2015 The Social Media Outrage about Clock Boy and How we are Missing the Obvious
(CNN)When Ahmed Mohamed went to his high school in Irving, Texas, Monday, he was so excited. A teenager with dreams of becoming an engineer, he wanted to show his teacher the digital clock he'd made from a pencil case.
The 14-year-old's day ended not with praise, but punishment, after the school called police and he was arrested.
From <http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/16/us/te ... lock-bomb/
This 'Clock Boy' has been a hot topic in the news lately, and included in this article was the 'social media reaction':
Outrage over the incident -- with many saying the student was profiled because he's Muslim -- spread on social media as #IStandWithAhmed started trending worldwide on Twitter with more than 100,000 tweets Tuesday morning. The school's Facebook page is roiling with sharp criticism of the way the teen was treated, and the hashtag #engineersforahmed is gaining popularity.
Now, this will not be another article discussing how wrong the teacher and the police was in how they treated him and how Ahmed deserves an apology, or about defending either side in what happened on that day, there are plenty articles on the web adding to the 'outrage' and the reactions that have been stirred in people regarding what happened to this boy.
I mean, sure it was racial profiling and yes it was unfair and things like this shouldn't happen, however reciting this over and over again and getting angry and upset about it is not going to create a solution and will not show us the way to make sure that situations like this don't happen again and that 14 year old innocent kids don't become victimized by the fears that have been brainwashed into the adults of the world, like a fear of terrorists infiltrating our lives and planting bombs and creating chaos everywhere. Fears that are, if you really look at it, quite absurd and really far out there, but unfortunately very common in people these days, considering how susceptible the human mind is to information impulses and considering how steadily the media has been impulsing this apparent omnipresent terrorist threat the last few years.
If anything, events like this one where someone is discriminated against, shunned or even arrested due to preprogrammed perceptions, assumptions and beliefs concerning race, religion and so forth were bound to happen sooner or later, and are in fact happening every moment, without any media coverage.
What this one event and the 'outrage' it is stirring up in people all across social media is really showing us is, ironically, just how little we really care about all the events just like this one and even worse which are happening all of the time. It is revealing how oblivious we seem to be to the reality of the world that we are currently living in, which is a world wherein 'clock boy' is not an isolated event, not by a long shot. In fact for many it is business as usual, just another day on planet earth, where people love to get outraged yet never quite enough to really bring about any change.
So let us then look at the real issue at hand, the one which we should be concerned about. The issue which is hiding underneath the Clock Boy situation and is making sure that those things will continue happening, that things will never change for the better and will most likely only get worse, no matter how many people get outraged about it.
Let's look at what it is that really needs changing, and it isn't the police who needs to apologise or the teacher who needs to get fired or have some kind of anti-racism therapy. Those particular policemen and that particular teacher were just in the wrong place at the wrong time you could say, because if anyone of us was in their shoes, we would have reacted in exactly the same way. And why is that? Because we have all been influenced in exactly the same way by exactly the same media with exactly the same prejudices, judgments and beliefs regarding race, religion and specifically unfortunately Muslims.
What we should be learning from this event, and how we should be approaching it, is within this realization and understanding that those policemen and that teacher are each and every one of us. Those people represent parts and aspects of ourselves which we, and specifically those of us who are reacting with the most 'outrage', are clearly in complete denial of.
I mean, of course we don't like seeing ourselves as a racist or as someone who discriminates against others based on superficial judgments of appearance, why of course not because we wouldn't be very liked by other people. We'd be seen and judged as 'bad' by the rest of society and we might even spark social outrage.
I'm sure this was the case for the teacher and those policemen. I'm sure they were 'good people', they 'meant well' and they don't generally think of themselves as a racist or someone who would discriminate against others. But in this particular situation, it just kind of 'happened'. The actual racism and prejudices which existed on some level inside of them - whether or not they were aware of it - just came out in how they handled the situation. It came out and it was there for the whole world to see.
And I am sure that afterwards, when people got outraged and social media started burning them to the stake, they wished that they could do it all over again and they would not have reacted in the same way. But the thing is, if they were really given a second chance and they could do it all over again, they would act the exact same way.
Because, the problem was never that their intentions weren't pure, or that they meant to do something hurtful to this kid. The problem was that they were not AWARE of where their own behaviour was coming from. They were not aware that there existed racial and other discriminatory prejudices, assumptions and judgments in their own mind.
And that is the unfortunate consequences of wanting to be a good person, or more specifically wanting to be seen as a good person in society. We tend to hide everything that exists inside our own mind which may be judged badly, so that we can appear to be 'politically correct' to our environment.
This is something that we are all doing, we all wear masks and we all, or at least most of us, make an effort to 'watch our words' and to place a guard in front of our mouth to make sure that we don't say anything which may be perceived by others in a bad way. It is such moments however, like in the clock boy situation, where it is our very behavior which is showing to the world what really exists in our mind. That would be our subconscious and unconscious mind coming through in our behavior, which is something we cannot simply stop in that moment because we are just not aware of any of it.
The clock boy event was an extreme and very obvious and clear example of how our subconscious and unconscious mind directs our behavior, but in fact our sub- and unconscious mind is directing our behavior in every given moment. It is our sub-and unconscious mind which is creating the world which we are living in. So even though we may consciously think and believe that we are a good person, and as long as our immediate environment agrees it is easy to believe that about ourselves, but at the same time it is our very behavior in every moment that is impacting the world we live in on every level and that is contributing to all the things in this world which we may consciously claim to be 'against' or outraged by.
It is time that we start getting to know who we are as beings on a much deeper level so that we can begin to see directly how it is that we are contributing to and creating the world we live in and so we can start creating change in that world on a real level.
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