Cartoon on Baltimore bridge collapse

Cartoon on Baltimore bridge collapse. Photo: X/@FoxfordComics

Baltimore bridge collapse: Netizens slam ‘racist’ cartoon targeting Indian crew

An X user opined that “racism against Indians has been normalised” since Elon Musk took over the social media platform.

Netizens have slammed a cartoon as “racist” for targeting the Indian crew members who were onboard the ship that struck a bridge in Baltimore, USA, and led to its collapse into the river on Tuesday (March 26).

The Singapore-flagged container ship "Dali" collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at approximately 1:30 am local time.

Two bodies recovered

According to the vessel information provided by the Synergy Marine Group, the crew was “All Indian, 22 in total”.

The bodies of the two men were located by divers, Maryland State Police said.

The ship’s crew issued a mayday call early Tuesday, saying they had lost power and the vessel's steering system just minutes before striking one of the bridge's columns. At least eight people went into the water. Two were rescued, but the other six – part of a construction crew that was filling potholes on the bridge – were missing and presumed dead, a report by news agency Associated Press (AP) said.

Biden praises Indian crew

The Indian crew was praised by US President Joe Biden and Maryland Governor Wes Moore for saving lives.

After the incident, Foxford Comics, an American-based webcomic, shared a cartoon on X (Twitter) that targeted the Indian crew. It captioned it, “Last known recording from inside the Dali moments before impact.”

The cartoon shows Indian crew members wearing only loin cloth inside the cargo ship’s control room with muddy water below. It had an audio where they are swearing at each other in an Indian accent.

What netizens said about cartoon

There was outrage on X to this post, many calling it out as “racist”.

“This racist trash is one of the reasons that many Indians still don’t prefer the United States, apart from the cheap way in which your gun laws enable your citizens to dispose our brethren due to the same racist agenda without fear,” an X user @AdiSpeaX wrote.

“I can’t believe that in 2024, someone would make light of such an unfortunate incident by exposing their small-mindedness and racialism to the world in such a non-humorous way!” the user added.

Another user @TheCineprism opined that “racism against Indians has been normalised” since Elon Musk took over X (Twitter).

“Prejudice can cloud judgment to the point where one even ignores the fact that the Indian crew of the ship were the ones to take immediate action to save lives and minimize the disaster's impact, something rightly acknowledged by POTUS Biden. Having said that this isn't merely jumping to conclusions; but goes to show how Racism against Indians has been normalized and since Musk's takeover, this platform has become a breeding ground to spread racism and hatred against Indians. It's high time this needs to be called out.”

“It's shameful that people are mocking Indian Crew for the tragic incident... Meanwhile the governor himself praised the crew,” Pooja Sangwan (@ThePerilousGirl) wrote on X.

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