Following Monday's bombing attack at the Boston Marathon
, a columnist on the progressive website Salon.com appeared fixated on the race and nationality of the bomber, writing that he hopes the "Boston Marathon bomber is a white American."
In a piece on Solon entitled "Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American,"
columnist David Sirota argues the public's response to the attack will depend largely on the race of the party responsible for the attack.
"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," Sirota wrote.
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"It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world," wrote Sirota. "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."
Above the article is a photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh opposite a photograph of Osama bin Laden.
Sirota suggests that if the bomber is a Muslim, conservative Republicans will exploit the tragedy to block immigration reforms supported by the administration.
"At that point, it’s 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," wrote Sirota.
Responding to the backlash from his Salon piece, Sirota penned a second column published on Wednesday entitled, "I Still Hope the Bomber is a White American
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In the follow-up piece, Sirota cited Fox News host Bill O'Reilly who suggested a similar train of thought on his prime time show Tuesday night.
The liberal writer quoted O'Reilly as saying, "if this is an international terror attack, the repercussions will be severe . . . [but] if it’s home-grown [it will] be another stain on American history."
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