Ahmed Mohammed exemplifies racial profiling

Photo by outsidethebeltway.com
Photo by outsidethebeltway.com

(Originally from the October issue of TFF, published Oct 12, 2015.)

by Madeline MorrissonCopy Editor

Ahmed Mohamed, a freshman at MacArthur High School, was wrongly arrested Sept. 16 for bringing a clock to school.

Mohamed was a member of his middle school’s robotics club. Being interested in math and science, he decided to bring a clock he made to school to impress his teachers. When Mohamed took the class out in English class, his English teacher immediately assumed it was a bomb, and confiscated it. Mohamed was taken to the principal’s office, where he was interrogated by four police officers. He was handcuffed “for his safety and for the safety of the officers”, according to chief of police Larry Boyd, and taken from the school to juvenile detention center, where he was finger printed and released to his parents. Mohamed was suspended for 3 days, and will not be charged with creating a hoax bomb, which is a felony in Texas.

America has come to a point where a 14 year old boy is assumed a terrorist and detained for trying to participate in school, all because of his ethnic background and skin color. Not was Mohamed detained, he was also suspended from school, despite the fact he did nothing wrong. This is the most frustrating part of the whole situation. A student is interested in science, brings an experiment to school, and gets in trouble for it, since it looks like it might be a bomb. Something that apparently, all Muslims are at risk of bringing to their school.

People are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not just guilty due to their race. Mohamed is a 14 year old kid. He was wearing a NASA t-shirt when he was arrested. Sure, many Americans connect being Muslim with being a terrorist. This is a racist and statistically incorrect assumption, as most terrorists who have recently struck terror in the hearts of Americans were not Muslim. It is hard to escape the fact that Mohamed and his clock likely would have been treated differently if he was a white boy.

Fortunately, many people recognize that Mohamed was treated incorrectly. #istandwithahmed was trending on social media within hours of the story getting out, reaching over 100,000 uses within days. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, has invited Mohamed to Astronomy Night at the White House. #engineersforahmed was also gaining popularity, encouraging Mohamed and other kids to continue exploring science, even if they are treated improperly for doing so.

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