Should we launch a Kickstarter for Ahmed Mohamed? September 16, 2015 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Many folks are distressed over the way the school administration and police in Irving, TX reacted when a 14-year-old student of Sudanese Muslim parentage brought a homemade clock to school, and wish there was something they could do about it. How about a Kickstarter to collect a STEM college fund for Ahmed?

I'm posting here because I don't know all the details of how to make this happen, and I figured the MeFi community might know and be interested in helping to get it running.

Perhaps we could set a cap on the amount that will go to Ahmed—say, the cost of an all-frills bachelor program at MIT or a similarly prestigious university—and donate any overflow to a deserving organization which promotes diversity in STEM.

Two things that would be important to do:

1. Get in touch with Ahmed and his family, and make sure this is something they're okay with.

2. Figure out how to put the funds in some kind of escrow, to make sure that they belong to Ahmed himself, and become available on his 18th birthday or something.

Why do this? Because it would help a talented young man pursue his passions. Because it would send a message to everyone complicit in the mishandling of the incident, and their sympathizers, that this is not okay. Because, Internet outrage (in this case, rightly placed Internet outrage!) being the potent force that it is, I suspect it would be wildly successful.

Any thoughts on how to address these challenges, or on the general idea?
posted by escape from the potato planet to MetaFilter-Related at 9:18 AM (69 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Heya, two core answers to this:

1. It's not something we-as-in-officially-MetaFilter can or should be bootstrapping. Fundraising stuff on the site has, all wonderful intentions notwithstanding, been pretty problematic over the years and so is something that we have to be really, really conservative about. So "MetaFilter is Kickstarting a fundraiser for Ahmed" is a non-starter.

2. That said, folks on MetaFilter getting involved with and talking about how to support whatever is going on elsewhere in a lots-of-self-directed-individuals capacity is fine, so I've gone ahead and put this through so folks can talk about it and organize as they see fit. The sentiment is certainly good, so I feel you there.

I think the core thing here is your first point: getting in touch with, and respecting the wishes of, Ahmed and family is the appropriate way to go here. I saw on twitter Anil Dash making basically that point earlier today, which I think is right on—there's wanting to help these folks, and there's wanting to do something symbolic about this shitty situation, and as much as the latter is an understandable instinct I think that it's really, really important that people make sure that the latter doesn't actually end up conflicting with the former. Coming up with structured terms and limits and so on for a third-party fundraiser they haven't explicitly asked for isn't the sort of thing that feels right to me, there.

So, see what the family is actually doing, wanting to do, approving, etc, and help out based on that rather than trying to create from whole cloth a third party "this is how we think you would want to be helped" sort of deal, is my recommendation.

At this point the family is posting stuff on twitter at @IStandWithAhmed, and there's contact info on that, so I'd suggest folks interested in helping out somehow use that as a starting point.

This shit that happened to Ahmed is terrible and I am glad it's getting attention and some potential positive outcomes. I'll ask that folks who want to talk about the situation in general rather than the very specific question of helping Ahmed and his family out do so in the MetaFilter thread on this rather than in here; that's already busy thread and we don't need a second one by proxy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on September 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Thanks, cortex. I wasn't sure exactly what the MeFi policy was here. I totally appreciate that this would be a campaign which happened to have its genesis on MetaFilter, and not something that is being done or endorsed by MetaFilter. I appreciate you allowing a venue to discuss it.

You're also absolutely correct that we need to respect the Mohameds' wishes.

I've already reached out to Ahmed's family via several different avenues (their Twitter; the istandwithahmed@gmail.com address; Anil Dash via email). I haven't heard back yet, but I'm sure they're swamped at the moment.

I'll post here if I hear anything. In the meantime, point #2 is the one I'm most uncertain about. I did a little Googling for "online escrow", but most of the information out there pertains to eBay and similar, and it's not clear how things would work in a crowdfunding situation.

I also welcome suggestions for worthy organizations that promote diversity in STEM, either in Texas or on the national level.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:32 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think rather than throwing a bunch of money at a teenage boy, no matter how satisfying, is probably not the right way to go. I'd suggest a better approach would be a scholarship fund. Which, given the state of higher education financing, is probably necessary anyway.
posted by scalefree at 9:33 AM on September 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Does Ahmed need money? Did his family ask for money or something? Does he need a scholarship fund? Did his family ask for one?

They seem to be educated, relatively affluent and have agency in their own lives.

