These people are beyond hope.
Photos show him dropping a bomb near the Boston Marathon finish line. He allegedly killed a police officer in cold blood. But while his older brother fit the stereotype of the dangerous extremist — distant, cruel, driven by ideology — 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had friends. Went to prom. Was considered “a nice guy.”
The dissonance has sent some people deep into fringe territory. There’s a #FreeJahar movement on Twitter and a Facebook group claiming his innocence. But many others, devastated by the bombings, have nonetheless confessed to mixed emotions this week: to wondering how Tsarnaev felt, what he thought, as he cowered in a boat in a Watertown backyard.
Expressing those ideas can be a clumsy thing, as singer Amanda Palmer now admits about her “poem for dzhokhar,” a rambling, widely-slammed free verse about boats, iPhones, and Vietnamese spring rolls. But is empathy different from sympathy? Does it make us hopelessly naive, or simply human?
Yes, hopelessly naive.
The readers go off on them, thankfully.