The Saudi Marathon Man

A new crime, apparently: being brown while being bombed.

A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn’t alone; a hundred and seventy-six people were injured. But he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in “a startling show of force,” as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with a “phalanx” of officers and agents and two K9 units.

Earlier, our Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote about the science behind our tendency to blame the "other."


  1. This is making me sick, and I’m almost always a sarcastic asshole. The moment the NY Post started talking about this guy (it seems like 10 minutes after the bombs went off), I started reminding everyone I talked to about Richard Jewell, and how we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but it’s like talking to walls. Stupid walls, at that. Walls that you avoid when you’re taking a walk in case they suddenly remember what gravity is and decide to fall down.

    1.  This.

      So we’re watching the Today show Tuesday morning (because it’s Mom’s house), and they start mentioning the suspect who was tackled.
      I can’t really remember if they said “Saudi” or “brown” or whatever, but the first thing that popped into my head was that somebody overreacted to a brown person, and I said “That poor guy…”
      Mom responded by saying my name with a strong note of exasperation. You know, the kind that means, “Shut up and stop speculating”.

      I’m getting real tired of living with people who think I rock the boat too much when I’m pretty sure the problem is that the rich guy at the bow keeps ordering all the non-white, poor, and disenfranchised people to be jam-packed into the stern.

      1. Remember the Captains of the Ship of State believe that Steerage forms part of the ballast. They fear that if you allow the 3rd Class Passengers above the Plimsoll Line, the whole vessel will turn turtle.

  2. The minute I heard about this yesterday my first thought was how bad it’s going to be to not be white and in the vicinity of this shit while also thinking Tax day + Patriots Day = likely “sovereign citizen” or Tea Party type which, while not exclusively a Caucasian club, is a pretty pale group.

    1.  And it’s always worth repeating that  white supremacists have a childish faith in random terrorism to touch off the national race war that they’ve been predicting for 60 years or more.  For example, the Manson murders were intended to be a “false flag” attack to touch off race riots.

      1.  And whenever some crazy Turner Diaries fan actually Goes There and kills someone, the nut cases fall over themselves denying they’d ever do anything like that.

        1.  Fascism is a above all a conspiracy theory.  So while they believe false flag attacks work, they also believe that any attack is merely part of the international liberal conspiracy, which reinforces their violent isolationist belief system.  It’s like a perpetual motion machine of hate.

        2. When a white person acts like a dick it’s an isolated incident. When a brown person acts like a dick it’s a good time to invest in Halliburton.

      2. I don’t know if the Boston Marathon is a big deal in America, but, as soon as I heard this, I thought it was more likely to be domestic terrorism rather than Al-Qaeda as the target seemed too provincial. If the attack had been directed at the New York, Washington or London Marathons, I’d have been more inclined to suspect foreign terrorists.  

        1. The Boston marathon is pretty much the most prestigious one in the US.  New York’s has more runners, but Boston’s is thought of as a bigger deal.

  3. There were two bombs with timers that clearly worked.  You can game out those scenarios a variety of ways, but there aren’t many ways that the bomber would be among the wounded. When was the last time a bomber was wounded by a functioning time bomb?  None that I can think of.  The Shoe Bomber and Captain Underpants were failed suicide bombers.

    1. Exactly. They should be doing more thinking and less knee-jerk reacting. Instead they allow one bystander’s initial racism to cascade into a complete waste of resources.

    2. “When was the last time a bomber was wounded by a functioning time bomb?”

      Plenty, those guys are fucked up well enough and discovered long before it gets to the stage where they can actually plant them.

      “There were two bombs with timers that clearly worked.  You can game out those scenarios a variety of ways”
      How about ~you~ not game the scenario in such a way that it gives you your “likely outcome”?

  4. Was it his skin color, or his passport?  I mean, have you actually read the subpoena  and/or the DHS set of orders that directed the search?  I’m guessing that, seeing as “being Saudi” has matched some previous patterns before, combined with an overabundance of caution, led to this.  It’s profiling, yes– but that’s their job: profile because you’ve got to start somewhere.

    Why introduce the skin color racist part of it?

    1. Why was he tackled by a bystander instead of helped, when other injured people were being assisted by bystanders? Did the guy who tackled him check his passport first? Or his skin color? 

