Image 01 Image 03 Look, White Caucasian Boston Bombing Squirrels! Look, White Caucasian Boston Bombing Squirrels!

No one cares about the skin color of the Boston Marathon Bombers except to push back against people like David Sirota of who infamously hoped that a “white American” was responsible, and others in the media and left-blogosphere who were hoping that another Timothy McVeigh-looking person was the perp.

I’m sure the victims don’t care about skin color.

The push to make the Whiteness or Non-Whiteness of the bombers an issue continues with just as much gusto at and elsewhere after it turned out that the bombers were Chechen Jihadists.

Joan Walsh of, responding to criticism of Sirota’s Great White Hope, writes:  Are the Tsarnaev brothers white?

But are we sure the Tsarnaevs aren’t white? They are quite literally Caucasian, as in from the Caucuses: Rebecca Eisenberg helps with this handy map.  And ethnically in this country, we count Americans of Russian descent, as well as Chechens, as white. Dzhokhar was a naturalized American citizen; Tamarlan had applied for citizenship but reportedly didn’t get it because of FBI concerns about his possible ties to Islamic radicals.

So why are the Tsarnaev brothers not white, at least to right-wingers? Is it only because they’re Muslim? Muslim immigrants? Or is it because they’re “bad,” and whiteness must be surrendered when white people are bad? …

These days, though, Americans of Russian or Chechen descent are unambiguously categorized as “white” by the U.S. Census Bureau, which says it counts as white  all “people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who reported ‘White’ or wrote in entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.” As I wrote Friday, the anguished outburst of Ruslan Tsarni, the brothers’ uncle in Maryland, was the quintessentially American cry of a newcomer wanting to be identified as a good, patriotic American – not necessarily as white, but certainly not as suspicious “other.”

So conservatives’ insistence the Tsarnaevs are absolutely not white is curious, to say the least.

This analysis of Whiteness is shallow, to put it mildly.  Chechnya (to be distinguished from The Czech Republic!) is in the Caucuses, and there’s no one as “White” as someone who comes from the region from which the term Caucasian was derived.  Right?

This is complete nonsense and a distraction for two reasons.  First, when it comes to skin color, we need to Stop using the word “Caucasian” to mean white:

About four years ago blogger emeritus RPM of evolgen brought into sharp relief an issue which has nagged me:

Caucasian, literally, refers to people native to the Caucasus, but it has become interchangeable with any number of ‘White’ populations, most of wh1om trace their ancestry to Europe. One gets the feeling that the term ‘White’ fell out of favor and was replaced by ‘Caucasian’ much like ‘Black’ was replaced by ‘African-American’. But the roots of such terminology are a bit disturbing; it was postulated that the natives of the Caucasus exhibited the idealized physical appearance so the Caucasus were believed to be the birthplace of mankind. The logic behind this idea — the assumption that Whites exhibit the best physical appearance — is implicitly racist. Additionally, we now know our species first appeared in Africa, so the biology isn’t any good either. The connotations of the term Caucasian along with the geographical absurdity of using that term to describe all Europeans or Whites are the two main reasons we should abandon the term.

… The Caucasus mountains bound the Middle East on the north, and the real Caucasians are to some extent a liminal Middle Eastern population. This gets really dumbfounding for the stupid people who ask and answer questions of the form “are Armenians white?” on the internet. After all, the Armenians are indubitably Caucasian, and Caucasian is white, right? Compare the subtly of a regular dictionary definition of Caucasian, to the straightforward acknowledgement of the idiocy of the common usage of the term in urban dictionary.

Derek Thompson at asks Why do we say that white people came from the area of Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan?

Wait, do white people really come from the Caucasus?

It’s highly unlikely. There are scholarly disagreements about how and when some of our dark-skinned ancestors developed lighter skin, but research suggests humans moved across the Asian and European continents about 50,000 years ago.

Second, “White” is an incredibly broad term as defined for U.S. Census purposes:

White.  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.  It includes people who indicate their race as “White” or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Arab, Moroccan, or Caucasian.

That’s a really broad range, rendering the Census term “White” meaningless when it comes to skin color.  Bedouins and Scandinavians are all “White.”

The more important question is not whether the bombers were “White” or “Caucasian” but why is obsessed with the Whiteness or non-Whiteness of the bombers.

