by Christopher Paslay
In 2013, Rolling Stone glorified Boston Bomber Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev with a Jim Morrison-like cover shot. Will the magazine do the same with El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius?
All mass murdering terrorists aren’t created equal, especially in the eyes of the radical left. As recent history shows, even a sociopath’s actions are subject to identity politics.
Take, for example, the horrific events of September 11, 2001. You’d think the mass killings of nearly 3,000 Americans orchestrated by Osama bin Laden would be universally condemned by Americans, but this wasn’t the case. Amazingly, there were many apologists who publicly demanded that America rethink its foreign policy, suggesting the United States government not only brought the tragedy on itself, but that America may have even deserved what it got.
Celebrated civil rights activist and former Poet Laureate of New Jersey Amiri Baraka wrote the poem “Somebody Blew Up America,” which not only suggested 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy (Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed / Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers / To stay home that day / Why did Sharon stay away?), but also argued the real terrorists weren’t “some barbaric A-Rab in Afghanistan,” but racist Americans who’ve terrorized people all over the globe. NPR called Baraka’s poem “controversial and achingly beautiful,” and venerated him as an activist and literary figure.
In 2014, professor Emmit Evans at California Polytechnic State University assigned his political science students a text he co-wrote that called bin Laden a “freedom fighter” and the United States a “neocolonial power.” The book, The Other World: Issues and Politics of the Developing World, noted that “the al Qaeda movement of Osama bin Laden is one example of an attempt to free a country (in this case, Saudi Arabia) from a corrupt and repressive regime propped up by a neocolonial power (in this case, the United States).”
To put this in perspective, imagine contemporary poet laureates and university professors analyzing the ideological beliefs of Patrick Crusius, and in turn, writing books and publishing poems both praising and apologizing for his terrorist attack. Imagine a poem called “Somebody Shot Up El Paso,” which suggested the tragedy was a conspiracy by the radical left to forward the false narrative of white supremacy, and to lobby for stricter gun laws. Likewise, what if a professor co-authored a book analyzing Crusius’ “manifesto,” theorizing that the white supremacy movement is one example of an attempt to free a group of people (marginalized rural whites) from a corrupt and repressive anti-white American culture, propped up by social justice propaganda?
This would never happen, of course. Apologizing for white nationalism isn’t as hip as making intellectual arguments in support of Islamic extremism, nor is it cool to look the other way when it comes to neo-Nazis. When it came to labeling Muslim terrorism “Islamic extremism” for the better part of a decade, the left conveniently made excuses; Obama wanted to lower the political temperature and keep peaceful Muslims from being stereotyped and attacked. The same philosophies don’t apply to so-called “white supremacy,” however. Labeling all Trump supporters “white nationalists” is now the name of the game, and keeping the term and its apparent ideology in the public is the ultimate aim. Does anyone seem to care that peaceful white people will be wrongly accused of being a part of a relatively small hate group? Not at all. Does anyone seem to care that continuing to fan the flames of supposed “white nationalism” will raise the political temperature and provoke more violence against both immigrants and Trump supporters? Again, not at all.
It’s not hip to make excuses for people like Patrick Crusius, or to try and understand his background or manifesto. Unlike Boston Bomber Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, Crusius won’t get his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone. Tsarnaev was a self-radicalized Islamic extremist, which allowed the magazine to call him “a charming kid with a bright future.” Sure, he used two pressure cooker bombs to blow up the Boston Marathon with his brother, killing two cops, three civilians, and injuring an estimated 264 others, 14 of whom required amputations.
But Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev was a “charming kid,” if not for him becoming radicalized. Rolling Stone wrote in their 2013 cover story:
People in Cambridge thought of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – “Jahar” to his friends – as a beautiful, tousle-haired boy with a gentle demeanor, soulful brown eyes and the kind of shy, laid-back manner that “made him that dude you could always just vibe with,” one friend says. He had been a captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin wrestling team for two years and a promising student. He was also “just a normal American kid,” as his friends described him, who liked soccer, hip-hop, girls; obsessed over The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones; and smoked a copious amount of weed.
Such a nice young boy “Jahar” was, with such great potential. He was only a radicalized Muslim after all, not a white nationalist, so it was cool for America to see his human side. As for Patrick Crusius, he’s too politically valuable not to trash and publicly demonize, and the left and the mainstream media will surely milk his sickness for all it’s worth. The disturbed young man is a monster, make no mistake about it. But he’s a white nationalist monster, which won’t get him on the cover of Rolling Stone any time soon.