Last week the Boston Marathon got bombed, killing 3 people and maiming 170. Allegedly this was done by Tamerlan & Dzokhar Tsarnev. A running battle with the police later, and Tamerlan is dead, while Dzokhar is in custody in a hospital with a bullet hole in his throat. What follows will pretty much sum up my thoughts on the whole thing:
-The capture of these two on camera, along with a report of actually seeing one of them drop the backpack that later exploded, is already prompting calls for more routine surveillance of everybody, basically assuming that we are all just pre-suspects. The chilling effect of being perpetually watched by the authorities? Why, that’s just crazy talk. “If you’re not doing anything wrong, what are you afraid of?” they say — I know this tune, it always comes around. Like clockwork.
-Progression from shock, to grief, to expulsions of the noxious gas of bigotry occurred at warp speed this time. A Saudi man wounded by the first blast was initially fingered as the culprit due to 1) being Arab & 2) running away — which is kind of what you do when bombs are going off, don’t you think? I dunno about you, but if I’m in a crowd and I hear a loud “boom” from my south end, I’m breaking North. After the Saudi victim was realized to be a victim of the bombing & not an accomplice, “damn ragheads!” type remarks continued anyway.
-Once the images of the suspects got out, ethnicity was out the window briefly as something to blame: they’re Chechens, literally as “Caucasian” as you can get. This could only mean one thing — it’s time to rage against all Muslims (this sentiment bubbled up to an extent even before either of them were identified as claiming to be Muslim, keep in mind).
Oh yeah, also it means it’s time to threaten to nuke the Czech Republic. Here, have a map:
The place on the left marker is the Czech Republic, the place on the right is the region of Chechnya. Gawd forbid these two had been Georgians, we’d be burning down Atlanta by now.
-Background info that has since came out suggests the bombing would’ve been the older brother Tamerlan’s idea, as he’s reported to have been radicalized such that at one point he threw a fit at a mosque because the imam speaking mentioned Martin Luther King favorably. Dzokhar in contrast seemed like more of a tagalong saying “eh, he’s my brother, whatever…”
(BTW, if my brother is reading this, if for some reason you should ever propose us bombing something, my answer is No).
In a sign of the younger brother’s view of the whole blowing-people-up thing, after the bombing he actually went back to his college campus, & even to a party. Somebody took a level in Dumbass…
-As for the entire Boston metro area, they basically said “Police State Time!!” & put every non purveyor of donuts (seriously…) on lock-down, unable to even walk outside. Nothing stirring but tanks rolling down the streets, snipers crawling on peoples garages, cops openly pissing on the 4th Amendment in door-to-door searches at gunpoint. All that, and how’d they eventually find Dzokhar? The everybody-cower-in-your-homes order was lifted & someone mere blocks away from the shootout walked outside to inspect their boat.
For the low price of a couple pressure cookers, some nails, & other items, we will roll over and show our ugly, fear ridden dark side. We will take the actions of two people as reason to lash out at anybody Muslim or assumed to be (you just know some Sikhs are gonna catch hell again…) in spasms of decidedly not “Accidental” bigotry. We will accept being told to stay inside & not answer the door for anybody other than the police. We will hear calls for a U.S. citizen caught on U.S. soil and accused of a violent crime to be sent to Gitmo and tortured, and nod silently, re-foreignizing him in our minds as if that matters, and as if that forms a sustainable barrier protecting our rights. We will see Right-Wing Nutjob Lindsay Graham give dark warnings about treating a citizen accused of crimes like any other citizen & maybe hear giggles from partisan Democrats, only to have Hippie Librul Socialist President Barack Obama effectively 10-4 the idea.
…and then we will cheer.
Folks, winning against terrorism is not flushing freedom down the toilet & bowing down to authority. It is not being terrorized. It is not being afraid. It is being open in defiance of those who’d want you in the fetal position.
We. Fucking. Lost.
Spare me the happy talk.