      1. I don’t know, I didn’t tackle him, nor have I spoken to the tackler.  But we’re not talking about him, we’re talking about the police– more specifically, we’re talking about follow-up action on the hundreds of people that were in the vicinity: whites, browns, blacks, yellows, reds, greens, blues.  Of those, one of them is a national from a country that has sent terrorists before.

        I’m not trying to excuse their behaviour, I’m just trying to point out that titles like “being brown while being bombed” have a certain racial element to them that may not necessarily be the deciding factor or driver for the raid.  The fact that the man is from Saudi Arabia is just as likely (I think it’s more likely).
        If 9/11 had been perpetrated by the IRA, the tackler might have gone around sacking all the redheads.  Equally, the FBI would probably raid the apt if that person were an Irish National here on a temp visa. Skin color may not be the deciding factor there, but the subtitle here on BoingBoing intimates that skin color matters, when we don’t know that.  In short: it’s not helping the general understanding, but possibly an attempt at making an unrelated point: “cops are racist”.

      2. The obvious answer here is, I hate to say, because the terrorists won long ago. Fear, hatred, doubt… Hate those that fit a vague profile and forget the value of being human. Destroy your own society from within. Save police resources and beat each other up.

        I so rarely feel like this, but I’m too old for this shit.

      3. CBS reporter John Miller was the source for the claim he was tackled by a bystander, but it seems like maybe that was a mistake, because in Miller’s newer summary of what happened it was a case of the cops stopping the guy on their own volition:

        CBS News’ John Miller described the circumstances of the man’s arrest.

        “The Saudi national is someone who is here on a student visa. He was at the scene along with many other people when the blast happened. As everybody’s kind of standing in shock, three Boston PD detectives see this guy moving quickly out of the crowd and as they’re watching him, he seems to be moving very deliberately away, which could be a very natural thing after a bombing,” reported Miller on “CBS This Morning.”

        “They stop him because he’s covered with blood and all kinds of gore from the explosion. They think he may be injured, but it turns out that most of that is from other people. But he does have burns on his hands,” said Miller. “They engage him, they start asking questions. There are things about his responses that made them uncomfortable, so they arrange to get him to the hospital.”

          1. You may be right. Too bad no eyewitnesses have come out to tell us what they saw happen, probably there would have been plenty (a commenter below claims to know some people who saw the guy get tackled).

      1. which part:  me pointing out that he is Saudi, or boingboing pointing out that he’s brown-skinned?  Al Qaeda has used both factors as recruitment tools.

        1. Read the comment above mine.  It’s an elegant summation of the culture of racial assumption.

        2. Time to tackle every white dude and lady, both have been strong, inseparable factors in domestic terrism.

          1.  This is a real eye-for-an-eye place. Why do all the conservative and progressive comments sections look so much alike, in the end?

          2.  Have you got some magical Third Way, where people don’t yell at each other for being dicks? Cos if you’ve been keeping it to yourself all this time, well, there’s gonna be yelling…

      2. Al-Qaeda is about, first and foremost, anti-racism.

        I mean, how does Al-Qaeda use that? “Hey, you know how ninteen of us, fifteen Saudi Arabian, got together and crashed planes into the World Trade Center and killed six thousand people? Well, now, they’re being racist against Saudi Arabians because they think that Saudi Arabians blow stuff up. Why don’t you join us and prove them wrong by blowing stuff up?”

        1. When we continue to profile THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION as potential terrorists, we encourage them to become that.

          How fucked up is it that we harassed a victim of the bombings because he fit our prejudices? How would you like to get blown up in a terrorist attack and be victimized by the local authorities just because you’re American? The message that it sends is that we are barbarians and deserve to be destroyed.

          1. How are we treating the majority of the world’s population – I mean, that’s assuming that you don’t mean “people from the Middle East” – as terrorists?  That doesn’t make sense. 

            “We” didn’t harass the guy; the media did, mostly by spewing out nonstop misinformation and wiping egg off its face the next day. Are we collectively responsible for shitty journalism?

            The whole “we are barbarians and we deserve to be destroyed” – man, have you seen conditions in the Middle East? Assad’s depredations? Saudi Arabia’s theocratic repression? Is the ransacking of an apartment going to be a major feature of their ad campaign, compared to the torture people from that region have already experienced?

            Al-Qaeda isn’t our dom; they’re not going to spank our naughty little butts for failing to live up to our own values.

