Effete technicians and tech-bubble speculators everywhere are angry that a Muslim teenager in Texas was arrested for bringing a circuit board to school.
Ahmed Mohamed is a maker in the making. A young genius if you ask his cousin. Mohamed builds his own radios and Bluetooth speakers and likes to tinker on his go-kart because he wants to be an inventor when he grows up. So, the 9th-grader brought a clock he made to his new Texas school with the hope of impressing his teachers. Instead, the Muslim boy was arrested by Texas police after teachers worried that his clock was actually a bomb.
The arrest came 14 years and four days after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. This is the America in which the 14-year-old Mohamed lives. Where the most common images of Muslims on television depict them wearing orange jumpsuits when not being viewed through the targeting sight of a drone. A country where young men with brown skin and odd-sounding names are potential terrorists lest “real Americans” be diligent.
Mohamed’s America is the same country that’s struggling with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The most recent PISA results, which measure the competencies of 15-year-olds, ranked the US a sad 35th out of 64 countries in math, and 27th in science. A Pew study published in February with a focus on K-12 STEM education showed little progress.
Blah blah blah.
The Verge is supposedly a trade magazine for the technology industry, but it can’t help but put forth a whole lot of corrosive criticism of America and the core American population.
There’s nothing especially objectionable about a Muslim boy who tinkers with electronics. It’s also a typical funny illustration of the way that school teachers are terrified of any display of initiative on the part of one of their inmate-students.
But this system that places bureaucratic administrators in charge of students is the very system built and maintained by progressives. The results on science-tests that this writer decries are the results of progressive policies, yet he ascribes the failures of these policies on the evil thoughts of the core population. We should add that modern science exists entirely because of the Western tradition — nothing like it was developed in the Arab world or Asia, and the English speaking people came to dominate the world in large part because the English, specifically, kicked off the revolution in the arts and sciences through the institution of the Royal Society.
The reason why the school sent Ahmed into detention over a circuit board is because civil society has broken down to the level to which behavior which deviates from lockstep conformity expected by governing institutions tends to be regarded with the most severe suspicion. Common culture has been diluted to nothing, as peoples from all over the globe have been imported to live together in close proximity without common moral or cultural beliefs & practices to bind them together.
Ahmed can learn how to build all the bombs — or clocks — that his heart desires if he goes back to his homeland, without any of the nasty and oppressive Texan school administrators to bother him about it.
It’s natural for people from Texas to be paranoid about people coming in from strange lands dominated by religious leaders who support the killing of infidels with a reputation for constructing shoddy bombs. It’s also reasonable to be paranoid about attacks from that group because Texas has been subjected to such attacks repeatedly from Muslims, as recently as last March. The 2009 rampage at Ft. Hood in Texas was also conducted by a Muslim. It’s entirely reasonable to deny would-be terrorists a domestic population that’s more likely to be friendly to them. This sort of pluralism, while making people feel good as a high expression of the never-quite-fully-realized ideals of religious toleration is destructive to social order.
Ahmed might be a good boy, but not of such enormous value that we need to alter the rest of society and condemn the inclinations of the majority in order to accommodate the Ahmeds while enduring the occasional Tsarnaev bombing. Multiculturalism eliminates any shared sense of rules beyond an ever increasing tangle of bureaucratic doctrines. The administrators who sent him to a detention center were almost certainly following strict rules about how to respond to students bringing unidentifiable electronic devices into school — those rules having been created by hysterical liberals terrified by the acts of terror committed by youths addled by prescription drugs and seeking a glorious death with huge media attention.
In order to make room for Ahmed, Jamal, J’miriquoi, Running Bear, Jorge, and Moonbeam, we subject all of them — including lil’ Johnny the racist cracker — to the same set of regulations, because we see all of them as potential malefactors to be treated uniformly by a blind system.
“Multiculturalism eliminates any shared sense of rules beyond an ever increasing tangle of bureaucratic doctrines.” Very well said, sir.
Ezra Pound's Ghost says
“we subject all of them — including lil’ Johnny the racist cracker — to the same set of regulations, because we see all of them as potential malefactors to be treated uniformly by a blind system.” This also explains the catastrophic decline in trust between police and many middle and lower class whites. These cops are forced to treat docile whites and feral blacks “equally”, i.e., according to the lowest common denominator. So now middle class white people are frequently subjected to same the uncivil attitudes police officers are forced to resort to when dealing with a typical uncivilized “urban youth”.
They’re obeying the law, aren’t they?
We’re equal citizens, aren’t we, comrade?
In practice this treatment isn’t completely equal, but it does bleed through, particularly in the development of the sharp blue divide between police and civilians.
The development of that divide is also predictable. It’s almost nonsensical to have a popular republic which isn’t policed by militias, but that’s how it developed. We argue for specialization in the police, while we argue to have a population in which everyone is presumed to have enough knowledge of politics to make wise decisions.
Poor little Ahmed. As any 6 year old boy who has ever chewed his pop-tart into the shape of a gun would say, “welcome to my world.”
SFC Ton says
I have been interacting with moslems since ’89. The problem is the moslem is breathing. The non breathing one’s are much easier to get along with.
The Vag is a true tragedy – a really pretty good tech blog held hostage to Josh Topolsky’s (and now Nilay Patel’s) wish that they could be running the Huffington Post instead of being condemned to writing reviews of cell phones. Because they try to do everything, they end up as a confused kludge that has no real direction, except that everything they do *other* than their (admittedly quite informative) cell phone reviews has the unmistakable stain of the SJW sneer about it.
In other words, they’re a bunch of tryhards who really want to be urban hipsters, but under the hood are really just pocket protector-wearing tech geeks. Like all tryhards, things would be better for them if they stopped frontin’ and started getting comfortable with just being what they are.
Brett Stevens says
Democratic societies try to substitute government for culture. Culture includes, as the Putnam study indicates, a commonality which engenders trust. Under government, that trust is gone, replaced by trust in police-style actions. That is what the school took here: find the nonconformists and get rid of them so the herd will be safe. As you said, this is simply liberal democratic policy applied, but because it “visually” conflicts with the liberal idea of Benetton kumbaya diversity, it has upset them.
They will get over it. All liberal signaling is a matter of identity politics, itself a substitute for identitarian society (nationalism/culture/religion/nativism), and their drama is merely their way of demanding to be including in the cool kids group of the herd.