If you wonder why I’m so mad about the way Ahmed has been treated, there are two reasons.
The first is that I was a geek kid that people got weird around. They would complement me on my smarts and then act like they were a little frightened of me, particularly some of my parent’s friends. I didn’t act like a kid. I was fairly solemn and quiet and that weirds adults out. It never occurred to them that because I couldn’t see very well even with glasses that I might be trying to figure out exactly what was going on or that I knew they were weirded out and pulling their chain. Bad combination in a child.
One of the first things I ever got a whopping of a spanking for was taking apart an alarm clock. It glowed in the dark and was probably laced with radium because it was really bright and it was loud. I wanted to know quite literally, what made it tick, so I completely disassembled it and of course being about 4 years old, couldn’t quite get it back together. I managed one of dad’s screw drivers to take it apart but not enough to screw it back together. It’s always easier to take something part you shouldn’t than get it back together. Because I was both a night owl and a dawn riser at the time I had way too much time on my hands and it got me in trouble often, (We won’t talk about the incident with lipstick, nail scissors and my mother’s purse).
Anyway, I think both mom and dad got their licks in on that one. I think one of the reasons was they had already taken my brother to the ER once thinking he had swallowed the phonograph needle. I had removed it, again, to see how it worked. I could have told them that if they had bothered to ask me. Only got a swat for that but I think they were afraid he’d eat clock parts so that one was a bigger spanking. I think my dad’s spanking was for taking his tools without asking, but he had been showing me how to use them so…
Around that time things like Lincoln Logs and erector sets and finally when I was 6, I got the microscope and multitudes of science books were keeping me out of the household electrical devices.
So I understand the need for a kid to build or take things apart. If you’re curious and intelligent you want to exercise it and grownups can be incredibly stupid if they don’t know what you are doing and incredibly fun to mess with when they are being stupid but sometimes you just want to show what you can do and you scare them. Stupid, uncreative people are still the bane of my existence. There’s certain kind of stare they get when looking at you and it gets old really fast.
The second reason is that I was accused of making a terrorist threat several years ago when I worked at a company. A new member of my dept found out I was a witch at Hallows and harassed several people to go after me. They prayed over me at my desk. They went through my Disney cartoon a day calendar and removed all the witches from it. They would spout incorrect Bible verses and would get infuriated when I corrected them on the meaning, translation or if it was even in the Bible and not Shakespeare and they harassed anyone that tried to associate with me.
I did what any witch would do and put a protection spell on my workspace. It was tied to a tiny pentacle the size of dime on a post it under my monitor and not in plain sight. M, my chief harasser somehow found it mysteriously and reported it to our new manager who was a friend of hers from church. I was put on probation for that tiny pentacle in my desk because It allegedly terrified M. M outweighed me by about 100+ lbs and who was meaner than a snake was allegedly terrified of my tiny pentacle and there was not a damn thing at the time I could do about it. So about 6 months into my probation the company was bought by a company who had a very strong antidiscrimination policy and I figured I had nothing to lose in my misery so I went to the new HR and got an immediate response. They took me off probation, removed all mention from my file, moved M to another dept and made my manager go to sensitivity training and when she kept behaving badly, they took all of her employees away and gave her an tiny office in a closet and she left shortly after. So I know very well about being accused of being a terrorist because of your religion and it’s wrong and it hurts but you can fight and occasionally you can win.
I hope Ahmed wins big time and all those police officers and teacher have to eat their socks. You go Ahmed!
Note: if they were really so scared of his creation, how come no one called the bomb squad and they never evacuated his school if he was such a threat? No they just withheld his parents and harassed him because they could.