An Indian Kid In Dallas Got Suspended For Bringing A Homemade Clock, That Looked Like A Bomb, To School
Dallas News- Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.
Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.
So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.
In the meantime, Ahmed’s been suspended, his father is upset and the Council on American-Islamic Relations is once again eyeing claims of Islamophobia in Irving.
So he decided to do what he’s always done: He built something. Ahmed’s clock was hardly his most elaborate creation. He said he threw it together in about 20 minutes before bedtime on Sunday: a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display, all strapped inside a case with a tiger hologram on the front.
He showed it to his engineering teacher first thing Monday morning and didn’t get quite the reaction he’d hoped for.
“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Ahmed said. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”
He kept the clock inside his school bag in English class, but the teacher complained when the alarm beeped in the middle of a lesson. Ahmed brought his invention up to show her afterward.
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he said.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.
The bell rang at least twice, he said, while the officers searched his belongings and questioned his intentions. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, he said.
You could say that Ahmed Mohamed just learned a little bit about discrimination. I would rather say that Ahmad Mohamed just learned a little bit about self awareness. Hey Ahmed, I don't blame you for using your talents, that most of us could only dream of, to build your very own clock. With that said, you go to high school in Dallas, Texas. A place that literally needed nationwide outrage to help them decide that Confederate flags are actually pretty offensive. Let's just say the authority figures in Texas aren't the most open minded people in the world. So while you shouldn't have to walk around defending yourself against insults related to terrorism, it might be wise to leave your collection of wires and circuitry at home. Especially if all that it does is tell time. I'm sure your school has wall clocks. I'm sure everyone has a cell phone. You know why your teacher looked at you like you were crazy? Because showing people the most elaborate clock on the planet isn't all that impressive. With the state of technology we need machines to show us something new that we never thought possible. We don't need the kid with the most Islamic name in Arabic history to come marching through the front door of a high school with a wrist watch wearing a bomb costume.
In fact, if you are going to come to school with something that resembles a bomb, just maybe make sure it does something super awesome that a bomb wouldn't do. Make it sing the National Anthem or play a tribute to the victims of September 11th. Just make it capable of anything else other than telling me the time, because the only thing that I know of that looks like a bomb, has a bunch of wiring, and functions solely as a timer is an actual fucking bomb. If it looks like a duck, and has a bunch of duck features, then I am probably going to assume that it quacks. Pretty much for the same reasons we don't let socially awkward, introverted white kids walk around using pens that are shaped as guns.
Did they need to suspend him for three days? Probably not. Did they need law enforcement treating him like he was a member of ISIS? Definitely not. I think it's pretty clear that this is just a case of a kid thinking one of his possessions is way more awesome than it actually is. However, when you're a 'Ahmed Mohamed' in the heart of the South, your parents need to be more aware of your social standing in that region of the country. ESPECIALLY just days after the anniversary of the most infamous terrorist attack in American history. We are progressing as a people, but that doesn't mean that we are ALL beyond skepticism when we see Muslims walking through airports. Not saying Ahmed isn't free to invent cool shit, nor am I saying that he's not free to bring said cool shit to school, but maybe avoid pandering to racial stereotypes in front of a bunch of people that are still traumatized by results of the Civil War. All I'm asking is that your clock looks like a clock, and not a weapon of mass destruction. Back to the drawing board Ahmed.
P.S. If this kid ever has any interest in becoming a terrorist then those prejudice cops are FUCKED, because while he may not have built a bomb, it appears that he is very capable of doing so.