Masha Gessen in The New Yorker on white jurors’ bias against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s looks

He’s black!

At The New Yorker, former Our Woman in Moscow Masha Gessen… worries about whether Caucasian jurors in Boston will be biased against the surviving Bomb Brother for being Caucasian:

What Will Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Jury Look Like?
By Masha Gessen

Very few of the twelve hundred prospective jurors resemble Tsarnaev.

Almost all of them are older than the defendant, who is twenty-one; he was nineteen when he was charged with carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people, and having taken part in the murder of an M.I.T. police officer.

The majority of them are white. While Tsarnaev may look white, he grew up Muslim in Boston—his family immigrated to the U.S. in 2002. Before that, he lived in Kyrgyzstan and Russia, where he was considered “black.” (The N.Y.U. professor Eliot Borenstein explains the phenomenon of that perception very well.).