The latest event in the series of outrages that plague our society; a 9th grade muslim kid was arrested for bringing a clock that he made from scratch to his school to impress his science teacher. Of course, fear took hold and instantly a disheveled mess of electronic parts in a case was assumed to be a bomb. There have been a lot of people denouncing the situation stating that they too would have been overly suspicious and would have asked questions later in this situation. Even during the interrogation of the boy, Ahmed, the police were reported to have profiled him based on his ethnicity, saying, “Yep, that’s who I thought it was” upon having first set eyes on the kid.
After the issue was eventually cleared up, there was much apologetic praise for Ahmed, with everything ranging from tweets inviting him to the white house to an interview with MIT encouraging him to come to their school. However, there has continued to be much fear and resentment of muslims in general surrounding the entire incident, to include the latest string of memes saying, “spot the bomb” and comparing his clock with some other electronic shit in a suitcase. Frankly, I’ve seen WAAAAAAAYYYYYY more bombs and explosive devices than I ever wanted to. I even kicked wires for one once (and summarily shit my pants). Granted, I’m not EOD, but neither the hell is anyone else I see making comments about any of this. So I propose my own challenge; out of these following pictures tell me which one is the bomb… If you said not a fucking one, then you’re right! Respectively, they are Ahmed’s clock, the inside of a computer, the electronic part of a freezer, a rotary phone, and a car stereo. If I hadn’t looked these up, I wouldn’t know the difference between any of them. And most likely, neither would any one else that doesn’t have a background in electronics, engineering, or bomb making. I’ve sat and watched people post comments such as “I would have thought it was a bomb too”. Well why would you naturally assume some kid took the time to build a bomb and carried that in, with no other weapons at all and no other signs that he was being malicious to any extent? Its a little extreme to jump straight into believing this kid is just walking around with a bomb in his back pack all nonchalant.
I get that in the modern era, people’s motives and actions can be rather questionable sometimes, but to assume that a bomb is going to be the weapon of choice for a 9th grade kid is just fear taking over your life. Hell, I’m impressed that he built the clock, much less how impressed I would be that a kid would be able to rig a device to be able to set off an explosion. That would take not just intelligence in engineering, but a decent knowledge of chemistry as well. Even in war we rarely ran across devices that we so intelligently designed. If you don’t believe me, check out a few of the examples of things we ran across that were used for IED’s…
So, unless you plan to take all fire extinguishers, soda cans and bottles, water jugs, SHOES, and ban donkeys and other medium to large sized animals from schools you’re just going to have to come to terms that on a daily basis (except donkeys… maybe) you child is going to encounter someone that has something in their possession that may potentially be a bomb. Oh no! The world is a scary place. People suck, and are assholes. There are some things that people do that are so just completely off the wall that they are completely unexpected and the only way to prevent them would be to completely deny children the freedoms that we all had growing up by doing full searches before they enter the school. But, that would be searching without probable cause and against their basic rights. So instead, the fearful try to place their broad fears into a select group and focus on them to be the assumed problems. And then you end up with a little brown kid being ran through the system and having his dreams of being a creator to benefit our country crushed by pitiful short sighted stereotyping. He could grow up to invite some really cool shit. Maybe I’ll finally get a hoverboard! But that dream could have been smashed due to profiling his ethnicity.
It’s not like its not known or expected at certain points, but to say its the kid’s own fault to expect that his clock design is going to look like a bomb to others, after he has put so much hard work into it and is probably excited as hell to show off what he made is a little overzealous. But for those who decry that muslims and arabs aren’t profiled, I give you Chopper Reid. While this may be a comedy sketch, there is a whole lot of truth to his final statements. What happened to Ahmed, just solidifies that truth so much more.