          2. How are we treating the majority of the world’s population – I mean, that’s assuming that you don’t mean “people from the Middle East” – as terrorists? That doesn’t make sense.

            Maybe read a news article occasionally. Anyone who “looks” like a terrorist includes the entire non-white portion of the human race. Do you know how often African-Americans, Sikhs, Hindus, etc. are singled out as potential terrorists?

            “We” didn’t harass the guy

            I’m willing to accept some responsibility for what happens in my country. Things usually work out better that way.

            Is the ransacking of an apartment going to be a major feature of their ad campaign

            If it were an isolated incident, it might not rate. Did you know that we’ve been prosecuting several bloody wars for quite some time now? That we bomb innocent civilians? Decontextualizing this incident is exactly what I expect from right wing pundits for whom every attack by a non-white/ Christian person is jihad and every attack by a white person/ Christian is “psychological problems”.

          3. –Do you know how often African-Americans, Sikhs, Hindus, etc. are singled out as potential terrorists?–

            By who? Morons who think that Brawndo is an acceptable plant nutrient, or the authorities? Because there’s only one thing we can do to stop morons, and it isn’t pleasant. (cf. “The Marching Morons”) 

            –I’m willing to accept some responsibility for what happens in my country. Things usually work out better that way.–

            Responsibility connotes power; I have no power to stop people from being stupid, despite my best efforts to try. Am I responsible for Fox News? How do I stop it?

            Really, how do I stop it? All suggestions entertained. 

            –Did you know that we’ve been prosecuting several bloody wars for quite some time now? That we bomb innocent civilians?–

            Both of which make for better recruitment tools than this guy’s harassment. I mean, if you see it as a single continuum of racism and prejudice, that’s fine, but it’s not a worldview I share.

          4. “compared to the torture people from that region have already experienced?”
            By your government or their own?


            Al-Qaeda isn’t our dom; they’re not going to spank our naughty little butts for failing to live up to our own values.

            Is this supposed to be some sort of justification for not living up to our values?  A pretty weak justification if so.

          6. You (the US population) elected Bush, re-elected (!!!) him, and voted for two other administrations since.

            @boingboing-5d1ddc93ed371516275ea6f4e99802f9:disqus ,
            The first time we didn’t, and if we had a more democratic system that reflected the actual vote (the undemocratic electoral college) we wouldn’t have had to endure the SCOTUS just giving it to him.


            I mean, if you see it as a single continuum of racism and prejudice, that’s fine, but it’s not a worldview I share.

            Maybe that’s why you’re throwing your hands up in despair at all the “idiots” in the world instead of acknowledging that fighting racism and prejudice is something you can do right now to, for example and since you asked, reduce the influence of Fox News on our culture.

            No one who saw the events leading from 9/11 to the Iraq war should be able to believe that xenophobia is a discrete phenomenon to which only “idiots” are susceptible.  I recall quite clearly that somewhere around half of all USians were certain Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11 essentially because both were mentioned within minutes of each other in a white house press conference.

          8. Oddly, when I hear the word, “Terrorist”, I tend to picture a White, Catholic Irishman.

        2.  See my comment above about false flag operations – most people in countries where AQ operate believe 9-11 was done by Israel so we would have an excuse to invade fabulous vacation spots like Afghanistan.

          And in Pakistan, there’s the militant version of Rush Limbaugh for news, sports, and weather.  Everything is blamed on the CIA. World cup? CIA.  Floods?  CIA.  It makes p[erfect sense for AQ to blow up their own towns with car bombs when their media all agree it is being done by the CIA.

          1. Welcome to the internet, there’s a reason we invented *sarcasm* tags. And I’m an Australian, apparently my American friends sometimes have to remind themselves that 50% of what I say is sarcastic

          2. I tend to assume that the people posting on sites I visit are generally as sarcastic and cynical as me. I know that this can be culturally insensitive when frequenting American websites. 

      1. Well… see… it’s his own fault. Why was he brown where there is a bomb going off? Or just generally… why is he brown out in public? See? His own fault!!!

    2. Which pattern? I remeber a patter of lilly-white, US passport… hmm… I would actually guess they didn’t have passports… US citizenship holding men. I haven’t heard that any persons fitting that profile were tackled or their homes searched.

    3. Just look up Germany, NSU, Turkish murder victims.

      A major, major fuckup in which white supremacists could murder for years with abandon, because police (and media, by the way, though they now act as angels) assumed that all those murders where just some intra-Turkish gang war stuff.

