One of the curious, but also most predictable, responses to the Boston Marathon bombings from the Left has been the fervent expression — amounting nearly to a prayer — that the perpetrator or perpetrators of this act of mass murder be “homegrown,” preferably white, male, Christian, and conservative.
Why? Why does the Left prefer to have its terrorism served up by Timothy McVeigh rather than Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad? It’s an interesting question. That the Left exhibits this prejudice is, like Falstaff’s dishonesty, “gross as a mountain, open, palpable.”
David Sirota, writing at Salon, gives almost comic expression to the genre in an essay with the really special title “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.” Why does Mr. Sirota wish that the Boston murderer of 8-year-old boys be a white American? Because a spectral quality called “white male privilege” operates insidiously behind the scenes. If Timmy McVeigh blows up a government building, says Mr. Sirota, only he is blamed. If Mohammed does it, Muslims are likely to be “collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse).”
What do you think of that argument? I think it’s hooey. For one thing, categories like “white male privilege” are a sort of Leftist version of phlogiston: hypothetical explanatory devices that have the unfortunate attribute of not actually existing. For another, there’s plenty of “collective slander” of Christian fundamentalists (you know, those “bitter” small-towners who “cling to guns or religion”) going around.
A full anatomy of David Sirota’s hope for a great white villain would fill many pages. What I want to note at the moment, however, is how consonant it is with President Obama’s often noted reluctance to employ what Andrew McCarthy calls the “T-word” when commenting on episodes of mayhem and murder.
He doesn’t want to say “terrorism” when bombs go off and people die because, well, because people these days have an inexplicable tendency to think “Muslim outrage” when bombs explode and innocent people are maimed or murdered.