It has nothing to do with skin color.

It’s all about distracting from the abysmal attempt to pin the bombing on the right-wing and Tea Party by reference to the indisputably “White” Timothy McVeigh, and to evade the questions the left does not want to face as to Jihadism, whether “homegrown” or international.

Look, White Caucasian Boston Bombing Squirrels!

I will grant one thing.  They do know a lot about “Whiteness” and squirrels.


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What right wingers are saying they weren’t white? I haven’t seen any examples of that; maybe I’m missing something….

It appears to me that the premise of her entire article is false; but of course that never stops them.

    Browndog in reply to moonstone716. | April 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    What’s a “right winger”?

    If by “right winger” you mean anyone more conservative than a liberal, I guess I am.

    This “right winger” looks at the photos of the two bombers and sees what I describe as “ethnic”, not even remotely white.

    Further, “whites” are classified as Caucasian only in America. The rest of the world, for the most part, describes “white” as Anglo, or Anglo/Saxon.

      moonstone716 in reply to Browndog. | April 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      It’s Salon, anyone who doesn’t live and die by the NYT is a right-winger. Which makes me proud to be one also.

      lichau in reply to Browndog. | April 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      I am what would be generally regarded as “white”–ancestry is either German or Scot. Both sides view being called “Anglo-Saxon” fighting words. Especially the Scot side.

      In the US, “White” is operatively “The ONE group that can claim no special status’. When qualified by “male” and straight”, it means (figuratively, please) “fire at will”.

To paraphrase MLK, it’s not the color of their skin, it’s the content of their religion.

Once again, evidence that progressives focus on trivialities such as skin color, while ignoring the important issues of current events. They are children. Naive, well-meaning (sometimes), ignorant, simplistic, and not to be trusted to make decisions that are in their long-term interests (or anyone else’s).

They might be white, but that’s not relevant. What’s relevant is the whole Islam/Jihad thing.

So anyone from the Ivory Coast is “lily white” and anyone from Nigeria is….:)

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, when she isn’t stumbling tipsy at a “No Labels” cocktail party, will have you know that not only are the Tsarnaevs literally Caucasians, just like Elizabeth Warren’s ancestors hailed literally from the Asian subcontinent of India, but their ancestors hailed from the white snow-capped village of Krackercz, where they were revered as the town albinos, moving up in the civil service ranks at an alarming pace, and known even in faraway villages following the white-brick road to Privilegez, such as the pale hamlet of Honkeezc, as the fun-loving characters who would never remove their shirts lest their blindingly white chests catalyze a type of Caucasoid Beatlemania of non-color.

Now, if I’m correct, imagine Melissa’s telling (replete with details erased with alcohol) when she isn’t tipsy at a No Labels bash … not tipsy … just dizzy as ususal.

LukeHandCool (who can’t believe the lengths to which he’ll procrasinate to keep from cramming for a test … and who is looking forward to summer … a time of no school … when he can work on his caramel Czech, Bohemian brown suntan with Teutonic highlights … a true person of color, he is)

At some level this is Freudian. Their subconscious is answering the question “Who is the enemy?”.


Please don’t tell Melissa Harris-Perry, David Sirota, or any of the usual suspects, about the reports that that milk man great-great-grandpa Illegitimaetz Tsarnaev, who was given to making clandestine nightime milk deliveries to the town’s ladyfolk, hailed not from the Caspian Sea side of the range, but rather, yes, I’m sorry, from the Black Sea side.

You know what that means? Not only do the Tsarnaevs not remove their shirts before the ladies in public … where’s my fainting sofa?

    jdkchem in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    So if they hailed from the Caspian Sea would that make them Narnians?

      LukeHandCool in reply to jdkchem. | April 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Casper the ghost was a white Caucasian from the Caspian Sea side of the Caucasus Mountains.

      I don’t mean that as a tongue-twister for MSNBC hosts to repeat 10 times as fast as they can.

      Casper the Ghost was Caspian Caucasian White.

      LukeHandCool (who just sent Crayola a suggestion for its new MSNBC crayon set)

listingstarboard | April 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

More important–who funded these guys ? I have not seen mention of any type of employment, and yet the brothers attended prestigous schools, the older spent his days in the gym and evidently supported a wife and child. Where is the money coming from? And who subsidised the frequent travel of the eldest? whwy are there so many guys like this living in this country with no visible means of support? Follow the money-right to Saudi Arabia is my guess.

