This week, 14-year Ahmed Mohammed was led away from school in handcuffs after police and school officials thought his homemade clock looked like a bomb. You probably heard about it, as I did, on Facebook or Twitter.
I find so many aspects of this story appalling.
A bright kid with a passion for engineering — the kind of kid we should be celebrating — was humiliated and outrageously accused. Americans are increasingly skeptical of science. It seems now that we’re feeling threatened by science as well.
Worse, none of the supposed grownups in the story bothered to learn the truth. Confronted with the truth — Ahmed insisted all along that the device was a clock — they chose to persist in their ignorance.
Worst of all, Ahmed was singled out because he has brown skin and a Muslim name. Don’t tell me he wasn’t. He never would’ve been handcuffed if he’d looked like Wally Cleaver and his name had been Josh or Ryan.
Say what you want about this episode. It showed people — educators and police officers, the very people who should know better — behaving at their absolute worst.
Here’s the thought that echoed the loudest to me: Continue reading