(save for the ability to make science projects after school)
posted by Nevin at 9:37 AM on September 16, 2015 [24 favorites]


I think a scholarship fund or a donation drive to a well known/trusted non-profit would be a good idea. Something that either has a focus on fighting racism in education or just a general STEM for youngsters kind of thing.

Ahmed is thankfully going to be getting a lot of support from a lot of people. Lets help out all of the other kids who aren't going to get that attention.
posted by mayonnaises at 9:39 AM on September 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Good points, good points. I have even less of a clue about setting up a scholarship fund, but I'd gladly consider donating to an existing organization.

Let's reframe the question thusly: "how can we, as individual members of the MetaFilter community, respond productively to this incident?".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:44 AM on September 16, 2015


I honestly think this one kid is going to get a shit ton of help, financially and otherwise. He and his family, if not forgotten about by next week due to the Internet's short attention span, are basically overnight celebrities who have already been invited to functions by astronauts and whatnot. That kid will wind up going to whatever university he wants to go to, all paid, I guarantee. Hell, I'd be surprised if Elon Musk doesn't give him a ride to Mars some day. They'll be ok, I think.

I think a more general fund to donate to some sort of STEM education for minorities or electronics education in schools would be more practical and probably the best way to have a wider, more long-term affect.

Or perhaps fund some training for the Irving PD so they could actually learn what a bomb looks like*?

*joke
posted by bondcliff at 9:45 AM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm looking at ways to bring him and his family to Malaysia to meet Muslim STEM folk here (pending their approval). So if anyone in the area wants to work on that feel free to hit me up.

I also support the idea of a donation drive to organizations that help minorities in STEM. If we can find one for Muslims in STEM that would be even better.
posted by divabat at 9:47 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


1. Get in touch with Ahmed and his family, and make sure this is something they're okay with.

You can leave suggestions for how you'd like to help Ahmed here - it was set up by anildash, with the family's permission.

Personally, I wouldn't go further than that when it comes to raising money for Ahmed directly - he and his family might not want people to do that, they might have a charity in mind for donations, &c.
posted by jack_mo at 10:18 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


What jack_mo says above. Anil Dash is working with the family to figure out what they need or could benefit from. Rather than jump in with our own plan, we should wait to see what they request by following @IStandWithAhmed (the family's new account) and @anildash.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:00 AM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fair enough. I don't think I realized at first just how big this has become. It was one of the first things I saw after waking up this morning, and now it's like the lion killer on methamphetamines.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:09 AM on September 16, 2015


This story makes me incandescent with rage on all levels.

Oh my god.
posted by odinsdream at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2015


No worries, Ahmed's been invited to the White House by America's socialist secret Muslim President, so it sounds like Ahmed is going to be just fine. The biggest problem now sounds it'll be how the publicity affects him and his family.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have extended open invitations for him to meet them. Crazy.
posted by Nevin at 11:32 AM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Waiting on you, Tim Cook.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:58 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The biggest problem now sounds it'll be how the publicity affects him and his family.

Maybe we could start a Kickstarter to raise money to buy him a little peace and quiet?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:10 PM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


This question seems to have been asked & answered. Maybe close it down, and move everything else to the MetaFilter thread?
posted by Going To Maine at 12:35 PM on September 16, 2015


Threads are usually closed when they are an active source of problems which doesn't seem to be the case here. Maybe stop asking for threads to be closed?
posted by grouse at 12:45 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Threads are usually closed when they are an active source of problems which doesn't seem to be the case here. Maybe stop asking for threads to be closed?

Well, if have a big ol’ debate about closing the thread, maybe we can make it an active problem…
posted by Going To Maine at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2015


How about we don't and just let the thread stay open and be used for the narrow area of focus for which it can be, or not used.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:51 PM on September 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


The underlying causes of this horrifying event seem to be:

- The teachers, principal, police, and possibly other public officials thought a homemade-looking clock was probably a bomb;

- Fear of people because their appearance and origin is similar to other people (who actually do hate and want to kill Americans), even though the people in question are completely innocent. I suppose it's a tendency to judge people based on their appearance and nationality because it's harder to judge based on more important factors, like people's actual beliefs and attitudes;

- A desire for vengeance, which gets directed at easy targets rather than more inaccessible causes of past grievances;

- The fact that kids who are creative in unusual ways, or who have knowledge and interests beyond their teachers, peers, or other responsible adults, are often the focus of incomprehension, resentment, and basic meannesses from those adults.



I'd love to support an effort that would address any of these.
posted by amtho at 1:48 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does Ahmed need money?

