“White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening or threatened with deportation,” writes author Tim Wise. “White privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Dublin. And if he’s an Italian-American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.”
Because of these undeniable and pervasive double standards, the specific identity of the Boston Marathon bomber (or bombers) is not some minor detail — it will almost certainly dictate what kind of governmental, political and societal response we see in the coming weeks. That means regardless of your particular party affiliation, if you care about everything from stopping war to reducing the defense budget to protecting civil liberties to passing immigration reform, you should hope the bomber was a white domestic terrorist. Why? Because only in that case will privilege work to prevent the Boston attack from potentially undermining progress on those other issues.
Let us count the ways in which this shows, yet again, that you can say things about white males in the Amerika of today that you simply cannot say about any other identifiable group of people:
1. Imagine a headline to a local crime story, "Let's hope the rapist was a black man"
2. Or how about this on the latest Wall Street scandal, "Let's hope the embezzler was a Jew"?
3. Or how about, "Let's hope the man who murdered his daughter was a Muslim committing an honor killing"?
To deliberately seek out a group of individuals after a hideous crime is committed and dearly wish that they be the perpetrators just because it would endorse your personal beliefs/biases used to be the very essence of bigotry in this nation. Today it is clever liberal nuance used to spotlight the higher intellectual point: White males are the cause of all problems in the world.
Have no illusions, my fellow white male Americans: You ARE a target.
Get used to it, because things are only going to get worse.