Friday, April 19, 2013

David Sirota Partially Vindicated...

The bombers were Caucasian, quite literally from the Caucasus Mountain area.  David Sirota is, of course, the Salon writer who hoped that the bombers would be white (and presumably, right wing, tea party, gun toting, militia joining rednecks).  I guess one out 20 or so ain't that bad for a pundit.

Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American 
If recent history is any guide, if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident — one that has no bearing on any larger policy debates. Put another way, white privilege will work to not only insulate whites from collective blame, but also to insulate the political debate from any fallout from the attack.

It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world. As we know from our own history, when those kind of individuals break laws in such a high-profile way, America often cites them as both proof that entire demographic groups must be targeted, and that therefore a more systemic response is warranted. At that point, it’s easy to imagine conservatives citing Boston as a reason to block immigration reform defense spending cuts and the Afghan War withdrawal and to further expand surveillance and other encroachments on civil liberties.
Of course, you, reading this later, will probably already know the story better and more accurately than I do at this moment (and to be sure, I haven't dug deeply into the facts this morning), but the bombers have been identified as two young Chechen brothers, Tamerlan (26)  and Dzhokhar (19) Tsarnaev  who have been in the country for 10 years or so.  One, the older brother, has been killed in a spectacular shoot and bomb out that has resulted in the death of one policeman.  At this point, the younger, Dzohkar, is still on the run, and the city of Boston is all but shut down in the manhunt.

Meanwhile, out in Fly Over West, Texas, a fertilizer plant on fire detonated (that nitrate is scary stuff in large quantities),  leveling a whole community, and killing 12 or more people.  The New York Times whined that it was distracting from the news of President Obama's defeat at the hands of the bitter clingers in his war against firearms ownership in the US (he's perfectly willing to sell such arms into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico).

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