These people are liberals. It's what they do. In such precincts, a soft-spoken Muslim kid like Dzhokhar is more likely to be considered a special catch than eyed suspiciously as a potential terrorist.Something odd happened when the identity of Suspect No. 2, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, became public last week: His name was greeted with words of . . . praise.A former classmate said Dzokhar was “soft spoken but very, you know, funny, very sweet, wouldn't harm a fly, someone that you would want to talk to.” She professed to having had a crush on him.“A beautiful, beautiful boy,” Dzokhar was called — repeatedly, in interviews and on Twitter — by a public-radio journalist whose nephew had hung out with him.One of his high-school teachers was even more effusive: Dzhokhar, he said, “had a heart of gold, he was a sweetheart, he was gracious, he was caring, he was compassionate.”These weren’t the traditional post-crime neighborly responses — you know, “nice guy,” “very polite,” “kept to himself.” Nor were these people speaking ruefully in the “oh my God, I was conned by this kid, what the hell is the matter with me” way.These salutes to Dzokhar Tsarnaev seem amazingly overheated, even if you accept that he was one type of person in high school and turned into another the next year.Heart of gold? Compassionate? Gracious? Caring? “Beautiful, beautiful boy?” I don’t know that I’ve ever read such unmitigatedly kind things said about a teenage male, even a nice one.These adults were grading him on a peculiar curve.
Nominated for a Nobel Prize? Don't laugh.
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