Skip to comments.Letís hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American
Posted on 04/16/2013 7:16:57 PM PDT by Altura Ct.
As we now move into the official Political Aftermath period of the Boston bombing the period that will determine the long-term legislative fallout of the atrocity the dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nations collective reaction to the attacks. Thats because privilege tends to determine: 1) which groups are and are not collectively denigrated or targeted for the unlawful actions of individuals; and 2) how big and politically game-changing the overall reaction ends up being.
This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings even though most come at the hands of white dudes.
Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as lone wolf threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts.
White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening or threatened with deportation, writes author Tim Wise. White privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her dont get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we wont bomb Dublin. And if hes an Italian-American Catholic we wont bomb the Vatican.
Because of these undeniable and pervasive double standards, the specific identity of the Boston Marathon bomber (or bombers) is not some minor detail it will almost certainly dictate what kind of governmental, political and societal response we see in the coming weeks. That means regardless of your particular party affiliation, if you care about everything from stopping war to reducing the defense budget to protecting civil liberties to passing immigration reform, you should hope the bomber was a white domestic terrorist. Why? Because only in that case will privilege work to prevent the Boston attack from potentially undermining progress on those other issues.
To know thats true is to simply consider how America reacts to different kinds of terrorism.
Though FBI data show fewer terrorist plots involving Muslims than terrorist plots involving non-Muslims, America has mobilized a full-on war effort exclusively against the prospect of Islamic terrorism. Indeed, the moniker War on Terrorism has come to specifically mean War on Islamic Terrorism, involving everything from new laws like the Patriot Act, to a new torture regime, to new federal agencies like the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to mass surveillance of Muslim communities.
By contrast, even though America has seen a consistent barrage of attacks from domestic non-Islamic terrorists, the privilege and double standards baked into our national security ideologies means those attacks have resulted in no systemic action of the scope marshaled against foreign terrorists. In fact, it has been quite the opposite according to Darryl Johnson, the senior domestic terrorism analyst at the Department of Homeland Security, the conservative movement backlash to merely reporting the rising threat of such domestic terrorism resulted in DHS seriously curtailing its initiatives against that particular threat. (Irony alert: When it comes specifically to fighting white non-Muslim domestic terrorists, the right seems to now support the very doctrine it criticized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry for articulating the doctrine that sees fighting terrorism as primarily an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement, public-diplomacy effort and not something more systemic.)
Enter the Boston bombing. Coming at the very moment the U.S. government is planning to withdraw from Afghanistan, considering cuts to the Pentagon budget, discussing civil liberties principles and debating landmark immigration legislation, the attack could easily become the fulcrum of all of those contentious policy debates that is, depending on the demographic profile of the assailant.
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, its 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.
If that sounds hard to believe, just look at yesterdays comments by right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, whose talking points often become Republican Party doctrine. Though authorities havent even identified a suspect in the Boston attack, she (like other conservatives) seems to already assume the assailant is foreign, and is consequently citing the attack as rationale to slam the immigration reform bill.
The same Laura Ingraham, of course, was one of the leading voices criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for daring to even report on right-wing domestic terrorism. In that sense, she perfectly embodies the double standard that, more than anything, will determine the long-term political impact of the Boston bombing.
“murder all Christian Americans”
The Left should be careful for what they wish. That might be more difficult than they think.
Oh, how I hate reading leftist drivel. They can’t even mourn for the loss of life because they are too busy imagining how they can come out on top from all of this. Leftists are so evil.
As for what the feds will do to us in response, it will be very difficult or impossible to buy black powder or sulfur, and also hard to get smokeless in any kind of bulk. Maybe a complete ban on any propellant powder.
Plus a rash of restrictions on any pyro chemical especially oxidisers.
We cannot handle IEDs in Afghanistan, we certainly can’t handle them here.
“I hope its a Muslim”
It was Muslims (plural) they will never be caught and it will be blamed on white supreicist TEA party types
Oh, come on Mr. Sirota (author of article for those who didn't click the link).
We all know the real reason you want the bomber to be a white American male is so you and your leftard buddies can hide all evidence of the bomber's sure-to-be left-wing allegiances, and portray him as "another" right-wing extremist "gone postal" just to further your political agenda! LONG LIVE PROPAGANDA!!
However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings...
"Collectively"? Gee, and I thought Lefties were against "profiling", and lumping together innocent people with a known bad guy just because they share certain traits!!
I really despise liberals and I have to say, I'm starting to really hate them.
I don’t believe that for a second. I believe the Law Enforcement Community wants the truth and doesn’t care who did it. After seeing torn apart bodies and knowing an 8 year old boy was killed, I find it difficult to believe any Boston cop or FBI agent would cover up the truth.
And you can call me naive or whatever, but I just don’t believe it. Regardless of the guy at the top, this is a good country filled with good people.
“My understanding is that most every one has gone to GPS and eschews plotting.”
Stellar is the way to go.
Let’s see.....I hope it’s a black American woman who converted to Islam....
They want it to be the tea party so bad their drooling. Funny how they never figure OWS in their little schemes. Those black cammo anarchists were pretty violent. They stabbed a cop in Chicago. Through firebombs in Oakland. ...and what about the eco terrorists on the West Coast?
“Sorry, but I couldnt read through that. It sickend me to know that Salon is not kidding. They do hope its a White American.”
What was even more sickening than the article were the comments, which were vile spew of REALLY sick minds.
Bomber will probably turn out looking like Trayvon’s Kenyan father, With a dark hoodie on, as seen on the “Bible”
Their hatred of anything Christian and Traditional American is the driving force of their lives.
Bullsh*t. You have no idea if was Muslims or not. Could be. Sure looks like it, but at this point anything goes.
They forgot to call Laura a slut.
They desperately want to make this an act by domestic political opponents, so they can start chipping away at freedom of speech.
And, if that proves to be the case, we'll not here another word about from the media, will we?
However, if it proves to be a white "right-winger"...
Evil doesn’t prefer a skin color.
It’s probably some self entitled occupier.
This isn’t red flyover country - it’s big blue Boston.
Liberals, however, are incapable of shame. They are nonethless possessed of a profound sickness.