It’s official, everyone has lost their shit over poor Ahmed Mohamed — the 14-year-old child who was arrested after a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a hoax bomb.
The prize for the worst reaction to Ahmed’s arrest predictably came from the right. Here was Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin’s nuanced thoughts on Ahmed’s clock:
Friends, consider the kids disciplined and/or kicked out of school for bringing squirt guns to school or taking bites out of a pop tart until it resembled (to some politically correct yahoo) a gun. Or the student out deer hunting with his dad early one morning who forgot he had a box of ammo in his truck when he parked in the school’s lot later that day. Kids humiliated and intimidated for innocent actions like those real examples are often marked the rest of their lives and made to feel really rotten. Whereas Ahmed Muhammad, an evidently obstinate-answering student bringing in a homemade “clock” that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption (teachers who are told “if you see something, say something!”) gets invited to the White House….believing that’s a clock in a school pencil box is like believing Barack Obama is ruling over the most transparent administration in history. Right. That’s a clock, and I’m the Queen of England.
Firstly, if anyone can enlighten the public as to what an ‘obstinate-answering student’ is, please accept a cash prize from us. Palin’s limited grasp of the English language aside, her inference that the clock Ahmed brought into school wasn’t actually a clock can be translated into an accusation of actual terrorism. Palin labeled Ahmed’s reported evasiveness when being questioned as ‘suspicious’ – a weighty allegation based on absolutely nothing whatsoever. Ahmed is a 14 year-old science nerd who was excited about bringing his invention to school. Being interrogated by staff and the police on threats of terrorism would inevitably create a degree of nervousness and defensiveness. Again, Ahmed is 14 years old – a fact Palin is ignoring in light of his funny sounding name and dark colored skin (and yes, this is a direct accusation of xenophobia and racism).
Equally as comical was Gawker’s Sam Biddle’s reaction to the clock fiasco. As is oft the case with the snarling libertarian left, every news topic presents an opportunity to insert unbridled outrage about drones, the NSA and Ed Snowden. In response to Obama inviting Ahmed to the White House, Biddle wrote in an article titled “Obama’s Drone Program Probably Would Have Killed Ahmed the Clock Kid“:
Obama’s state-of-the-art, hyper-secret robotic killing machine exercises even less judgment than the most bigoted schoolteacher or Texas cop, and has killed kids like Ahmed across the world. Signature strikes are the ne plus ultra of modern guilt presumption, permitting the assassination of people based on the supposition that they’ve done something bad, or will do something bad, or the mere appearance of suspicious behavior and association. When your job is to stare down from 10,000 feet with a missile trigger, the entire world looks suspicious. Obama is absolutely right when he tweets “We should inspire more kids like you to like science” because “it’s what makes America great.” But for the president to oppose baseless profiling at home while commanding the most brazen extrajudicial, evidence-free assassination squad in history should make your head hurt. We should also aspire to kill fewer kids like Ahmed. It would make America greater.
One doesn’t have to support drone strikes to see that this has absolutely nothing to do with Obama’s support of Ahmed in the face of overt discrimination. It’s fine to oppose Obama’s drone policy in the Middle East, but what the fuck does it have to do with Ahmed’s clock?
Richard Dawkins also jumped in on the controversy with the sensitivity of a leprosy ridden elephant, tweeting out the following attack on poor Ahmed:
@I_Love_Atheism Because he disassembled & reassembled a clock (which is fine) & then claimed it was his "invention" (which is fraud).
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
Then, there was Bill Maher who attempted to defend Ahmed’s profiling because young Muslim men “blow shit up all over the world.”
For the love of God, Ahmed is 14 fucking years old. Can everyone just leave him alone?
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.