I’m just going to come right out and say it: If Ahmed Mohamed did orchestrate his arrest then he deserves every bit of the “free stuff” he is getting right now.
You know why? Because folks be racist. Yes, be. For emphasis.
Not that I believe any of the conspiracies floating around about the 14-year-old. If anything, these theories are just flat-out lies. Take for instance Bill Maher, who during last Friday’s episode of Real Time With Bill Maher, defended Irving, Tex. school officials and police officers at the center of the arrest over the student’s homemade clock.
As Maher told his panel, which included journalists Jorge Ramos, Chris Matthews, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and former Gov. George Pataki, the proof is in the picture of the clock itself. The contraption was encased in a small metal box.
“Can we have a little perspective on this?” Maher asked. “Did the teachers really do the wrong thing? ”
The short answer is yes.
However, that is not how most of his panel saw it, including Mark Cuban. He is the same guy who tried to explain to us – in all of his glorious White expertise – why it is perfectly acceptable to cross the street whenever you see a Black man in a hoodie. Anyway, according to Black-man fearing Cuban, he did some investigating of his own and discovered that Mohamed’s sister was “giving him lines” while he interrogat..er, I mean, while he had a respectful phone conversation with the young lad about the incident.
Cuban thought it was also important to note how no one really became suspicious of Mohamed and his boom-tastic clock until he started carrying it around and showing everybody – because that’s what people with bombs do. And after shrugging his shoulders and doing that squinty-eyed thing people tend to do when they are casually and politely trying to dismiss you, he pointed out how it took a whole six class periods before anyone decided to call the police.
You see, if it were a Black guy in a hoodie, they probably would have done it in two periods. Progress.
The panel’s only voice of reason was Jorge Ramos. He is most notable for being the journalist Donald Trump kicked out of a recent press conference and told to go back to Mexico by way of Univision. He tried to explain to the panel of smart White men that the crux of Mohamed’s arrest was race and religion-based.
But Maher scoffed at the suggestion:
“Excuse me, somebody look me in the eye right here and tell me that over the last 30 years if so many young Muslim men, and he is young – 14, but like that has never happened before – hasn’t blown a lot sh*t up around the world. And this guy, this kid deserves an apology, because he wasn’t one of them…For the last 30 years, it’s been one culture that has been blowing sh*t up over and over again.”
Oh, does he mean like the young Irish Muslim men in the IRA? Or the Muslim men in the Maoists in India? Or perhaps all of the young Muslim men among the White Christian extremists in the United States?
Yes, it is true that bombings have been the most popular way to inflict harm and terror onto a crowd of people throughout both militarized and guerrilla history. But it is also true that since Sept. 11, 2011, “nearly twice as many people have been killed by White supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims,” as reported by the New York Times.
And I can certainly see how Maher and the other dumba**ses could have mistaken Mohamed’s clock for a bomb. Most of our only frames of reference come from film and television shows that depict brown-skinned people as metal suitcase-carrying suicide bombers. But a huge part of why his homemade clock was suspicious was because of those stereotypes – and not because it is based in actual truth.
Maher’s entire “it could have been a bomb” theory hinges on the plots to Die Hard parts 1 through 4. Oh, also racism.
What is so annoying about Maher and the comments of the other panelists is how pervasive this thinking is among supposedly progressive, enlightened, smart White men. If you think Maher’s comments were bad, you should check out the Twitter feed of famed evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins. He not only questioned the real “motives” behind Mohamed’s arrest but also questioned the authenticity of claims that the 14-year-old had “invented” the homemade clock to begin with.
And how does this famed scientist support his theory? With a YouTube video posted by some basement-dwelling, Ahmed truther, who claims that the teen’s clock is “in fact not an invention,” but a store-bought clock in a new casing. Because the preciseness of his hobby is what counts here.
I mean, we’re talking about racism, misconduct by authority (including the police and his school) and xenophobia here, not trademark infringement. But nice try at attempting to casually dismiss and deflect instances of racism with the help of a casually racist game of semantics…
And if they can’t attack the kid, they attack his family. Like Mohamed’s father, Mohamed El Hassan. He not only ran twice as a write-in candidate for president of Sudan but also defended the Quran in the now infamous Quran mock trial orchestrated by Florida pastor Terry Jones. Many conservative blogs are convinced that this all proves that Mohamed got himself arrested for attention because what are the odds that the same family would make national headlines twice? Actually, they are pretty good.
You see, it is both entirely possible and extremely likely that a man (or woman) who stands up for himself and his principles would raise children to do the same. And that is pretty much reflected in Mohamed’s sister’s decision to tweet out the picture of him being racially profiled and arrested.
And let’s say that all of the conspiracies by these supposedly smart and enlightened men are true: Suppose Mohamed brought a clock to school in the hopes that he would be profiled for attention and free stuff? Whose fault is it for giving him the opportunity to take advantage of people’s preconceived and irrational attitudes and actions? If you ask me, the kid deserves all the accolades, attention, and free stuff for showing just how moronic racism really is.
All of these theories are predicated on the idea that there is a reward in claiming racial discrimination. As if every time a person of color scream “racism,” he or she instantly gets a trip to NASA and an invite to the White House. First off, Trayvon Martin has been dead for three years now and neither of his parents have gotten even so much as an invite to the White House’s front lawn.
And secondly, you know how hard it is to prove racial discrimination in this country? Let me help you out: very hard. As this article from 2009 in the Wall Street Journal notes, “A battery of recent studies shows that employees who sue over discrimination lose at a higher rate in federal court than other types of plaintiffs. They also get less time in court, with judges quicker to throw out their cases.”
Even as corporations and political leaders shower Mohamed with attention, praise, internships and other free stuff, nobody is really addressing the underlying racism, which is responsible for this unfortunate situation occurring in the first place.
So yeah, this kid is golden with me. As far as I am concerned, all the so-called smart and enlightened White men need to focus on getting their brethren to stop being racist. Or else, expect more smart kids manipulating the racist system to get free stuff in the future.