Regarding the Boston bombers, let’s not judge all white people by the actions of a few
Let’s play a little game with racial and religious labels, shall we?
I saw a headline on a right-wing Web site the other day that said this: “Looks Like Boston Bombing Suspects Not ‘White Americans.’”
But, of course, that’s only half right. On second thought, it’s only one-fourth right. Only one of the suspects is an American, but both are white.
Joan Walsh of Salon puts it THIS WAY:
[E]thnically in this country, we count Americans of Russian descent, as well as Chechens, as white. Dzhokhar [Tsarniev] was a naturalized American citizen; Tamarlan had applied for citizenship but reportedly didn’t get it because of FBI concerns about his possible ties to Islamic radicals.
So why are the Tsarnaev brothers not white, at least to right-wingers? Is it only because they’re Muslim? Muslim immigrants? Or is it because they’re “bad,” and whiteness must be surrendered when white people are bad?
Yes, indeed, the ethnic roots of the Tsarniev brothers are purely Caucasian. And as I recall from my experience as a police-beat reporter back in the day, the cops usually referred to white folks in their reports as “Caucasian.”
So that means we can use those terms, “white” and “Caucasian,” interchangeably, right? Even in the case of the Tsarniev brothers, right? The Tsarniev family is a white family, right?
But this little factoid raises questions about painting the Boston suspects — and people like them — with a broad brush.
As Tommy Christopher SAYS:
[W]hite privilege means never having to say you’re sorry for what other white people did. Not now, not ever. The skin color that was so relevant early in the week disappeared like a white rabbit in a hat, replaced by a Muslim rabbit with no discernible coloration.
And on behalf of the more hateful wingnuts among us, I say damn these confusing complications! White people are not supposed to be Muslims. They’re supposed to be Christians, or maybe even Jews, but not Muslims. White Muslims just mess up the whole meme.