Reflections on the Boston Marathon tragic events

Introduction by Marc Lavine.

Like all people of conscience, we are deeply saddened by the Boston marathon bombings. As educators and Bostonians, these events affected us deeply and personally. One of our former students was among the dead, as was a child from the neighborhood where our campus is located. One of Boston’s many international students perished as did a committed campus police officer. Many nursing students from our school were among the first responders. Several of us know people who were injured or have personal connections to the marathon. Continue reading

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Terrorists: Some you see, some you don’t

By Banu Ozkazanc-Pan.

The recent bombings and acts of terror in Boston left hundreds wounded, dozens disabled, and four dead. These events elicited a spectrum of responses including outrage, fear, elation, grieving, and nationalism and reignited debate over ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ immigrants. Such reactions to terrorism may seem natural but raise interesting questions–why are the events in Boston conceptualized as terrorists attacking the U.S. when the unceremonious death or capture of other mass murderers in the U.S. do not invoke nationalism?  Why did people chant “USA, USA, USA” in response to the death of Bin Laden and after the capture of Dzokhar Tsarnaev but not after the capture of Jared Lee Loughner? Are these events equivalent? To understand these reactions, we have to consider why certain people are labeled terrorists, how violent attacks are seen in the U.S., and how assumptions about terrorism lead to calls for armed interventions in different parts of the world and at home.  One way to examine these questions is to focus on identities. Continue reading