Those Worried About the Bomber’s Skin Color Need Help


David Sirota

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Boston this week, there are plenty of things that Americans are worrying about. They’re worrying about the surviving victims who are suffering terribly from life-changing injuries, and those who are clinging to life. They’re worrying about the families of the victims, and the pain they’re going through right now. They’re worrying about the possibility of follow-up attacks and whether or not they’re safe when they attend public events. They’re worrying about the ability of our law-enforcement agencies to find the person or persons responsible and stop them before they can hurt anyone else.

Certain people, however, are worried about something quite a bit different – something that doesn’t particularly make sense at a time when our nation is reeling from an unspeakable act of violence. They’re worried about what color the bomber’s skin is.

David Sirota of Salon is one of those people. He wrote a column soon after the bombing that’s been getting a lot of attention, primarily for its mind-numbing headline: “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.”

The average person would probably read that headline and ask themselves why anyone would ‘hope’ for such a thing. They’d probably also wonder why one race would be preferable to another in defining a monster who is responsible for the death and suffering of many innocent victims.

For those of us paying close attention to the ideological clashes that go on in our country every day, however, Sirota’s viewpoint actually isn’t all that surprising. In fact, it’s pretty darned predictable. He’s a very liberal guy who writes for a very liberal publication. And like some on the far-left, he fears that if someone from an ethnic minority commits the kind of act we saw in Boston, our fundamentally racist society will collectively target the entire ethnicity as being responsible for the atrocity.

Because, after all, that’s what we do in modern-day America… Right? Remember how we indiscriminately chased down Muslim-looking people after 9/11 and held them responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 victims? Yeah, I don’t remember that either.

Still, Sirota is very concerned about this. So much so that he hopes that the bomber is a white guy, because white guys have what Sirota calls “white male privilege”. This means that other white guys won’t be held responsible for the acts committed by one white guy.

I know this sounds a little confusing, but believe me, it makes sense to a certain type of person.

Others in the media have expressed similar concerns in the past, including Newsweek’s Evan Thomas. When Nidal Malik Hasan was identified as the shooter in the Fort Hood massacre back in 2009, Thomas expressed dismay in the revelation of Hasan’s ethnicity.

“I cringe that he’s a Muslim,” said Thomas. “I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he’s probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going and it just — I mean these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.”

Ah yes, the obligatory right wing – those knuckle-dragging morons who are completely incapable of distinguishing between a murderous terrorist and those who merely share a common ethnicity with him. Oh brother.

While the ethnic-blame narrative is largely based on a straw-man argument, there’s something deeper going on here. People hoping (whether they admit it or not) that the Boston bomber is white are looking at this horrific event through a prism of white guilt instead of through a prism of morality. They’re prioritizing social justice over actual justice. They’re seemingly more interested in potential victims (brought on by what they view as a culturally-insensitive society) than they are in the actual victims of a heinous bombing.

Of course, people like David Sirota can’t offer up any compelling evidence to warrant their concerns. That doesn’t stop them, however, from believing they are the enlightened ones for presuming that the prejudices of Americans less evolved than themselves will inevitability lead to the assignment of blame to an ethnic collective, rather than to an individual and a network of that individual’s associates.

I find it fascinating that someone who fancies himself as an intellectual, as Sirota clearly does, doesn’t see the irony of it all. He clearly views America as still being tainted with strong ethnic bigotry, but he doesn’t realize that in preferring a terrorist who has “white male privilege” he has adopted a mindset pulled directly from our country’s dark racial past.

American history is riddled with examples of people who convinced themselves that a perpetrator needed to be of a certain race in the interest of preserving cultural stability. Is that really a legacy that some liberals want to associate themselves with now?

Not everything has to be part of some social narrative. Rather than hoping for the bomber to meet a certain profile, we should all be investing our hopes in his or her capture.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series, which is available through all major retailers. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
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  • wally12

    Good article. It is not surprising that the left would want the bomber to be a angry white guy. It is now part of the far lefts DNA that was implemented by Obama and his crew and that is to never let a crisis go to waste. Imagine that some liberals have have made the connection for carbon taxes to the bombing. Remember that the shooting at Sandy Hook is their justification for the elimination of the second amendment or that guns are the problem rather than a defense weapon and not an assault weapon. The list goes on and on and for liberals will never stop. The only thing that will slow them down is to vote them all out of office and to establish more conservative news outlets that reach the uninformed as the liberals do. We also must get more involved in what our children are taught in our schools so the left propaganda does get engrained in our children

  • Mr.D

    Not surprising, really when you factor in the extreme righties are always looking for something to be offended about.

    • John Daly

      And of course, you consider me an “extreme righty”, don’t you Mr. D? Because only a right-wing nut-job could possibly read pathetic drivel like that of David Sirota and find it not offensive (as you suggest), but completely stupid, symptomatic of a painfully shallow mindset, and worthy of mockery… Right?

      • Mr.D

        No, I don’t know you. You are a journalist and that is a plus, but if your writings cater to the worst of us, that is a negative. Mr Sirota was merely suggesting if the perpetrators were white as the majority of the mass murderers have been so far, the angry right would not be able to spew their venom on whatever unfortunate minority was involved.

        • John Daly

          Thanks for your reply.

          My writings don’t “cater” to anyone. I write about the topics that interest me and I’m honest in my beliefs.

          I didn’t have any trouble understanding Sirota’s point of view (though you may have because he’s not just talking about the ‘angry right’). I just think it’s a ridiculous point of view. Like I said toward the end of my column, wanting or needing a perpetrator to be of a specific race in order to prevent social unrest is reminiscent of our country’s dark racial past. Sirota uses “white privilege” as a justification for overlooking that.