    4. While the entire thing is racially motivated, you can bet that the warrant application didn’t mention his skin color, but probably did use the words “foreign national” along with “fleeing the scene” “suspicious behavior” “furtive gestures” and “erratic response to questioning”

      These things write themselves – they’re like Security Theater Mad Libs.

      As for the idea that you “have to start somewhere” why not start with the 800 white people running away from the bomb site? If you look at all the acts of terrorism in this country since 2000 and you’ll see that the majority (about two-thirds) are committed by members of right-wing hate groups.

      1.  I apologise that while we have run off a number of his biggest advertisers (he also lost his free luxury car), we haven’t gotten him off the airways yet.

  5. Thank you for putting it so bluntly, Xeni. I live less than 3 miles from Boylston, and spent last night in a fury at news agencies “reporting” (read: assuming.) that this atrocity was at the hands of Saudi terrorists. Friends who were at the site said that a “middle-eastern looking” student was tackled, as he ran away with the rest of the terrified crowd. Why not others?
    Stop looking for an outsider, stop looking for someone, or something, different, to hate and blame. Sometimes, it’s just some crazy guy, living in a basement in the projects. It’s not ALWAYS a religious, fanatical, deep-seated hatred of a country and its people; sometimes it’s just a nut.

    1. Sometimes it’s a fanatical deep seated hatred of a government.  You know, like Timothy McVeigh.

      1. And even plenty of  domestic “religious, fanatical, deep-seated hatred of a country and its people”, in nut variety or not, who want to make the country into whatever they want. Like Breivik.

      2. Wasn’t he the patsy for a CIA “False Flag” attack aimed at their Intelligence Community opposition? 

    2. Surely in nearly every case it’s both? A nut with a deep-seated hatred of something. The goal of terrorism isn’t just to terrorise, it’s to create a wedge, to further an “us vs them” mentality. To create a “war on terror”.

      It is why it’s imperative that terrorism is treated as a criminal matter. Like you say, stop looking for someone different to hate and blame. Find the individuals and bring them to justice. Don’t look for revenge.

    3.  Well it was Boston, so maybe it was just generic tackle-the-brown-guy hijinks.

      There’s a wild news photo from Boston’s desegregation riots where two white guys are trying to harpoon a black man with an American flag on a wooden pole, and it’s clear they are serious.

      1. We don’t have those kind of hijinks. We do have “beat you in an alleyway for wearing the wrong Local Sports Team jersey” tomfoolery which I wanna believe is equal opportunity hate. 

          1. I know. It tends to be the usual repressed, implicit racism though. I lived there for 8 years and it was shitty, but thank god I never saw someone attacked for “living while brown/black”.  Not saying it doesn’t happen.

          2.  Yeah, good point.  And the police force employs plenty of black folks so I may be overestimating the racism of the BPD. 

          3.  @boingboing-2c4ab9b7954f1c0af3fab408b3290a86:disqus , good point as well, thanks for the reminder.

            @Origami_Isopod:disqus good reminder that as a white guy I wouldn’t be expected to see much of the racism in the first place and that I shouldn’t use my own experiences as a guide on this question.

          4. I lived a block from Roxbury Crossing during busing. Not much ‘implicit’ going on then.

        1.  The truth is in the position of the hands. Clearly he wasn’t gripping it right if he was swinging for the bleachers.

    4. Didn’t you get the memo? It’s only “just a [lone] nut” when the dude’s white.

  6. I have no idea who did this.  It could just be a random asshole, it could be some tax assholes, or it could be some other assholes from abroad.  But whoever it was they win if they get everyone freaking out and forgetting what a democracy is supposed to be.

      1. Maybe we should stop dignifying it with the name ‘terrorism’ and officially call it ‘assholery’.

        1. While I agree that we should stop to call it terrorism: sadly, considering the amounts and different varieties of assholery in the world, I would vote against lumping it all into one category. Terrorism (for the lack of a appropriate word) is a very special and very extreme way of assholery.

  7. For the record, the Guardian reported  that the Washington Post reported that the Saudi embassy reported that the poor guy who had his apartment searched was “fully cooperating” and “volunteered to have it searched”.

    I imagine being in hospital, after some shrapnel hit me, and an officer approaching me asking if I was willing to have my apartment searched. I would swear considerably and cooperate. And I would think they would owe me an official and public apology.

