April 16th, 2013


The attacks, of course, were appalling. The president was entirely right to respond in a public speech. The bravery of those who ran towards the explosions was tremendous and awe-inspiring. And now, we have to wait in order to find out who is responsible.

Until that time, we will probably have left-wingers telling us that this was the work of right-wing terrorists, right-wingers telling us that left-wingers are likely responsible, and some combination of the two telling us that it’s those Muslims again. All of these reactions are about as unhelpful as they are inevitable.

May I therefore propose that if a left-winger is found to have been responsible for these bombings, we should find that it does not and should not mean that all left-wingers are violent and murderous, that if a right-winger is found to have been responsible, it should not mean that all right-wingers are violent and murderous, and that if Muslims are responsible, it should not mean that all Muslims are violent and murderous? Whoever did this likely possesses some political/religious beliefs that are roughly similar to the political/religious beliefs of a larger particular group, and that larger political group is likely disgusted beyond measure by the attacks. We witnessed tremendous displays of humanity in response to the blasts. Let’s not diminish that by seeking to use the attacks in order to vilify a certain segment of the population.

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