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Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Racist Cartoon On Indian Crew Operating Ship Dali Sparks Outrage – News18


Curated By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Last Updated: March 29, 2024, 21:09 IST

Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

This cartoon released by US-based Foxford Comics depicts the Indian crew aboard the ship Dali which crashed onto Baltimore’s Francis Key Scott Bridge in a racist manner. (Image: Foxford Comics/X)

The cartoon which showed unkempt men wearing only loincloth operating the ship Dali which crashed with the Francis Key Bridge in US’ Baltimore.

Despite the praises from Baltimore and US authorities for the Indian crew operating Dali who issued an early mayday call preventing further loss of life following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a ‘racist’ cartoon depicting Indians has sparked outrage.

The Dali, a Singapore-flagged container ship, lost power and crashed into the pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday leading to the collapse of the bridge within a few seconds and the deaths of six people.

US President Joe Biden, Maryland governor Wes Moore and other officials praised the ship’s crew, most of whom were Indians for their prompt emergency response despite lack of power in the cargo vessel which allowed officials to shut down traffic to the bridge, saving lives of many others.

But the cartoon released by US-based webcomic Foxford Comics has outraged many. The cartoon shows unkempt men wearing only loincloths looking distraught while attempting to steer a ship with the caption ‘Last known recording from inside the Dali moments before impact’.

The photo is overlaid with an audio recording of men hurling expletives at one another but in a very thick Indian accent. The background audio possibly lifted from a viral road rage video where an Indian-origin man is seen arguing with an Indian-origin person.

The image is likely AI-generated as per a scan run on AI content detection website isitAI.com.

The image was met with criticism by netizens. When shared on X, the image also drew a Community Notes warning from the social media site which highlighted that the pilots were local knowledge experts, and they give commands to the bridge team for rudder and engine settings, and for what course to steer, citing an article from the Washington Post.

“There were 2 local US Pilots in the ship responsible for operating the ship. The 22 other crew members were of Indian origin and the ship is Singaporean-owned,” the Community Notes said.

“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,” a social media user commented.

Cranes began arriving Thursday at the scene of the catastrophic bridge collapse over Baltimore harbor, as authorities shifted to a clean-up phase of the recovery and warned of extensive work before the major US port can reopen.

The machinery will be deployed in a tricky operation to clear the twisted steel remnants of the Francis Scott Key Bridge from where it fell into the Patapsco River — blocking the entrance to the Port of Baltimore — after a massive cargo ship Tuesday hurtled into the span.



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