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Would a suitable white American bomber please stand up and make this Salon scribe a happy guy?


Dear David Sirota:

Friday, April 19, 2013 must have been a tough day for you. We know how very much you wanted whoever was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings to be a white American.

In your eyes, white non-Islamic terrorists get ye olde pass as mere nut jobs operating solo while terrorists who pray facing Mecca five times daily and possess darker skin are castigated as soldiers of global terror networks. Which led you to conclude:

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.

I would assume, then, that the killing of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the capture of his younger brother, Dzhokhar, kind of bums you out.

Whoa…calm down, friend…





Well, yes, I am “talkin' to you,” in a manner of speaking…

Anyway, I thought we’d dig a little deeper here and get to the bottom of what might satisfy your peculiar penchant regarding the bombers’ ethnicity and nationality.

Because you clearly wanted these guys…

(AP Photo/The Lowell Sun & Robin Young)












…to be of the ilk of this guy…






…and—pure speculation here—wouldn’t it have been great if a little bit of this guy…







…and this guy…







…had been folded into the mix to spice things up?

But the Tsarnaevs’ very questionable American-ness and, dare I say, not quite full-fledged whiteness, can’t be bringing you great joy right now.

And to make matters worse, their shared psychological tipping point seems to have been driven by the same sort of radical Islamic bent displayed by this American guy…





Okay, okay…Anwar al-Awlaki’s lack of Pat Boone-worthy pigment is an odd twist.

So, how about this white American guy?






Hmm. Could Ft. Hood’s favorite son, Nidal Malik Hasan, pass for a paleface? Hard to say…

Whoa, again!







Take it light, brother…peace & love…tolerance…blah blah blah…

Anyway, just curious what kind of white American bomber would have floated your boat?

Hey, here’s one!







He’s American…he’s as white as they come…he’s a terrorist experienced in the art of planting explosive devices, and…oh wait…Bill Ayers’ radical left-wing politics hit a little close to home, don’t they? I’ll try again.









A real, live nephew of our Uncle Sam? Yes. Caucasian? Quite. Oh snap…John Walker Lindh joining the Taliban sort of flies in the face of your desire that the bombers not be of the radical Islamist persuasion. Once again, my apologies.

Maybe the third time will be the charm…

Found him!





Okay, what’s wrong this time? Not white enough for you? Not American enough? He’s not even a radical Islamist. Oh. A college professor. (Berkeley, no less!) And a “lone wolf” terrorist, to boot. Doesn’t exactly pass muster with your paradigm, eh?

Well, look, Mr. Sirota…it’s getting late, and we’re no closer to figuring out what might have made you happy. You keep thinking about it, though, and get back to us.

And in your spare moments, you might start taking into consideration that the people who loved this little guy…










…might not care all that much about what skin color or nationality you wanted the bombers to be.

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