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Opinion: Esports Are Just as Real as Any Other Sport
Opinion: Esports Are Just as Real as Any Other Sport
Justin Ho, Guest Writer • May 10, 2024

Though they’re just people sitting behind monitors clicking a mouse and pressing a keyboard, the crowd roars with excitement. A gaming team...

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The Tragic Truth of the Key Bridge Catastrophe

Baltimores+Francis+Scott+Key+Bridge.
Charles Floyd
Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, thousands of Marylanders woke up to the tragic news of the collapse of the infamous Francis Scott Key Bridge. Many of us might associate this bridge with trips into Baltimore City, and some might have used it during their daily commute through Maryland. While losing such a historic and memorable bridge is disheartening, it is even more heartbreaking to hear about the deaths of six hardworking Latinos. Unfortunately, these unsafe conditions seem to be a reality that blue-collar workers (mainly Latino migrants) face every day just to make a living.

Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, Miguel Luna, Maynor Suazo Sandoval, Jose Mynor Lopez, Carlos Hernandez, and Alex (last name unknown) are the names of the hard-working men who tragically lost their lives on the night of the collapse. All of the migrants were from Mexico and Central America – El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. They had all lived in the United States for multiple years and had made Maryland their home. They worked to provide for their families and put food on the table. Like many immigrants out there, they came to the States to achieve the American Dream. Unfortunately, they will no longer be able to enjoy the seeds they have planted.

While no one could have predicted the strike of the cargo ship into the bridge, there were signs and a mayday call to halt traffic on the bridge. Governor Wes Moore even praised our first responders for the halt on traffic which saved lives, but this raises a very interesting question.

Why did no one inform the staff that had been working on the bridge for hours?

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We’ve seen the time-lapse of the bridge falling, we understand that it only took seconds for the bridge to fall, but if officials had been aware, and there was enough time to stop the flow of traffic on both ends of the bridge, it is very hard to believe that there wasn’t time to inform the workers. Now while the incident could have been worse with a higher fatality rate, the incident could have had a zero-fatality rate if we maybe cared a bit more about those blue-collar workers.

Criticism also comes from how little officials are trying to recover the missing victims. After a few hours, the search rescue became a recovery mission. It took only one day for the recovery mission to turn into a salvage operation, meaning that rather than looking for the victims they were focused on removing the debris. “Based on sonar scans we firmly believe that the vehicles are encased in the superstructure and concrete that we tragically saw come down,” said Roland Butler Jr., Maryland Secretary of State Police.

Given that the vehicles are under the debris, it is understandable why they are choosing to start the salvage operation. But there’s no telling if the victims were in the car at the time of the collapse, so ending the recovery mission and only focusing on the debris clean up could cause officials to never recover the victims if they weren’t in vehicles. Many critics believe that officials just want to clean the debris to get the ports back open and ships running.

“Knew this would happen because they’re losing too much money without port accessibility. SMH (shaking my head) so sorry for the victims in this case. Tragic.” said one commenter on Instagram in response to hearing the update of the salvage operation.

This isn’t the first incident where construction workers have lost their lives during work hours in Baltimore. Almost exactly a year ago about thirty minutes from the Key Bridge, six construction workers – 3 of whom were Latino – lost their lives from a car crashing into an opening in a concrete barrier. This raises the question of how safe are our migrant workers?

It’s time to see our migrant Latinos for who they are. They are the backbone of this country and will always continue to be. It is heartbreaking to know that there are people who shame Latinos and migrants and categorize them as “invasive to our country” as if some of them don’t literally die for this country. The tragic death of these men is an example that migrants don’t “steal jobs” – they take on the hard jobs at the crack of dawn that the average person wouldn’t want. It’s proof that they are hardworking and don’t “rely on taxes” to survive. For too long, Latinos and migrants have been underrepresented and overworked. Unfortunately, they are seen as a burden while their literal blood and sweat stain the streets that you drive in, the bridges you cross over, and the buildings you work in. We need to respect the work they do, and it is time to provide protection for them while they make this country great.

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About the Contributor
Jeffrey Sorto
Jeffrey Sorto, Staff Writer
Jeffrey is from Prince George's County and graduated from Northwestern High School. He was swim captain his senior year and graduated the summer of 2022. Jeffrey joined the HCC community the following fall. He plans on achieving his AA in Communications and transferring to a four-year to receive his Bachelors in either Journalism or Public Relations. He enjoys a good night out in the city, traveling, trying new foods and spending time by the water. He hopes to write articles that encourage HCC students to attend events happening in and around Howard County and neighboring DMV areas.

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