I’m sure, by now, you’ve all heard about Ahmed Mohamed, a ninth grade student in Texas.
Ahmed, wearing a NASA t-shirt, and only 14 years old, was arrested at his school.
I try to imagine the fear and humiliation of being arrested at age 14, in front of your friends, for doing nothing wrong.
Bringing a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher.
By the way, Ahmed just happens to be Muslim.
(I add that detail, because I’m quite sure a 14 year old white, Christian, girl would not get arrested for bringing a clock to school in Texas.)
Apparently, Ahmed shared his clock with an English teacher and the English teacher decided it must actually be a bomb.
The police were called.
Ahmed told the police the “bomb” was a clock he made.
He was arrested anyway.
(Note: He was not “just” taken into custody to be questioned, he was ARRESTED and sent to a juvenile facility!)
• Students who make bombs voluntarily share their inventions with their teachers before exploding them?
• And, presumably, all Muslims make bombs, right?
The story makes my stomach turn.
Our society is so screwed up
The Internet has gone crazy in support of Ahmed.
Facebook and Google, and even the President of the United States have sent messages of encouragement to Ahmed.
(Ahmed has also gotten lots of cool invitations to meet with all these people/organizations and NASA folks, too!)
And yet, Ahmed now has a memory he will never forget.
A memory of being arrested, for a crime he did not commit, because of the color of his skin and the religion he was born into.
Here’s the story in Ahmed’s words via an interview with Dallas News:
Of course, safety in our schools is important.
Of course, people have been scared by shootings like Sandy Hook and Aurora … both committed by white males, by the way.
But, Islamaphobia (with a dose of racism thrown in) is absurd and disgraceful.
Curiosity, education, the desire to learn, to invent, to create … should all be strongly encouraged in our schools.
Yes, even if the children have skin that isn’t the same color as the administrators, and/or hold different religious beliefs.
Ahmed, a shining bright star, said, “It made me feel like I wasn’t human. It made me feel like a criminal.”
And this is the America I live in ….