Boston Attacks: Who Are the Suspects?

Uncle's comments and the burdens of answering for all Muslims. Plus: Immigration-reform backlash?

UPDATED Friday, April 19:

As the story of the attacks on Boston rapidly develops, Americans continue to sort through reports about the identities, descriptions and motivations of the suspects — sometimes with better results than others. (A report that one was interested in hip-hop? Not helpful.)

It’s not the most urgent conversation taking place right now, since Boston remains on lockdown, but it certainly foreshadows the issues we’ll all grapple with as we attempt to make sense of this tragedy and those who are responsible for it.


(The Root) — Authorities have released surveillance video of two men whom it considers suspects in this week’s Boston Marathon bombing. Both are wearing backpacks and caps, and that’s probably about the only description that will be widely agreed upon, a day after everyone from the NAACP to Stephen Colbert slammed CNN for its Wednesday description of who it said was a “dark-skinned” suspect.

There’s been a hearty additional dose of post-photo release outrage from those who don’t see “dark” in today’s images, and MSNBC host Chris Matthews has already wondered aloud what authorities can tell about the suspects’ origins from the footage.

“Dark” is as subjective as it was yesterday, but as this urgent investigation continues, we’re reminded that we could use some collective work on how we discuss (and comprehend) race and identity.