Questions in the aftermath of Boston

A few simple questions.

Would people publicly share naked photos of people they did not know and in the process destroy lives? I expect that in any civilized society, the majority of people should like to answer “no” to that question. Why then, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, in which three were killed and over 100 injured, did online mobs congregate to wrongfully accuse people of a heinous crime they did not commit? Is it because they thought they were doing a service? Who exactly were they serving?

Why was a Saudi man who was a victim himself treated as a criminal because of his ethnicity and nationality? Why was a innocent Moroccan teenager fearful for his life when his photo was shared by an unapologetic newspaper in New York as that of a suspect? Why was it acceptable for a prime-time CNN anchor to identify a suspect with only the description “dark-skinned male” and then question if the skin-color was “domestic or foreign”? Who will apologize to the parents of the Indian American tragically missing from Brown University for a month whose photos went viral on social media even though he was not a suspect?

Why even bother with due process and legal proceedings? How many Batman movies do you need to watch before you can don a cape and inflict swift retribution?

If the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon blasts showed the admirable capacity of some strangers to rise up to the occasion in real-life crises, the ensuing days have demonstrated an unending capacity of others to orchestrate withchhunts from the comfort of their homes.

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