    This is the internet: where’s the online petition?
    Or, maybe, wait, maybe ask the guy in question, first?

    1. Right on. The SS was also in the habit of having their detainees sign papers that they had been  treated well.     This was occasionally awkward, like when they had broken  their fingers.

      1. Contracts with the devil, usually signed in your own blood.
        I think the Gestapo never apologized in public for interrogating the wrong person.  Those were really bad guys, right? Sadly, online petitions won’t work there, as I assume most of the basterdz are already inhumed, and would be internetly illiterates anyway.

    1. “…….the friendless alien has indeed been selected as the safest subject of a first experiment; but the citizen will soon follow, or rather, has already followed, for already has a sedition act marked him as its prey: that these and successive acts of the same character, unless arrested at the threshold, necessarily drive these States into revolution and blood and will furnish new calumnies against republican government, and new pretexts for those who wish it to be believed that man cannot be governed but by a rod of iron: that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism — free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go; and let the honest advocate of confidence read the Alien and Sedition acts, and say if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits to the government it created, and whether we should be wise in destroying those limits….”Thomas Jefferson

  8. Do Floridians get caught up in the brown net?  Where’s the line?  Just asking – I need to know whether to avoid the sun for the 6 months before I next travel to the USA.  Tx

    1. Don’t worry. Highly skilled profilers – think TSA officers and above – are perfectly able to sniff you were or were not born with the melanin in your skin.

  9. You know how when you’re watching TV, and you see people in another country, especially a poor one, and they appear to be suffering and having a rough time, and then the show cuts to an angry crowd of wild, chanting, effigy-burning rage?  And then you go, “God they’re barbaric over there!”  Well, that’s how they see the United States, too.

  10. Thrilled that Xeni and the rest of you would have known “JUST WHAT TO DO” in the midst of a horrific bombing. We are so much for having had this opportunity to read your wonderful insights. Now, instead of investigating the bombing let’s have a Diversity Training seminar!!

    1.  Isn’t this just that “knowing what not to do” includes “not jumping to conclusions and brutalizing the civilian populous?”

      Nobody (useful) is saying they have the perfect answer, but a few people are pointing at what is known to be NOT the answer.

    2. In the midst? He was tackled in the midst of the bombing. 

      He was questioned and his apartment searched afterward. 

    3.  Do you mind if I search your apartment?  I have as much reason to believe that you were involved in the bombing as the BPD did for the gentleman in question.

      1.  This dude’s m.o. is always the same: Check in with a “shocking” comment and then check out with our answering up for it. Don’t waste your time.

  11. I just hope that whoever did this bombing doesn’t turn out to be white, because I really don’t relish being suspected of being a bomber by everybody I know, be unable to walk down the street without the fear of violence, and maybe even getting turned down for jobs because I look “too white” and that I might be using their employment as a front for terrorist activities.

    What?  That’s not going to happen no matter what?  Phew, that’s a relief.

    1. I think it is officially recognized that there are many different types of White People, and only two types of Non-White People.

        1.  I think it is normally “Good” and “Dead”, and that the two are not mutually exclusive.

  12. As I recall when the Atlanta Olympic bombing occured the authorities rushed to blame a person of color, Richard Jewell, for it because he happened to be in the area at the time.   Actually, he didn’t just “happen” to be in the area he was a HERO who discovered the bomb by a fluke and risked his life to clear others away from the area before it blew up.    And then the FBI and media tried to blame him for it just because he was ‘near a bomb while brown.’  Then eventually they figured out it was planted by serial bomber Eric Rudolph and Mr. Jewell was innocent.  Oh… wait a second… Mr. Jewell was white.  I guess this can JUST HAPPEN TO ANYONE who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Sorry to ruin the trendline.

    1. So why, if it wasn’t his appearance,  was the brown guy tackled and further harassed, while each of the hundreds of white people around him was not?

      1. I don’t recall saying his appearance wasn’t a factor in this case.  In the case of Mr. Jewell, it was likely his location*.  In the case of Dr. Steven Hatfill (falsely accused and hounded over the Anthrax attacks)  it was likely that he knew to much about Anthrax and was trying to write technothriller about bioterrorism (can’t trust those nerds who know more than we do…).  In the case of the DC area sniper attacks (which right up until they caught the non-white shooters we were all being told to be on the lookout for a white male driving a white van) WAS based on racism (and vanism).  Apparently when you say ‘most terrorist attacks lately have come from middle eastern men of military age’ that is evil racism… but when you say that ‘most (fill in the blank heinous crime) are committed by white male loners so this one must be the same’ then that is brilliant criminal pyschological analysis and they make cool movies and TV shows about it. 

