Many people are angry in the wake of the terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon. This is understandable, even expected. People want to know who did this and why. People want justice.
Some people, however, wasted no time jumping to conclusions, many of them racist or prejudiced.
Take Fox News guest commentator Erik Rush for example. He took to Twitter almost immediately saying: “Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let’s bring in more Saudis without screening them! C’mon! #bostonmarathon.”
Rush’s tweet shows his ethnic prejudice, as well as his ignorance. When he tweeted that, there weren’t (and as of Thursday morning, still aren’t) any suspects in the bombing, Saudi or otherwise
Rush wasn’t done there. After someone asked if he was already blaming Muslims, Rush responded: “Yes, they’re evil. Let’s kill them all.”
When he was called out for his blatant prejudice, he simply said, “Sarcasm, idiot.”
He then called all who disagreed with him “Islamist apologists.”
Rush wasn’t the only journalist quick to blame Muslims. The New York Post published an article online the night of the bombing claiming Boston police had a Saudi person in custody as a suspect.
A Boston police department spokesperson said the police hadn’t arrested anyone and didn’t know where the Post got its information. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said the claims weren’t true.
Maybe expecting integrity from the New York Post is asking too much. In the same article, it reported that an unnamed law enforcement official confirmed there were 12 dead in the blast. It was discovered early by every other news outlet everywhere that there were actually three dead.
Then there are the lawmakers. It’s one thing to hear pundits and “journalists” sowing racial and religious prejudice and spreading false information. It’s another thing altogether when those who help shape federal law jump in the murky pool of ignorance.
Iowa Rep. Steve King got right to work, using this tragedy to push his immigration reform agenda. He cited speculation, presumably from such sources as Fox News and the New York Post, that a “foreign national” was a suspect as just cause for opposing immigration reform. Yes, he said speculation.
He thinks that based on a couple of errant, quickly dispelled news stories, the U.S. should further delay revamping its immigration policies. This comes from the man who compared immigrants to bird dogs.
And don’t forget the insensitivity of some everyday Americans. A flood of private citizens took to Twitter to offer their opinions.
Much of what was said can’t be repeated here, but publicshaming.tumblr.com is keeping a log of racist tweets on display at http://bit.ly/ZmQsiW. It’s a sight to behold.
So maybe people should stop what they’re doing, take a deep breath and look at the facts. No amount of hatred So maybe people should stop what they’re doing, take a deep breath and look at the facts. No amount of hatred will undo what happened, and no amount of ignorant judgment will deliver justice for those killed and injured.