I designed a computer program in QBasic when I was in fifth grade which provided a crude visualization of a car driving down a street. We provided several scenarios involving intersections and opposing traffic, with the idea that it could be a driver’s education tool. I invested several months and tens of thousands of lines of code in the project, and it took me all the way to the state media fair competition…my first trip to the “big city” state capitol of Indianapolis.
I blew away all but one of the competitors, an Indian kid with a blank steely-eyed expression who stood next to his father and refused to talk to the rest of us. His computer program blew mine away, as it was a chess program written in C++ which was able to handily defeat the judges who went up against it. It was rather improbable for an eleven year old, but the gullible, trusting, and non-confrontational Hoosiers were no match for the cutthroat competitive culture of immigrant elites.
I ain’t even mad. I’m totally over it. And how dare you suggest that this first real interaction with a non-White has anything whatsoever to do with my political views. Shame on you.
When I first saw #IStandWithAhmed bubble up from the sewer of contrived leftist media feel-good campaigns, I paid it little mind, assuming that the administrators probably overreacted and that the dad had probably performed all of the advanced electronics work. On closer examination, the dad didn’t have anything to do with the electronics, either. The people responsible for designing and implementing the device are all either retired or dead of old age, as it’s just a seventies alarm clock dumped out of its casing and placed inside a pencil box. There’s absolutely no original work or thought behind the device.
It’s as if I were to unwrap a perfectly good cheeseburger, then slap the patty, cheese and buns haphazardly inside a pencil box and declare that I invented the cheeseburger. To quote Barack Obama, “You didn’t build that.”
Before I get to the political implications of the family’s actions, the school’s response, and the nation’s hysterical reaction, I wish to touch on a very important point which doesn’t seem to have been addressed, yet. Presuming that the teenager had anything whatsoever to do with this project, the actual danger here isn’t racism, terrorism, or Islamophobia, or school administrator buffoonery. The actual danger here is that a child was potentially dealing with 120V AC electronics, which can be lethal.
Step outside of politics for a moment and consider what a terrible idea it is for children across America to be encouraged to take apart and fiddle with consumer electronics. I’m all for encouraging scientific curiosity and independent learning, but electricity kills, and many of the consumer electronics lying around the typical house contain capacitors guaranteed to ensure that your child prodigy gets a free ride to the RIP rather than the MIT.
Probably around the same time in my childhood that I went to media fair, I also stuck a pin art toy against an electrical outlet and got thrown back a few feet, melting the pins together and requiring mom to reset the breaker box. Even smart kids can and will do incredibly stupid things, and what Microsoft should have sent Ahmed wasn’t a pile of free electronics but a voucher for a course on electronics safety and one of the many nifty electronic kits which are safe for inquisitive minors.
We’ll probably never know whether the suspicious briefcase was an edgy bit of performance art designed by the boy to troll his teachers or whether his dad put him up to the whole thing to achieve the political goal of instigating a viral pity campaign for Islamic immigrants. I suspect the former, as a father intelligent enough to foresee how this could win big politically would have been intelligent enough to construct something that looked more like a legitimate science project and less like a child’s prank.
Most of the Left simply dropped the issue to move on to the next big viral outrage thing when the story began to unravel, but a few are hanging back to defend the discredited narrative. Their big “gotcha” now is that if the administrators actually thought it was a bomb, they would have evacuated the school. They work with Ahmed every day and immediately concluded that it was a harmless but malicious hoax which merited a legal tap on the wrist and nothing more.
For the first time in all of recorded history, a school’s administrative staff have been confirmed to have responded to a child’s harmless prank with balance and sensibility.
Perhaps the dad set this all up as an elaborate political ploy. And perhaps the story will unravel even further than it already has and we’ll get to the bottom of the story, but I doubt it. One thing is certain, though. There’s no evidence whatsoever of anti-Islamic bigotry in the school’s response or the very brief and gentle law enforcement response. White American kids get suspended and expelled all the time for harmless essays, poptart pistols, water guns, and other offenses to the hyper-sensitive safety-obsessed modern public school system, and none of those children received anywhere near the popular or institutional support, adulation, or piles of consumer bling.