        My point was that we don’t always leap to blame “The Other” for these things!  We just leap to blame SOMEONE, and and sometimes it is The Other and sometimes it is The Smart Guy and sometimes it is The Guy Nearby etc.  So untwist your panties a little and stop looking at every issue from your pet cause.

        *although part of it might have been that the police were shamed by the fact that he did what they SHOULD have done and wanted to believe he wasn’t really a hero so they could feel better about themselves.

    2. That something CAN happen to anybody doesn’t disprove the notion that it happens disproportionately to one group or another, nor imply that we shouldn’t look critically at the reasons for that discrepancy. 

      “Hey, my Dad got lung cancer and he never worked in a mine, that proves that it can happen to anybody, and asbestos miners don’t need any safety equipment!”

    3. And I’ve gotten pulled over by the cops before. That doesn’t mean I need to worry about driving while white.

    4. Richard Jewell was a person of color?

      Edit: Oops, didn’t read to the end! Sorry bout that.

  13. He was tackled, his flat searched and within a day cleared. And Xeni reckons this is the real tragedy from Boston. I’m of Albanian stock and often mistaken for an Arab. I wouldn’t mind being inconvenienced for a day to help catch the bastards who did this.

    1. That’s fine and dandy, but I’m not happy about the time and resources wasted investigating an innocent man.  Time is particularly precious right now.  

      1. See, but now it’s “inconvenient waste of police resources” rather than sign of barbarism and the decay of our constitutional liberties. I think most people can agree that modern police actions often go over the top across the board–dozens of squad cars, K9 units, helicopters, etc. So yeah, maybe some of them didn’t need to go to the crime scene. 

        But the fact is that they seem to have had precious few leads, and they followed through with one they had despite several indicators it could be a red herring. I imagine they had people searching every inch of the bombing site by then, bomb-sniffing dogs and all, looking at surveillance footage, etc…. but they didn’t have any solid leads, and they started grasping at straws. This is the result. They should compensate the guy for any damage done during the raid of his place, but I doubt that’s standard procedure even when innocent white people get raided.

        The actions of the media in jumping to label him a suspect are upsetting, but we (rightly) have no power over them other than public shame and approbation. We should exercise that power in the private sphere while continuing to hold the government to account for more blatant rights violations like drone attacks, wiretapping, kill lists, etc.

        1. ….but they didn’t have any solid leads, and they started grasping at straws

          The question is what they grasped at, because if it was basically that brown people are inherently suspicious, it’s bad enough that they consider that a straw to grasp at all.

      2. I’m not either but the cops turned up to find a Saudi guy held captive with witnesses wrongly saying he was acting suspiciously. They were duty bound to investigate ASAP. I don’t know what’s problematic.

        As to ‘being arrested for being brown’, Xeni needs to fucking grow up. I saw scores of ‘brown’ folk in the crowds, plenty of swarthy men and hijabed women were tearfully interviewed, and only one ‘brown’ person was questioned. It seems the Boston police aren’t very good at being racist…

      1. Obfuscate all you want. There is no linkage and you are changing the subject. Kneejerk political correctness is as illogical as kneejerk racist reactions are…

      2.  And that innocent Canadian guy who was spirited away to a black site and tortured. Whoopsies!

    2.  How does searching an innocent person’s house help catch the bastards who did this?  Doesn’t it actually divert attention and resources away from catching the bastards who did this?

      1. Duh! Before they searched it they thought there was a possibility he might be of interest. After they searched it they realised he wasn’t. That was the bloody point of searching it.

        Are that dim that you think the cops searched his place knowing he was innocent just because he was ‘brown?’

        1. Before they searched it they thought there was a possibility he might be of interest.

          Why? You’re arguing that it couldn’t have been race because he was a suspect, without considering why he was one. That’s really poor apologetics.

        2. Here is your argument:

          . I wouldn’t mind being inconvenienced for a day to help catch the bastards who did this.

