Ahmed Mohamed – When clocks become an excuse

By   /   September 20, 2015  /   21 Comments

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Everyday people like Ahmed who are just trying to make it in the world like everyone else, will always pay a price for it.

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Ahmed Mohamed became famous for making a clock and getting in trouble for it.

The image of a confused young boy being handcuffed by police speaks volumes about the absurdity of the whole situation.

Literally all the kid wanted to do was impress his teacher, expecting praise from someone who knew him and how smart he was. Last I checked this wasn’t a crime. But it could be if you belong to a group that isn’t exactly the favourite of the day. His determination to follow his dream to keep inventing is a level of strength I wish I had. Anyone else simply would’ve given up for fear of constantly having to prove to the world that they should be treated as everyone else.

The international outpour of support is absolutely heart warming, but will his experience and his family’s response – they bought pizza for the media camped outside their house – do anything to shift the public perception about Muslims, particularly in the United States?

It could certainly improve, but as long as there’s a war to be fought, there will always be an enemy. ‘Othering’ of minority groups has always existed and as much as we hate it, it’s not going away anytime soon. Everyday people like Ahmed who are just trying to make it in the world like everyone else, will always pay a price for it.

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21 Comments

  1. Rae says:

    With the justified worldwide backlash from this, Ahmed has a great chance now to turn those particular lemons into lemonade. That would be his best “revenge” for want of a better word.
    Tip for Ahmed, put that clock on Ebay

  2. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    This tells me more about American foriegn policy and the consequences of it than about Ahmed Mohamed and his family.

    This histrionic nonsense, so beloved of the Americans, is just rubbish.

    It is completely outrageous that a ten year old boy (and his family too) shows more maturity than the forces of government.

    A brown skinned person with a name like Ahmed Mohamed fits the profiling approach and remember, THAT totally invalid system is being used here in NZ/Aotearoa as well. Just ask any person here with a brown skin and a name that comes from the Tangata Whenua or the Pacific Islands.

    It is unacceptable and racist.

  3. Georgie Zonneveld says:

    An absolute disgrace, and unfortunately it seems this kind of blatant racism and total lack of common sense and compassion is not at all uncommon in the States. Each year, thousands of children are ticketed or arrested for incredibly trivial offenses, including burping in class (yes really http://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-arrested-for-burping-lawsuit-claims/).

    Aside from the abhorrent way this boy was racially profiled, its also completely moronic. Even more so that the school has decided to back the actions of the teacher and not issue an apology.

  4. Macro says:

    It is a seriously sick and paranoid society that arrests a kid for making a clock.

  5. georgiezonn89 says:

    An absolute disgrace, and unfortunately it seems this kind of blatant racism and total lack of common sense and compassion is not at all uncommon in the States.

    Each year, thousands of children are ticketed or arrested for incredibly trivial offenses, including burping in class (yes really http://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-arrested-for-burping-lawsuit-claims/).

    Aside from the abhorrent way this boy was racially profiled, its also completely moronic. Even more so that the school has decided to back the actions of the teacher and not issue an apology.

  6. Grand says:

    Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I don’t think this problem is entirely a result of racism. It is certainly an element, but I think it stems mainly from the intolerant policy called “zero tolerance”. Thousands of students in the US of all backgrounds are unfairly punished by this system. There is widespread injustice and stupidity in the US education system.

    • Lara says:

      So you’ve not noticed how much people in the USA hate Muslims?

      You do have access to the internet… so…..

      And I’m guessing you’re white. White people so often don’t see racism, because it’s not directed at them.

      • Grand says:

        Please don’t make assumptions about me. I didn’t say it wasn’t about race, in fact it very well could be. I was just saying this exact same situation could have, and DOES, happen to students of all backgrounds as a result of zero tolerance.

        • Bastables says:

          Sure just like US police will also brutalise poor whites and then kill one out of hand every once in a while. So the greater rates of incarceration and murder of unarmed black US citizens by US police forces can ignored. You’ve apparently missed the point of the #blacklivesmatter movement.

          Zero tolerance affects minorities at much greater rates too. No surprises at all, unless you wilfully ignore racism.

          • Grand says:

            Nope, I was just pointing out that this exact situation could, and has, happened to people of all races in the joke that is the American educational system. It hits minorities harder of course, because they are less powerful. But at its core this was a problem caused by zero tolerance, with a possible sprinkle of racism that made it just that much worse.

    • J S Bark J S Bark says:

      Zero tolerance is certainly a key ingredient in this business but I think you’ll find it is more of an enabler than a cause.

      Having zero tolerance makes it even easier for racism to be institutionalised and, as in this case, camouflaged.

      I AM white and I agree with Lara. We do have it easier because of our race. It’s taken steady work for me to be able to even just see it. I practise checking my thoughts a lot now. And still there are many subtle forms of racism that I miss. It’s very very deeply rooted in our natures.

      You can bet your backside that most of the negative European reaction to the refugee crisis has its origins in racist beliefs, “we are a Christian country” or “we must look after our own people first” – the use of words like “we” and “they” or the infamous “you people” are all indicators of possible racist thinking.

      You gotta be real sharp and alert to catch it sometimes…

      • Grand says:

        I agree white people have it better in our society, but I think dismissing peoples opinions because they are white, as Lara is doing, is wrong.

        I also think the only really important privilege in our society, and most of western society, is class privilege. All these other conflicts over gender, race, religion etc are fueled to keep us from doing anything about it.

        • J S Bark J S Bark says:

          I’m not sure about Lara’s motivation but mine is more to do with examining.

          Like you, I believe in the class war/struggle. Everything boils down to class.

          But (and I know that is a cop-out word)

          Many do see the racist issues long before they see the class issues and I’m not totally convinced if I were brown (or whatever) that I’d see it as a class issue immediately.

          Also you are absolutely correct; noone’s opinions or feelings are more valid because of race.

          We’re all the same once you get down to being homo sapiens. 🙂

          • Grand says:

            Its especially true when many racial issues are themselves at their core class issues, when minorities are concentrated in the lower classes as a result of past (and in some cases current) racial oppression.

        • Bastables says:

          The US is a western society built on slavery, not just any slavery a very pointed racial slavery.

          Note that nativist aka racist seam of US politics included not judging Irish as “whites” and the success of Prohibition was due to mining the seam of Methodist/Baptists vs Lutherens (aka Germans). The idea that racism is not a component in any colonial society is due to a very wilful blindness.

          • Grand says:

            Yes it is a very obvious pattern seen in almost every aspect of not just western, but all societies. It seems racism is natural behavior when it comes to mankind (In fact there are some interesting readings on how this may be an a result of behavioral evolution).

  7. lucy says:

    Actually the thing that intrigued me the most was that his science teacher knew what it was as he told Ahmed to put it in his bag. Then when the cops came the teacher did not say what it was, so as much as it was a failure by the school and cops it was a real failure by the one teacher who could have stopped the whole situation occurring!

  8. kamakiri says:

    i want to read the interview with the teacher….
    the reaction was so infinitely far beyong gaffe/ misunderstanding / bad day at work/ pure idiot

    bit of soul searching going on there i trust…

  9. Realist says:

    This was a PR stunt from the beginning.

    The kid didn’t even make a clock, he took a Radioshack alarm clock out of its enclosure and put the pieces in a pencil box.

    Please don’t get suckered in by such blatant propaganda people!

    • Anon says:

      It doesn’t actually matter if he just took apart a clock to impress his teacher – because the reality of the situation is that that was all he did.
      He took apart a clock and soldered it back together in order to impress his teacher and he got shafted for it. Which is prty bullshit and unfair in my mind.


 
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