THE CLOCK BOMB DRAMA - RACIAL INJUSTICE, OR POLITICAL SHENANIGANS?
David Hannum, in criticism of famous showman P.T. Barnum, once said "there's a sucker born every minute". If you're not familiar with that phrase, here's what it means: there are gobs of gullible people out there in the world, and we can expect that there always will be until the end of time. I think this phrase has major relevance to the continuing clock bomb drama.
Yeah, I know it's old news, but I can't stop myself from bringing up the infamous "clock bomb" boy after reading the latest news, and especially after reading a related story about another young "inventor" (I'll tell you more about him in a bit) from Africa. Oh, and you'll have to stay with me through this lengthy rant because I have a rather bold prediction for you at the end of the blog post, IF you make it that far!
But first, I'll rant.
I find it amazing that people fall for just about anything that the media throws in our faces that have dubious political motives. At best, this whole debacle about Ahmed Mohamed who "invented" a clock, brought it to school, was horribly racially profiled and mistreated, makes for a slightly odd story that induces a little head-scratching. But at worst case, I think we've been bamboozled by a family with a hidden political agenda.
I was going to keep my mouth shut about this for fear of being accused as a heartless, racially insensitive person. But then I got to thinking... I am a gadget expert, and I've got a slight amount of knowledge on electronics and inventions, more than the average Joe.
Okay, scratch that. I know more about gadgets and electronics than the majority of people reading this. I'm an expert. Yeah, I said it, and it's true. I have respect, knowledge, and credibility from industry to back that up. I even own an electronics repair business. So basically, I'm not some poor schlub who is just popping off a bunch of nonsense.
Let me get back on-topic. After looking at the so-called "homemade clock invention" and thoroughly researching this whole thing, I have come to my own expert conclusion that this is not an "invention" whatsoever. Furthermore, it doesn't even come close to anything resembling an electronic clock kit made for educational purposes.
Take a look at a picture to the right if you want to see what "making" an electronic clock would actually look like if you were an honest person.
What this kid threw together is a disassembled consumer-grade jumbo clock put in a case. He gave it a sort of theatrical effect, with all the wires sprawling about, making it look like you really made something complex.
Trust me, I know a swindle when I see one. When I was in the 4th grade, I took apart a radio and a microphone, threw it in a box, taped it up & reorganized it all, and tricked half of my classmates into thinking I had "invented" a working CB radio.
I could drone on for pages about why this mess of a thing that looks like an IED bomb is a complete and utter fake, but let's move on. What made me suspicious from day one was the fact that it seemed like it was a political stunt thrown together to make a point, which was orchestrated by his father. The more I dug in and researched this, the more the entire story stank to the high heavens.
While I was still scratching my head early on, suspicious about the validity of this entire ordeal, Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama had already jumped on the bandwagon in defending Ahmed and accusing the school of racial profiling. Sadly, the school system and the police did not handle the incident properly, and that only fueled the false accusations of profiling. Combine that with high-profile opportunists jumping to conclusions, and you have a recipe for a big mess.
I guess nobody found it necessary to talk about the fact that this kid's father is/was behind a Facebook page that believes the 9/11 tragedy was a US-sponsored hoax to justify launching a war against Islam around the world. Nor did they think it was necessary to properly vet this "home-made clock invention" before hyping this kid's scientific and engineering capabilities that attracted the attention of the likes of MIT, the founder of Facebook, and the leader of the free world.
They blindly believed he was just an innocent "inventor" who was victimized by injustice, but I smelled a rat. One look at his father's background should have been enough to tell anyone that this boy was more than likely a pawn of his father, who appears to be an instigator looking for political gain. You can research that on your own, I'm not here to prove that one way or another.
But enough of that.
Before you completely discount everything I've said, I'll go so far as to give the Ahmed supporters the benefit of the doubt and call this miracle invention a valid "show-and-tell" science experiment gone wrong. That being said, let's expose the ridiculousness of this by putting this into proper perspective. Let's shine a light on another young 13-year-old minority from Sierra Leone, and then we'll draw some comparisons.
Meet Kelvin Doe, a real-life inventor who made something that actually helps the people in his community in a major way. This kid created batteries and generators that were made from household items and things he recovered from trash bins. His community suffers from numerous lengthy power outages, and his inventions provide portable light and electricity from a small generator that powers a radio broadcaster. He attracted the attention of MIT just like Ahmed, and was invited to visit the US and participate in the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" as a result.
When you sit these 2 young boys side-by-side and take a good hard look, it makes this entire drama even more ridiculous. Seems to me that intelligent people in this country no longer know what an "inventor" even is. I say the young and brilliant Kelvin Doe is the real inventor. That's where we should be putting our attention, and offering encouragement for a future engineer and leader.
All the while, here we sit raising a ruckus over this clock-bomb boy who made a useless "invention" that has absolutely no known benefit to mankind. Last time I checked, we have already discovered clocks here in America. You can get 'em at the dollar store. Even if you did want to "make" a clock, the kits you can pick up in a local Radio Shack clearly show you what it really looks like when you put one together from scratch.
Let me bring this home before you get bored. The worst part of this situation is the negative "boy-crying-wolf" blow-back that will likely result for minorities in this country. This whole mess will cause people to turn a deaf ear on REAL circumstances of racial profiling when they DO legitimately happen. I'm telling you this from experience.
Many people close to me know that I have over 20 years of being a strong proponent of diversity in the workplace. I've been invited to speak at conferences and events, and I have provided numerous training sessions as a paid consultant. So don't take this next short story the wrong way...
I asked a couple of very close friends of mine who I work with about this story. Both of them were born and raised in Arab countries, are practicing Muslims, and have families. I wanted to know what they thought about the clock bomb drama. My question to them was, "would you send your kid to school with something like this for a science project"?
Their answer: "No"
I asked why, and both of my dear friends told me the same thing: common sense dictates that an Arab student can't go to school with something that resembles a bomb, because they will be immediately racially profiled and cause a panic. Both said they wouldn't jeopardize their kids' safety by letting them do something this stupid.
While everyone sits around continuing to debate whether or not this kid and his family are victims racial profiling of Arabs, we've all taken a vacation from common sense. Thanks to political correctness, we have decided to avoid the hideously obvious - this crap he threw together wasn't an invention worthy of even a D grade.
Sadly, we live in a world of racial biases and profiling. The shocking fact is, we ALL harbor racial biases, whether we are Black, White, Brown, or Yellow. It's a human condition rooted in survival and protection mechanisms. It's scientific.
As Mr. Obama would say, "let's be clear". Manipulating people's primal fear triggers for gain is playing with fire, and it's wrong. It's not the way to make a point, and it won't force the world into changing its wrongful ways of thinking.
My soapbox is done. If you've made it this far, you will now be rewarded with my bold prediction!
Ahmed's trip to the White House on October 19th will be canceled before it happens. President Barack Obama won't suffer the embarrassment over it. Watch for developments after new information starts to unfold about Ahmed's family and their true intentions. Could I be wrong? We'll see.
"Instigator of Good Discussions"