          I’m responding to this.  Presumably you “wouldn’t mind” because you know you’re innocent.  In which case you’d be suggesting that the police waste their time since — in the hypothetical scenario that you (not I) posited, you already know that you’re not a culprit and that therefore searching your apartment would be a waste of time.  In other words, I was pointing out that your willingness to let your apartment being searched is not the least bit relevant.  Apparently you are “too dim” to understand this.

          The question with regards to the incident itself is whether the police had any more reason to suspect the Saudi national than the dozens of other people fleeing from the bomb site.  Did they?  Did they have any reason to suspect him aside from the color of his skin?

          I haven’t heard of anything.  Perhaps you could enlighten me.

          But if you can’t then all I see is that a Saudi guy was singled out for questioning and potential violation of fourth amendment rights for doing the exact same thing that dozens of other people were doing at the same exact time.  If that’s not racism then there is no such thing as racism.  Do you think there is no such thing as racism?

  14. That Orwellian sounding new anti-terror slogan: “If you see something, say something” works both ways. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see paranoid fuelled shenanigans. I know, preaching to the converted.

    1. Orwell?   Well here’s the cafeteria scene from 1984:

      D’you know what that little girl of mine did last Saturday,
      when her troop was on a hike out Berkhamsted way? She got two other girls to go
      with her, slipped off from the hike, and spent the whole afternoon following a
      strange man. They kept on his tail for two hours, right through the woods, and
      then, whenthey got into Amersham, handed him over to the patrols.’

      ‘What did they do that for?’ said Winston, somewhat taken
      aback. Parsonswent on triumphantly:

      ‘My kid made sure he was some kind of enemy agent–might
      have been dropped by parachute, for instance. But here’s the point, old boy.
      What do you think put her on to him in the first place? She spotted he was
      wearing a funny kind of shoes–said she’d never seen anyone wearing shoes like
      that before. So the chances were he was a foreigner. Pretty smart for a nipper of
      seven, eh?’

      ‘What happened to the man?’ said Winston.

      ‘Ah, that I couldn’t say, of course. But I wouldn’t be
      altogether surprised if—-‘ Parsons made the motion of aiming a rifle, and
      clicked his tongue for the explosion.

      ‘Good,’ said Syme abstractedly, without looking up from his
      strip of paper.

      ‘Of course we can’t afford to take chances,’ agreed Winston

      ‘What I mean to say, there is a war on,’ said Parsons.

  15. News outlets report that a Saudi national is being questioned, and is correct.  The result is claiming its racism.

    Multiple political reporters/commentators speculate, with no sources and no evidence, that it’s related to “tax day,” that it’s “Patriot’s Day,” that it would be a perfect place to make a Newtown statement.  The result is crickets.

    1. 1. News outlets did not merely report that the Saudi national was being questioned, they falsely reported that he was being detained as a suspect.  When I googled “Boston bombing” I noticed a commonality among the news outlets “reporting” this:,, fox news, and the NY Post.  Do you see what I see? I immediately looked for corroboration from a news source with a different editorial bias and found none. I wonder if this is all just some kind of crazy coincidence.
      2. Plenty of people have pointed out that speculating that it’s right wing extremists is as irresponsible as speculating that it’s the Saudi guy.  “Crickets” indeed.

    2. Some news commentators say all Muslims should be killed.

      Sure sounds like racism. “But Muslims aren’t a race!” Neither is anyone else, but that never stopped racists before.

    3. What would you have liked to be said instead of “crickets”?

      And as far as I know nobody said it was because of tax day, they did note that some right wing terrorism has occurred historically on the same day.

        1.  So far you haven’t provided any good reasons for believing that it’s not racism.  So what’s more “realistic” from your point of view?

        2.  IMHO,
          Tackling him for running away is almost surely, while cops questioning him after trying to help him could have maybe legitimately been for suspicion. I suppose we can never really know that though.

  16. I wonder if the Saudi guy in question was actually “acting suspiciously” more so than the white folks around or whether white people might have some kind of selective blindness to “suspicious” behavior on the part of white folks.

  17. “The police reportedly thought he smelled like explosives”

    Ok, that’s much more solid evidence. Police are well-known to have extraordinary olfactory capabilities. Here in Texas, police sometimes pull over people because they smelled the marijuana in black or hispanic people’s cars as they drove past on the road at 60mph.

    1. Be fair to the police.  I’m pretty sure he did smell like explosives, what with getting blown up and all.  Then again, lots of people smelled that way.

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