What does an evil person look like? In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, a not unexpected thing happened in the social media sleuthing for the perpetrators. As readers of popular sites like Reddit pored over photos of the marathon public, they began to highlight suspicious looking figures, and by “suspicious,” many meant bag-lugging figures of “Middle Eastern” countenance, or some other vague non-white descriptor. Some of course in both the mainstream and the alternative media insisted (hoped?) the bomber(s) would be white homegrown terrorists. But in both cases everyone sort of assumed they knew what evil looked like in this instance.Read the rest for some good implications for our lives.
Then something strange happened. The photos of the (alleged) bombers were released by the FBI. Turns out the perpetrators looked a little like everybody’s diverging presumptions assumed they would. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev weren’t homegrown, perhaps, but they were sort of home-raised. They were Muslims, yes, but not Middle Eastern. From Russia’s Caucasus region, these fellows are literally from the place from which we get the word “Caucasian.”