Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Ahmed Mohamed suing for $15m is the most American thing he could do

It has been almost three months since the racist and Islamophobic incident concerning 14 years of age Ahmed Mohamed and MacArthur High School. Ahmed was accused of building a bomb in the guise of a clock [1]. To date, the City of Irving and the Irving Independent School District are yet to issue an apology and the Mohamed family is set to relocate to Qatar for better opportunities. Legal action is being taken and the Mohamed family has asked for $10 million from the City of Irving, $5 million from the Irving Independent School District and an apology for damages [2].

What is surprising (or not) is the amount of (overt and covert) racists and Islamophobes, of whom some were fully in support of Ahmed's plight, now seem to be creeping out of the woodwork and crying "opportunism" and "ingratitude" as he got his “15 minutes of coverage, didn’t he?”

American civilisation at its finest

Perhaps these bigots forget that the suing culture is strong, effective and may well work as an effective deterrent for future instances such as these. Especially judging that the City of Irving, MacArthur High School as well as police authorities have a history of deeply entrenched racism and Islamophobia [3] [4] [5]. After all, if anything is evident from history, the present treatment - and until White supremacist power structures are overthrown -, the future for ethnic and religious minorities, particularly with Black and Muslim Americans, lives, rights and dignity are not valued or afforded. Money, however, as we are often reminded is.

The "American dream" or as some would argue, the American nightmare, is to raise capital, to spend capital and to dream capital. America is the face of capital. Therefore, one of the most American things Ahmed Mohamed could do is sue the City of Irving and the Irving Independent School District. Figuratively speaking, you hit racists where it hurts and seeing as the famous Michael Jackson song "they don't care about us" is as relevant today as it was when it was released, that would be their pockets. It seems like Ahmed Mohamed and his family are once again holding up a mirror to America and the world, and if bigots do not like what they see, the onus is not on Ahmed and his family, it is on them.


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