon’s dissemination.

The controversy surrounding the cartoon has shown a mirror of racial insensitivity and discrimination, particularly in the context of a tragic event where individuals should be treated with empathy and respect. Moreover, it serves as a reminder of the importance of combating stereotypes and prejudices in all forms of media and discourse.

As investigations into the bridge collapse continue, the incident is expected to have significant ramifications for the US economy, particularly concerning the disruption to the vital vehicle-handling port in Baltimore.

Efforts to mitigate supply chain impacts are underway, with plans for additional cargo handling at ports along the East Coast being discussed by state authorities.

In the face of tragedy, it is imperative to uphold principles of compassion, solidarity, and respect for all those affected, rather than perpetuating harmful stereotypes and divisiveness.

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