Alright, so I am a red-blooded American and honestly I can say I’ve done some stupid things in my life. Notably, is when I dismantled my pencil sharpener at school, because I was curious what was inside. I found a razor blade, it had never occurred to me that is what was in a pencil sharpener. So naturally I showed a friend, who in turn said I threatened him and I was nearly suspended because of this.
Now, before I go on to what has prompted this, let me say that racism is a prevalent issue in our country, primarily because it is perpetuated by ignorant people – on both sides. Yes I say both sides, racism is not the fault of the one experiencing racism, but it can go both ways. I am caucasian (although I find even this offensive), but am I not also human? If you ask my family they wouldn’t be too sure on the latter part, but I digress. The principal tried to suspend me on the basis of ‘threatening another student with a deadly weapon’ all because I took my pencil sharpener apart. He tried on the word of a like race child alone. Luckily, I had awesome parents who fought for my rights, as I would expect any parent to do.
So, that being said, what has prompted this? Ahmed Mohamed in Dallas County. Well, not Ahmed, but the Police and School of Irving, TX. See the below link then catch back up with me after it.
So, this Freshman in High School makes a clock out of spare parts and electronics. Some ignoramous decides it is a bomb, because WIRES AND ELECTRONICS ARE BOMBS!!! OMG! This kid brought this clock to school to show his Engineering teacher. My first question, why would he show it off if it were a bomb? Why not just plant it somewhere? Exactly, because it was not a bomb, it was a clock.
I work for a Software Engineering Company, I can count no less than three devices that have been made from spare parts sitting on the desks of my co-workers. I was not ever that great with the physical components of technology, but I understand that a circuit board fitted to a digital display does not a bomb make. Under that assumption lets take computers out of schools because they have wires and digital displays, so they’re bombs. Let’s take calculators and ban cellular phones, because they are digital and have displays. Let’s ban automobiles from the school parking lot because they are combustion engines (combustion means something blows up). While we’re at it, let’s ban Engineering classes, because they teach about making things, making things is bad!
I don’t think the teacher honestly thought it was a bomb. I think because this boy is from middle eastern descent he was treated unfairly and with prejudice not befitting of an educational setting. I think this teacher was probably overworked and underpaid and had some stress to take out. Does that make it right? No, of course not. I think this teacher saw an middle eastern boy and associated him with 9/11 because bombs. When the teacher called police, I think the police handled this all wrong, they should have told the teacher to stop being paranoid. I understand that school is a scary place sometimes, especially with the growing lack of discipline in schools these days, and the lack of accountability that can be enforced. I even understand Zero Tolerance, but take a look at the situation, a boy with a penchant for building things, a good student, and one that is enrolled in an Engineering class!? Of course he is going to build things.
What has our country come to if Engineers are told they cannot make clocks!? Also, what idiot looks at a clock and immediately thinks bomb? I think it had to do with the color of his skin and his ancestry than anything to do with the mechanical device he made. Ignorance has run rampant in the United States and I think it is time we pulled the stick out of our collective asses, take a deep breath, and put up the fear mongering. Wake up America.
This has been an angst rant, please excuse my anger and/or offensive words. I promise not to make this a regular thing. Until next time folks.
Your friendly (not-so-today) neighborhood author,