I'm getting more and more concerned every day with the state our country is in. We're seeing story and story and incident after incident of hatred, ignorance, racism, brutality, and lack of respect for our fellow man. The latest story to bring cause for concern is about Ahmed Mohamed, a 14 year old high school freshman in Texas, being falsely arrested after he was accused of bringing a "hoax-bomb" in to school, which in reality was a home-made clock he brought in to show his engineering teacher.
After reading about this story, I, along with many others, took to social media to voice our outrage at the reaction of the Irving Police department. Ahmed was handcuffed, fingerprinted, interrogated, and taken to juvenile detention, all without a parent present, or even notified.
Let's make something clear, Ahmed did not have the slightest intention of causing a stir at his school, he had no intention of using the device as a hoax bomb, he didn't leave the case containing circuit boards, wire, and a digital display, unattended in a school bathroom, hallway, or locker room, there was absolutely no reason for his project to be thought of as a threat, except that his hame is Ahmed, and he's Muslim. And in a right-wing Texas town, being brown means you're either an illegal or you're a terrorist, and the police responded in a way that they only would for a terrorist situation.
Now, some people are rushing to defend the procedures of the police in this case, sighting recent devastating incidents at schools, movie theaters, military bases, etc....but what they seem to be forgetting is that in most of those incidents, the weapon was a gun, and the person of threat, was white. But these same people are also the ones arguing for the continued practice of concealed carry, fighting against more stringent background checks for gun permits, etc. I'm so confused! You people are arguing to make it easy for unstable people to get their hands on lethal weapons but a kid brings a science project into school and he must want to blow the it up.
Let me make something perfectly clear, I have the upmost respect for the police. I have friends who are police. I value so much that they are willing to put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day. I find it utterly appalling at the national distrust and disrespect for the badge that so many people seem to have these days. But after incident and incident like this, I can't say I don't see why so many people have a foul opinion of the men and women in blue, especially if they've been victims of poor police action.
What people seem to forget is that we have rules, laws, that have been set in place to make living in our country civilized, and ideally fair for all. The police are here to enforce those rules. They don't make them, they just enforce them. If you get mad at a cop for pulling you over for doing 39 in a 25 MPH zone, don't get mad at the cop, get mad at your local officials who chose to make that a 25 MPH zone. You broke the law, you pay the price.
That said, when police are shooting unarmed people and interrogating 14 year old students without representation, we the people have a right to questions what the hell is going on. Police ARE held to a higher standard, and need to be able to make better, faster, smarter decisions than the average citizen, that's the job they took, that's the responsibility they hold. And when officers referred to Ahmed's clock as "looks like a movie bomb", one really begins to question the decisions made by someone using a 6th grade vocabulary.
We live in a world of fear, fear of terrorism after the horrific events of 9/11. Because of that, too many people see people of middle-eastern decent immediately as terrorists, and Ahmed was no exception. Many people, including myself, truly believe that the situation would've been handled completely different had he been white.
The only solace I can take is that so many people supported Ahmed after hearing about the outrageous arrest. Many influential people from the science and tech industry invited Ahmed to their companies, even the President of the United States invited him to the White House.
I think as a people, we're truly trying to be better. I think so many people willing to voice their support for victims in situations like this is promising, but we still have a lot of work to do to help the rest of the people who are still jaded, scared, and ignorant, get rid of the stigmas they hold for people that are different from them.
As we approach our next Presidential election, there are so many Republican candidates who are still spouting hateful, racists lines about some of the people of the country they want to govern over. People like Donald Trump scare me. How can someone who speaks long before he thinks, be a serious contender for the most respected, and important position in our world? The fact that someone like him, or Sarah Palin, have the respect and backing of so many people is utterly bewildering.
Our country continues to face extremely difficult problems, and we need a real, solid, leader to tackle them, and Trump is definitely not fit for that kind of responsibility, nor are any of the GOP candidates I've seen to date. With the ever growing national debt, healthcare crisis, economic instability, severe inequality of wealth, a failing education system, crippling infrastructure, race, religion, and gender issues, we need someone who can create real solutions, can lead the nation tactfully, effectively, and who can demand and acquire the respect that the seat of the Presidency deserves and requires.
And with that, I say, #feelthebern