Ahmed Mohamed and that fucking clock!

Caveat:

If anyone has evidence of the video being wrong or evidence of the media asking Ahmed how he made the clock, or an article/footage of him explaining/showing how he made clock. Please correct me and I will update this post. I will leave it intact as an example of my stupidity and willingness to confess it. I just haven’t seen any of the above myself.

Let me first point out, I’m not a right-wing conspiracy nut (I don’t think). Last I checked I was a liberal, although lately I feel, either I have misunderstood liberalism in the first place, or it’s morphed into something I no longer recognise. These days I drift towards being – as far as it is possible – post-ideological. Let me further say, this is not an attempt to identify the motive behind Ahmed’s infamous clock. I’m interested from an ethical point of view, whether it matters if he didn’t “invent” it. When I saw this story I immediately stood next to Ahmed on social media. Then someone shared this youtube video that suggested Ahmed did not invent the clock with further allegations from the video maker that can be easily ignored (and that includes this tweet from Richard Dawkins). Nonetheless, I still stood with Ahmed because whether he did or did not invent the clock. He still didn’t deserve the treatment he received. Some have argued the treatment was justified as the device looked suspicious, schools in the United States have seen a lot of violence. Is it absurd to believe a teenager that wants to massacre other students – and with the information available on the internet today – would forego firearms for a homemade explosive device in order to maximize carnage? Perhaps not so absurd. However, they had the device, Ahmed was wearing a thin shirt (no place to conceal a suicide vest clearly), he’s a very small individual, he professed his innocence, and he’s only 14 years old, yet the Police still felt it necessary to handcuff him. I still stand with Ahmed because of this although it’s a few paces to the left considering the company I now find myself in.

This article via IDigitalTimes written by Andrew Whalen made an interesting point about the language teenagers use to describe things stating “at my elementary school we had the Book Center, where I “published” all of my short stories about my pet newts. In middle school we had a Future Tech competition where I “invented” a watch that sucks up pollution and spits out clean drinking water. And in high school I “filmed” a whole lot of camcorder movies”. He goes on to say the allegations against Ahmed has fueled right-wing conspiracy theorists on the internet (hence my little disclaimer). I understand his reasoning, however, I don’t think Ahmed used “invent” for any other purpose than to say “I built the clock”. No one, from what I can tell, has actually asked him exactly how he built it either, so to deduce that he must be using words incorrectly, is itself a conclusion that lacks evidence. Whalen also writes “the idea that some kid was intentionally fraudulent or producing a hoax by tinkering with alarm clock parts and rebuilding them into a crappier alarm clock”. The allegation is actually much worse than that. They don’t claim he took the clock apart and then re-build it, they claim he simply removed it from the casing. Quite a different thing I am sure you’d agree. The former shows a level of curiosity and desire to understand how things work, the latter is indeed just a fraudulent claim.

So why does it matter? Well Whalen has figured it out “Yes, this is racism. But while it’s easy to point it out when people presume Ahmed Mohamed is a terrorist simply because of his appearance, this new line of arguing would hide it all behind a layer of purported truth-seeking.” But what does that mean for those of us that continue to condemn the actions of the school and the Police? And don’t draw conclusions by believing they can read the mind of a 14 year old boy? What about those of us that just think the truth matters? I am one of those people, and I can say – hand on heart – if Ahmed shouts allahu akbar and detonates a suicide vest tomorrow, I won’t be the one jumping up and down shouting “I KNEW IT!” With that out of the way back to why it matters (at least to me).

If it’s true that Ahmed deconstructed then reconstructed the clock, and has misunderstood the meaning of “invention” then it’s not really a problem. Maybe somone should just point out the difference to him. But because no one is like to question him about the process, we’re never going to know. On the other hand, if it turns out Ahmed simply removed the guts of a device from the shell of a clock, chucked it into a case and called it his invention, it matters for the following reasons: Ahmed shot to celebrity status overnight and I am sure (never certain) he at the least googled himself to see what the internet was saying about him. When rumors began to circulate that he actually didn’t invent the clock as he claimed, he would have seen it. And if I were him, I would be pissed, not only was I falsely arrested, now people are calling me a liar too, or rather again! I would have posted a youtube video of my own quick smart, and served a bit of humble pie to these people, by demonstrating exactly how I built the clock in 20 minutes. Nothing so far. You may say “why the hell should he?” True. But because he hasn’t, those allegations stand unchallenged, and I am yet to see a rebuttal of the video – from an expert or otherwise – except for the fact people disliked the inference the clock was intended to be suspicious. So if it is true these allegations are correct and he did tell a fib, that mistake is being compounded by the fact he continues telling it, whilst reaping a lot of rewards and attention, that recently took him all the way to the White House. To counter Whalen’s accusation “they’ll say they just care about other, smarter kids getting their due instead of Ahmed Mohamed, who didn’t even build his own circuit board or build his own LED assembly line.” Actually no, but I would say there are many people in the United States falsely arrested for how they appear, that receive no such recompense. The truth matters to some, and I don’t know if the allegations are true, but the truth is, even if the allegations are true it has been too big a story to walk back now.

Yours Truly and Truthfully #Blogidarity #IstillstandwithAhmed #getsomebettermates

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Ahmed Mohamed and that fucking clock!

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