Car­toon Fury

India Today - - UPFRONT -

Frus­trated by an im­pla­ca­ble, un­flap­pable op­po­nent (as­ton­ish­ingly, a 20-year-old in her first ma­jor fi­nal) and a sud­denly fal­li­ble serve, Ser­ena Wil­liams needed a tar­get for her anger. A re­lease valve for the pres­sure. It’s a stan­dard ten­nis tac­tic. Ex­cept Ser­ena lost con­trol. She be­rated the hap­less um­pire, Car­los Ramos, for ques­tion­ing her in­tegrity by ques­tion­ing his. But surely Ramos didn’t need to in­ter­fere in the match in such a piv­otal way. Nat­u­rally, the con­tro­versy has sparked plenty of on­line out­rage, lean­ing one way or the other. Does no one just not know what to think any­more? An Amul car­toon play­ing on the irony of her name be­ing Ser­ena in a mo­ment when she was any­thing but, an­noyed Twit­ter users. Not as much though as an Aus­tralian car­toon show­ing an en­raged, me­so­mor­phic Ser­ena jump­ing on a rac­quet, while in the back­ground an ex­as­per­ated um­pire says to her op­po­nent, “Can you just let her win?” Any­one who fails to note the racist im­agery in this car­toon (see above) is be­ing stupid. (This is not the same as call­ing the car­toon­ist racist.) Stupid too is a social media cul­ture that has turned crit­i­cal en­gage­ment into an ex­cuse to bully and ha­rangue. And more than stupid are the thugs who sent the car­toon­ist death threats. Any­way, the car­toon got ev­ery­thing wrong. Ser­ena has never needed any­one to “let her win”, least of all slim blondes with pony­tails.

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