“White male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders new speechwriter once hoped that the Boston Marathon bombing would turn out to be the work of a white man.
Sanders, a Vermont Independent who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, announced he was hiring David Sirota as a senior adviser Tuesday along with 15 other staffers, including fellow leftist journalist Briahna Joy Gray, an editor for the Intercept.
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Sirota explained why wished to see a white man fingered for the 2013 terrorist attack in an April article for Salon, as police were still searching for the perpetrators. His argument was essentially that “white male privilege” would prevent such an attack from being blamed on white America, whereas all Muslims would be blamed for an act of Islamist terrorism.
“[S]uch privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as ‘lone wolf’ threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters,” he said. “Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats …”
He added that “white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those [mass] shootings – even though most come at the hands of white dudes.”
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Sirota – a sometimes-reporter who wrote a column for the Guardian – predicted that if the bombers turned out not to be white, American civil liberties would be threatened. He further warned that efforts to wind down America’s wars, cut defense spending, and reform immigration policy could be set back.
The marathon bombers turned out to be the Tsarnaev brothers, two Muslim Kyrgyzstani-Americans.
In another essay for Salon a month earlier, Sirota staked out another far-left position, this time on economics. He wrote that late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had performed an “economic miracle” in his country, and had a lot to teach the United States.
While acknowledging the socialist leader’s “troubling record” on human rights and democratic freedoms, as well as the boom in violent crime during his reign, Sirota insisted that Chavez performed an “economic miracle” in Venezuela.
He claimed it was that success, rather than Chavez’s misdeeds, that made him an enemy of the “American political illuminati.” Like Martin Luther King Jr., he said, Chavez was marginalized to prevent the American people from even entertaining socialism ideas.
Sirota went on to suggest that America consider following Chavez’s lead by nationalizing banks, stepping up the war on poverty, and massively redistributing wealth.
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Even as these musings have earned Sirota scorn from conservatives, his role in the Sanders campaign has been criticized by liberals, too. As an Atlantic article published Tuesday detailed, Sirota has regularly attacked Sanders’ Democratic competitors in recent months while posing as an objective journalist.
With the election of President Donald Trump, Sirota’s policy ambitions have largely been reduced to pipe dreams. Although Trump has moved toward ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan, he has boosted defense spending, taken a hard line on immigration, eased financial regulations, reduced welfare programs, and cut taxes.
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However, Sirota’s agenda is in line with Sanders’.
Sanders – though not an enthusiastic identitarian – has been critical of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts. Last year, he called the war on terror a “disaster.” He has been condemned Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and expressed willingness to cut military aid to the country.
The senator is also an avowed democratic socialist, who helped bring ideas like Medicare for All and free college into the Democratic mainstream, where they have been championed by the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
In a series of recently resurfaced videos of Sanders in the mid-1980s, the then-mayor of Burlington Vermont was seen expressing affection for the Soviet Union and its marxist allies. In one, he discussed a recent trip to Moscow, saying he was impressed with their public transportation, which he calls “very very effective,” and their youth programs, which he says “go far beyond what we do in this country.”
In the other video, he praised Fidel Castro, the communist leader of Cuba, and recounted how he recently visited Nicaragua and advised the government on how to “manipulate” Americans through the media.
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