LETTER: Coronavirus bombs cartoon in bad taste
The sketch displays ignorance and incites prejudice
If the Business Day cartoon of April 1 was meant as an April Fool’s joke, I’ve been had. But I suspect not.
Depicting “the rich” dropping coronavirus bombs on “the poor” revealed both ignorance and prejudice: I expect tomorrow’s cartoon will show the plane dropping viruses with Chinese flags emblazoned on them.
Does your cartoonist not realise that we live in an era of cheap air travel? Though we at the southern tip of Africa may not realise this, most of the world has access to cheap flying, and it is not only the rich who fly, otherwise cattle class would not constitute the vast majority of any airline’s seating.
I, as a retired teacher, returned from overseas during this pandemic and noticed how varied those who flew with me were: there were young black people, possibly students. Your newspaper reported on Tuesday that of the 1,500 South Africans stranded abroad, 723 are students and 204 work overseas. Only 224 are tourists, the people your cartoonist would probably classify as “rich”.
The cartoon misrepresents the situation and shows an ignorance not only of who flies but also how air travel brings benefits to many.