          And the idea that our society – in this day and age – would arbitrarily hold an entire minority accountable for the actions of someone from that minority is absurd. I know many on the left believe that’s the kind of country we live in, but it isn’t. Whatever tiny fringe may hold that mindset in our country is marginalized beyond any semblance of relevance.

  • Wil

    ” Remember how we indiscriminately chased down Muslim-looking people after 9/11 and held them responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 victims? Yeah, I don’t remember that either.”

    But, you do remember, we went to war with two Muslim countries, don’t you?

    • John Daly

      We went to war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, fighting alongside Muslims and freeing Muslims. We went to war against an oppressive regime in Iraq who enjoyed torturing and murdering Muslims. I know people like you view the world through the shallowest of mindsets, but you should really try and think about this stuff a bit longer before you write about it. Just some friendly advice.

      • Wil

        went to war in Afghanistan. who had nothing to do with 9-11 and We
        went to war in Iraq, because of ‘weapons of mass destruction… don’t you remember
        anything? Also, the people that were responsible for the 9-11 attack were from
        Saudi Arabia. Some friendly advice, read a history

        • Patrick H.

          We wouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan if the Taliban run government hadn’t refused to turn over Osama bin Laden to us. Some friendly advice, I’d brush up on your history too.

          • John Daly

            He isn’t serious anyway. I can’t even figure out what point he’s trying to argue at this point.

          • Wil

            Taliban government didn’t have Osama Bin Laden to turn over to us. BTW, to go to war with an entire country to get
            one man, is insane!

          • Patrick H.
          • John Daly

            Wil has no clue. When he’s not ‘replying’ to points that no one ever made, he’s spewing false rhetoric. In all fairness, I think he was just a child on 9/11/2011, so anything he’s learned about the early days of the war on terror seem to have come from left-wing blogs.

            Misled youth.

          • Wil

            What did Iraq have to do with 9/11/2001 and did you support going to war with Iraq? I didn’t!

      • Mr.D

        I was about to reply to the above comment when I saw you did already an it was pretty much the way I would have responded. The truth is the common ground we share.

        • John Daly

          I never said WMDs weren’t the pretext. They absolutely were. I was just shooting down Wil’s implication that we invaded Iraq merely because the people there were Muslim. Freeing people from Saddam’s evil regime was just an added bonus.

          Where you and I very much disagree is on this notion that WMDs were a lie. They weren’t. It was a massive international intelligence failure. Everyone thought they were there. Being wrong and lying are not the same thing. Believe me, I wish all of the intelligence agencies would have gotten it right. They failed.

          • Mr.D

            No, the intelligence which was weak at best was refuted in totality, but the Bush admin went ahead and presented fraudulent evidence to congress and the UN. I must have read ten books on the subject and on this they agreed. Everything about the war was a fraud. Wolfowitz said it wouldn’t cost over 80 billion and their oil would pay for it and it is estimated with associated costs it may ultimately cost us three to four trillion. Cheney and McCain said we’d be greeted as liberators Nobody anticipated looting or that the Kurds hated the Arabs and that the Shiite Arabs hated the Sunnis. I actually read about this back in the nineties as one of the main reasons Pappy Bush didn’t go to Baghdad during Desert Storm and yet this information was conveniently dropped in the Dubya admin

            I could write a book on this and maybe I will. General Shinseki told Bush it would take a half million troops to occupy Iraq and was fired for his troubles. Then Rumsfeld said he could secure Iraq with a quarter of that and that troops would be home in six months. We know how that worked out. They had no plan to occupy the country, no plan to govern the country, no exit strategy, and no concept that there could be an insurrection. They were babes in a man’s world. All they had was a faulty invasion plan built on faulty intelligence. What’s more while the Admin was playing war in Iraq, Afghanistan went to pot. It was totally pacified and they left a crumby 15000 troops there. And after all that blood and money what did we accomplish? We put Iraq into Iran;s sphere of influence. These implacable enemies who fought a bloody five year war are Buddy Buddy.

            Anyway sorry for the rant. I try not to do that especially when Red land, where I seldom venture, but I feel even if we don’t agree we’re all Americans…right?

            BTW I think you do write what you think John and that’s good, but every once in a while try to picture yourself as a progressive or even a moderate which is what I was in the eighties. It might surprise you


          • John Daly

            I don’t buy it for a second man, but good luck with the book. I’m an author too so I know the dedication it takes.

            Oh, I understand alternative viewpoints. My friends and family run the spectrum. I’ve just concluded after 40 years of discovery that I’m a social moderate, fiscal conservative, and a believer in peace-through-strength when it comes to foreign policy. :)

          • Mr.D

            What’s not to buy? It’s all out there. Start Here:

            Then go here:

            Then Here:

            Then go Here:

            Then go wherever you want except Foxland you’ll never get the truth from there.

            Bush was the most inept president ever and since, despite all the evidence, the far right still deny it, what does that make them.

          • Wil

            Everyone? I guess you missed the millions who were protesting Bush going to war with Iraq.

  • Wheels55

    When we catch these idiots, we should skin them and the color issue goes away.

  • nepakandy

    His placard states he is “card carrying” I presume that means he is all for illegal aliens having to produce cards for ID, or that voters need to produce cards as well.

  • Harry

    Actually, knowing the culprit’s skin color is very important when trying to identify who did it. Thanks for your hateful range, however. It adds to the disease.

    • John Daly

      Next, try actually reading my column.