Paying the price for a crime he didn’t commit

Courtesy // Tiffany McGaughey

We all have a point in our lives where we look back at something we did or said and cringe. Hindsight is 20/20 for all of us, yet, we cannot blame everything on hindsight. We know when we are doing the right thing as we are doing it. So when Ahmed Mohamad showed his clock to his English teacher I believe she didn’t see it with much thought of what it actually was but saw it with a bias. She saw a boy named Ahmed Mohamad with wires and just let her stereotypes take over. She just thought it was a bomb. He told her multiple times it was a clock. The worst part about this story is not the stereotype demonstrated by the school but accepted. The Dallas Morning News reported “they led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: ‘Yup. That’s who I thought it was.’ Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion.”

The actual acceptance of a stereotype is terrifying. Not just from a crazy racist yelling in the street but from our police officers? It makes the whole argument of no judgement against people of color kind of fall apart. If Mohamed accepted this bias there has to be more than one cop like that out there. There has to be more than one person like that out there too.
The police knew it wasn’t a bomb. His engineering teacher, the one who he showed the clock first, knew it wasn’t a bomb he even told him “don’t show your other teachers.”  He must have known his other peers’ hidden bias from being in the teachers lounge.  The teacher should’ve known it was not a bomb. It was just a scary green circuit board and a few wires. The teacher could’ve talked to him and not have built this up. If she knew it wasn’t a bomb why couldn’t a simple talk just be applied?
I have started hearing my friends say “people just got it against white people now a days.” No, it’s like all of us have it against each other no matter what. It feels like we are playing a horrible game of tag with each other. Boston is bombed, and everyone builds more prejudice against Middle Eastern people. A white cop kills a black man, we are all against white people, an immigrant kills a white woman, we think all immigrants are dangerous murders. Hell, even someone as “educated” as Donald Trump thinks so. Why do we have to be like this? I don’t see a golden lab bite a black lab because of its fur color. We are all human. As advanced as we think we are as a country, we’re being brought down to these lows. Imagine if we just got out our way we can be such a greater country than we already are. I do see good change as we are more diverse in groups of friends, relatives, and work friends. It’s just discouraging as we are making such little progress. I want to stop feeling like we are going backwards.