Looking at what happened to Ahmed Mohamed.
Well, first of all, I need to apologize for not posting anything in the last few weeks. I’ve taken on a new freelance writing job and my latest assignment has taken up a lot of time. Also, the ups and downs of battling depression without the use of any medical help sometimes takes me out of being able to produce as much content as I would like to on a daily basis. Sometimes the shit in my head becomes my own worst enemy.
Anywho, I’ve been keeping up on the news lately of a couple of different stories, But the one that I wanted to touch upon in this article was the story of the young Texas boy who was arrested and suspended from his high school for bringing in a clock to school.
I’m sure by now most of you have heard even a passing mention of the young Ahmed Mohamed. The bright 14 year old who brought a homemade project of a clock to school to show his teachers, only to get singled out, put in handcuffs and arrested on charges that his high school never even bothered to stick on him anyway. The big factor in this is of course that the boy is Muslim and charges of this being based in racial and religious predigest are being flown around, specifically that the arresting officers made claims of saying that he “knew it would be him”.
The incident itself is ugly and reeks of a knee jerk reaction and bubbling racial tension more than anything. If his claims are to believed (and I do until proven otherwise) that the officer or the principal (or both) knew ahead of time who he was and automatically made the assumption it was him because of his beliefs. That’s not cool. I would hope that not only the school district, but also the state’s board of education take a serious look into what happened with this, but to be blunt, I doubt anything will be done about this from within and if any kind of charges or penalties are issued, it would be at the prodding of the ACLU more than any kind of self-investigation.
But, like just about every story like this that comes out, it doesn’t seem as cut and dry as those on either side of the issue think it to be. Now, I haven’t been in high school for a long time (1999 to be exact…yes I graduated from high school the year Columbine happened). But I have heard anything about if the boy or his family had made any kind of mention to anyone, teacher or administrator, as to when he was bringing this project in or what he had been doing. Somewhere along the line he had to have mentioned it to one of his teachers with “hey, I’m working on this clock project at home, want me to bring it in?” He ad to have mentioned it to someone right?
I’ll relate a story from my high school days a bit. In my sophomore year my English teacher was also head of the drama department. I was not in the drama program but she was a wonderful teacher and a big reason I’m a writer now. Anyway, I was in the process of cleaning out a lot of old junk from my bedroom at the time and asked her if she wanted a few things as props and stuff since I was getting rid of it. One of those items was a toy gun. This wasn’t some cheap plastic from china, but a dye cast metal handgun that while it had a working trigger, did not have a barrel nor did it have an actual firing device. Either way it looks fairly realistic (especially at a distance) and like so many toy guns back then, wasn’t marked as peace bonded (I.E. the orange cap on the end). I offered to give it to my teacher the next day, but I told her I would clear it through the principal first. Before I left I asked him directly about it and what I would do is bring it in inside something so no one else saw it, bring it into his office and have him take a look at it before bringing it up to the teacher in whatever I had it in. He looked it over, saw what it was, and gave it the okay before I handed it over to y English teacher with the other stuff. No harm, no foul, I wasn’t suspended, expelled, the ACLU wasn’t called, there ya go.
The other thing in this story I’m curious about is the reaction of the principal. It is a point that was brought up in a post I read. If the administrators on the school seriously thought that this kid brought a ticking time bomb into the school building, wouldn’t you think the first thing they would have done was evacuate the building? You know, because this whole thing was serious enough to warrant calling a bunch of cops, not let the boy call his parents, arrest him and haul him off to jail before they looked it over to find it wasn’t a bomb before they thought of the idea of evacuating the school for the safety of the other kids.
I guess these are details that hopefully will come out as time goes on. Meanwhile the boy’s parents pulled all their kids from the school district and are looking elsewhere while young Ahmed is getting offers from Facebook, MIT, and even the President.
And that brings me to the reaction of this story. People are already saying that the school was perfectly right to do what they did, even with some blatantly being racists and saying it was okay because he is Muslim and Muslims are evil. Right. Yup THAT line of thinking is going to work.
Also, there are those that seemed really damned determined to make it out like this young man isn’t nearly as smart as it’s being portrayed. The big stink I hear is that his protect was just buying a store-bought clock and putting it in a new case. SO WHAT? The kid is 14 years old. Pardon if he isn’t building a fission reactor and time machine in his spare time. Are people really that cynical that you need to cut down a 14-year-old to make yourself feel smarter? Really?
It seems that while this story has brought out the good in some, it really has brought out the worst in others. Shame really. Hope this young man can get above all that shit and start himself on a good path for the rest of his life.
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