This cartoon sums up the disturbing difference between how the Paris 'Spider-Man' and other immigrants are treated

This cartoon sums up the disturbing difference between how the Paris 'Spider-Man' and other immigrants are treated

Last week, a viral video depicted a man scaling a block of flats to rescue a terrified child dangling from a balcony in Paris.

He was quickly dubbed 'Spider-Man' and hailed as a hero, praise which launched an online investigation into his identity.

He has since been revealed as Mamoudou Gassama, a Malian immigrant said to have arrived in France last year after a long, treacherous boat ride to Europe.

In just a few days, Gassama has been elevated to the status of national hero; he met with French President Emmanuel Macron to be granted citizenship, a medal for courage and a role in the fire service.

But one cartoonist, Tjeerd Royaardsr, has taken the opportunity to pen a side-by-side comic strip highlighting that Gassama's act of bravery has transformed him into a 'good' immigrant worthy of acceptance into the country, whereas others aren't so lucky.

Macron has since clarified that he won't be issuing citizenship to all Malian immigrants.

This idea of the 'good' immigrant against the 'bad' immigrant isn't new; NIkesh Shukla edited a comprehensive, award-winning anthology titled The Good Immigrant in 2016, which used this scale as a jumping-off point.

In an interview with Jericho Online, he described the title as deliberately subversive, a nod to media reluctance to support immigrants behaving 'badly' and laud those doing good. When asked why he considers himself an 'immigrant', he replied:

Well, I don't. I'm the proud child of immigrant parents. The title of the book is purposefully subversive; it pokes fun at the binary scale that gets applied to people who are "other" and not from round here.

Racists don't have the nuance to ask if you were born here or not, and anyway, it's not a question that they should necessarily be asking.

Although undeniably heroic, Paris' own 'Spider-Man' has reignited conversations around press treatment of immigrants more widely.

Essentially, if you're a hero, you can stay.

More: Father of boy rescued by 'spiderman' immigrant was playing Pokemon Go as boy dangled from balcony

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