The story of Ahmed Mohamed, a Texan teenager who was arrested after he brought a homemade clock to school, has drawn a lot of attention over the past week with the hashtag #IstandwithAhmed trending on Twitter and numerous technological organisations offering words of support for the teen. U.S. President Barack Obama encouraged the fourteen year old as well, tweeting “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great”.
After Ahmed brought his homemade clock to school in a pencil case, a teacher saw it and assumed that it was a bomb. The clock, which was a rudimentary digital construction with exposed wiring, was apparently reason enough for authorities to handcuff the fourteen year old and take him into custody. Ahmed was released after it quickly became apparent that the clock was in fact a clock and had no explosive elements whatsoever.
While many have condemned the response from the school and the police, labelling Ahmed’s arrest as an overreaction, Sarah Palin is not among that number. In a post on her Facebook page, the one-time vice presidential hopeful and former Governor of Alaska wrote “That’s a clock, and I’m the Queen of England”.
“Talk about the dangers of a reactionary-slash-biased media! The first reports on this potential bomb-imitator were so fishy to begin with.”
“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 (sic), 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.”
With that she began a pointed criticism of President Obama’s tweet and the President’s administration in general. “By the way, President Obama’s practice of jumping in cases prematurely to interject himself as the cool savior, wanting so badly to attach himself to the issue-of-the-day, got old years ago. Remember him accusing police officers doing their job as “acting stupid”; claiming if he had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin; claiming he needed to know who was a fault in an industrial accident so he’d “know who’s a** to kick”; etc., etc. Those actions are about as presidential as his selfie stick.”
For his part Ahmed seems to be coping with events as well as can be expected. He will be leaving his current high school for obvious reasons and has received an invitation to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an institution described as his “dream school”.
“Thank you to all my supporters on Twitter, Facebook, all social media,” Ahmed said in a press conference on Thursday. “Don’t let people change who you are, even if you get a consequence for it. You need to show them your talent.”