If you have turned on the news today or have scrolled through a social media feed, you have heard about the explosions that occurred today in Boston during the Boston Marathon.
Like many others, it took me a few seconds to really understand the information being fed to me from multiple online posts and the chatter surrounding me at my on-campus job. I knew little about the Boston Marathon, and even less about the explosions. When I returned back to my dorm room after work, my roommate already had the news turned on. I heard pieces of information, trying to make sense of it in my head. How many explosions? How severe? How many dead or injured?
The photos coming up online were grotesque and represented a blood bath on the concrete. Police in bright yellow; runners in oranges, reds, and other bright colors. Smoke everywhere.
As the information sank in, a new question started to play in my head: Who did it? Who was behind this? And, of course, the word “terrorist” came to mind quickly.
Without a doubt, the attack was planned; but, by who, is the real question.
We as Americans, of course, automatically think of a person of Middle Eastern descent when we think of a terrorist. From 9/11 on, we have been overcautious of every “suspicious” looking person, often only due to their appearance and ethnicity. We are too quick to judge others, and assume who does and does not classify as a terrorist.
More recently, we have been skeptical of the situation in North Korea and their tensions with the United States. Is this enough for us to be skeptical that the attack in Boston was a warning from North Korea?
If, and only if, this has some truth behind it and North Korea has planned, or even will plan, to attack the United States, our classifications of terrorists will change. While we now mostly associate terrorists as being from the Middle East, we may add another race to this assumption: Asians.
Americans are not fair in their judgments, however. We have no right to associate any race with terrorism. But many of us, at times, cannot simply turn off our thoughts. If North Korea is linked to this, or any future attack, will we begin to be more quickly associate a person of North Korean or Asian descent as a terrorist?
And it relates back to the issue of, why are only minorities thought of as terrorists? Why is it when the mainstream white male commits a terrorist act, we are able to place them into the category of insane?
It is something that we should consider before making any judgments of any person we encounter.
Note: I will be updating this post as new information becomes available.