The Boston Red Sox won the World Series last week — the first series held since terrorists murdered three and wounded 264 at the Boston Marathon. For most Bostonians, winning the series is a time for celebrating like we used to: duck boat parades, a few too many beers.
But for those few too many Massachusetts elites, this victory is just one more opportunity — atop brunches, luncheons and cocktail parties — to blame the victims of terrorism, and to remind us guilty ones of all the bad things Bostonians have done to deserve whatever it is we get. (Boston Globe Flashback: Do you feel ’empathy’ for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?)
This week’s hero is Cambridge author Gish Jen, who used a Sunday Boston Globe op-ed — ostensibly about Boston’s win — to showcase just how smart she is. Following an awkwardly long soliloquy on how the Sox’s comeback is just like William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (applaud her, ye uncultured swine), Ms. Jen rattled off the names of a few players (she’s no Martha Coakley, folks) before getting to her main point: April’s terrorist attack on Boston had “renewed a special doubt” about who was to blame for the attacks. Lest we forget,
[T]he Sox were the last baseball team in the league to integrate. … Celtics legend Bill Russell had his house broken into and his bed defecated on. … we had all that trouble around busing. And what about our redlining of Jews? It’s hard not to recall these things and wonder: Did we fail the Tsarnaevs somehow?
That would be Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — the Islamist brothers who filled two pressure cookers with nails and ball bearings, and then calmly detonated them in a festive crowd of families. Days later, the brothers claimed a fourth life when they ambushed Sean Collier, a 27-year-old college police officer. (RELATED: Rolling Stone puts Boston Bomber on cover)
“It’s not clear that we did [fail them],” Ms. Jen continued, crafting a lifeline she would later use to deny that she blamed Boston. (RELATED: Tamerlan Tsarnaev memorialized at Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally)
“And yet,” she waxed poetic, “for people who knew Dzhokhar especially, who had seen him at school, who had studied and partied and played sports with him, the lurking fear has been that we failed to truly open our hearts, that we accepted him, but only up to a point.” (RELATED: Boston suspect continued tweeting after mass murder)
Fortunately for time’s sake, the ever-charitable Ms. Jen’s own sentence serves to highlight her absurdity: If only the people who saw the college sophomore “at school” and “studied and partied and played sports with him” had “accepted him” a little more, he wouldn’t have murdered them.