According to Sirota’s own wish, the first place to look for the usual suspects would be at headquarters.

    LukeHandCool in reply to Sally Paradise. | April 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Just because Salon is an anglicization of Salaam?

    Come on! Alaikum, so can’t you like ’em, too?

    LukeHandCool (who, on second thought, wonders if caucasoidation would be the proper term? Although technically the term refers to the bleaching process used in the creation of Salon writers)

Don’t forget those Aryan (Iran) people and didn’t Hitler refer to the Afghan peoples as the purest Aryans on Earth?

Russians relentlessly discriminate against their former citizens from the caucasus regions. They don’t consider them “white” and in fact use many slurs against them including black slurs.

    jdkchem in reply to mikulin. | April 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    My Russian wife has asked why the US would allow Chechens into the country. In addition to being Russian she was also an inspector with the police in Rostov.

LukeHandCool | April 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Actually, my children, half-Asian and half-white, are the only true Cauc-Asians.

And there are many days when I’d like to turn them over to the authorities for extended questioning so I can get a little peace.

Salon on Amanda Palmer’s A Poem for Dzhokhar:

Whatever one think of the artistic merits of the poem itself, its mere existence shouldn’t be cause for outrage. It’s far too easy to demonize and dehumanize, to comfortably assume that unfathomable acts must be committed by monsters. To take an empathetic view of a suspect is not tantamount to condoning what he’s accused of, any more than not wanting to celebrate a reviled figure’s death represents approval of the person’s life. Palmer, in her poem, isn’t asking for mercy for anybody. Instead, she’s just making an artistic choice, to envision the perspective of someone whose eyes few of us can ever imagine seeing the world from.

So as not to send her traffic, I have linked to Google cache, not to Palmer’s site.

Henry Hawkins | April 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm

If you have an argument you argue it. If you don’t, you distract and avoid losing the argument by steering the focus to a basic theme irrelevant to the argument, like race, gay rights or gender equality, any of which can be forced out of practically any event or story, however torturous the effort. Then you trot out all the well-worn liberal-speak aphorisms, anecdotes, and allusions attached to the chosen theme and you deliver them with the shrill arrogance of the self-righteous.

There can be only three results of an argument: you win, lose, or it goes unresolved. If you know your argument is a loser, you have no choice but to try to keep the question as unresolved. Nothing – not murderous abortionists, not organized and active jihad on our shores, not even national security – nothing is paramount to winning the Ideo War.

“The more important question is not whether the bombers were “White” or “Caucasian” but why is obsessed with the Whiteness or non-Whiteness of the bombers.”

Simple. Because they’re racists and they have a screw loose.

Are people with black skin-color living in the Caucasuses called African-Caucasian? At what point does a geography become native for an inhabitant?

Also, why stop at the Caucasuses? Are Walsh and Sirota claiming that human life originated in that region? That seems contrary to their article of faith.

    n.n in reply to n.n. | April 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Whatever happened to judging an individual by the content of their character and action? It seems that the people who most revere — and exploit — the man are also the most likely to denigrate his legacy. Perhaps his insight was to complicated, or nuanced, for mere simian derivatives to comprehend.

Looks like Salon et al are “CaucasoPhobes” of the highest order.

Always pre-judging people by the color of their skin is definitely a hallmark of the Left/Liberal/Progressive.

Why has no one mentioned that the “White” Russian Islamist Jihadist is being treated in a JEWISH HOSPITAL Beth Israel Deaconess?
Two of his attending and the CEO Dr. Kevin Tabb of Beth Israel are Israeli Jews. Are they WHITE Jews?
My niece when she was 7 announced to me that she was “brown”. My reply “Baby, all people are brown”. Just different shades of brown. Beige, mahogany, even freckles are brown”.

Henry Hawkins | April 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I don’t care if they’re purple unicorns from Altair IV. They killed three, delimbed thirty, and maimed a hundred more and were no doubt disappointed in those numbers. They’d had combat training, knew how to handle weapons – they were literally trained killers. They were not suicide bombers – they’d hoped to live to kill again.

What difference does it make, at this point, what race they are?

Describing any Joan Walsh analysis as shallow is quintessential redundancy.