Considering his father occasionally travels back to Sudan to run for president, I would guess no, he really does not. If you want to toss money at someone, how about some organization that helps the no doubt ton of smart kids quietly toiling away who haven't been made overnight celebrities by the internet rage machine and gotten invited to all sorts of things by all sorts of famous/powerful people. This kid was already going to be just fine before any of this happened, and now I'm sure he'll be even better off than most people could even imagine. He doesn't need any more help.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:53 PM on September 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


I would love to believe that Ahmed will be fine forever, Steely-eyed Missile Man, but this child was betrayed by adults he trusted. I hope he transfers out of the school, and I hope the principal resigns.
posted by peripathetic at 3:19 PM on September 16, 2015


President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have extended open invitations for him to meet them. Crazy.

Not so crazy, really; this is an incredibly cheap way for both of them to get good PR. People who think the police and the school itself (!) were right to treat this boy in that way will never really approve of Obama or Zuckerberg, anyway.

I would be impressed if either of them treated this instance like part of a pattern that affects millions of Americans everyday instead of an unusual event. This is a symptom, so we should really focus on what's causing it rather than focusing too much on this particular boy who probably feels angry and confused and embarrassed right now.
posted by clockzero at 3:55 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eponysterical.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I also welcome suggestions for worthy organizations that promote diversity in STEM, either in Texas or on the national level.

I do have a suggestion for this, and I think it's a really good one, so please let me know if you would like more information. Specifically, if you would like to contribute to diversity in STEM in Texas via higher education scholarships at a university where there are many students like Ahmed going to school, then I would be happy to point you to the right people.
posted by librarylis at 6:06 PM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Official fundraiser link for Ahmed, as tweeted by @istandwithahmed, which is the family's own twitter account according to Anil Dash.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:58 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


According to the fundraiser page, 50% of money raised will go to Ahmed personally for future schooling, the rest to funding "one year gift memberships at MakerSpaces for promising young kids".

It's not being run by the family, but it is endorsed by the family.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:02 PM on September 16, 2015


Cool—thanks, His thoughts were red thoughts! I'm glad that got done. Whoever put together that campaign did a better job than I would have, anyway—they have a snazzy video and everything.

I do have a suggestion for this, and I think it's a really good one, so please let me know if you would like more information.

Well, yeah—that's why I was asking :)
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:09 PM on September 16, 2015


Is Donors Choose a responsible organization? They seem to have a noble objective and they get a fair amount of attention. I looked around their website and they have a community feature. We could create a Metafilter community and then give money to worthy classrooms as a group. We could focus on STEM requests if there's a consensus to do so.

I'd prefer this option to the Ahmed fundraiser. The official fundraiser will collect $100,000 and then give fully $50,000 of it to Ahmed. He may very well deserve it, but I'd prefer to give more broadly. Then, while the official fundraiser seems designed to end in the near future, the Metafilter Donors Choose community could continue giving a trickle of money indefinitely. Every time some school library bans a book, some school board adopts a curriculum that "teaches the controversy", a school discriminates against a student, etc...
posted by stuart_s at 8:40 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, Donors Choose is responsible. It's pretty much where public school teachers go to beg people to give them money enough to provide things like paper and books to their classrooms, because our society has decided that our public school system shouldn't provide such things to childen.
posted by jaguar at 8:59 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


How about we don't all throw ourselves resolutely behind a 14 year old we know nothing about?

Speaking as someone who built the odd bomb timer -- not clock, mind you, but actual bomb timer -- while in high school I'd like to remind people that being a STEM geek does *not* automatically make someone a saint.

This is a great chance to focus on STEM and/or discrimination, but tying to an individual may backfire.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:29 PM on September 16, 2015


Tell Me No Lies: does someone need to be a "saint" to be worthy of support?
posted by divabat at 12:09 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


This thread is pretty explicitly tied to the individual by its nature though. Let's not turn this into an appraisal of the kid's general character: this should not be a proxy for the MeFi thread. Sorry to be a stickler for protocol here but if you want to have this discussion, the Blue would be the place for it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 12:23 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ahmed isn't going to need any financial support from Mefi. He's able to meet the president, his family doesn't seem poorly off, and I'd be surprised if somewhere didn't offer him a full ride from the publicity right now. There's going to be plenty of donations from elsewhere too.

If anyone here is looking to take advantage of the current awareness, I would personally suggest compiling a list of "maker" initiatives for disadvantaged kids that might need funding. Frame a post around maker culture and disadvantage. I'm quite sure we're going to see a few articles on this in the coming weeks - some of which will be worthy of their own posts - and gentle injunctions to donate can be placed there while people are still aware and angry.
posted by solarion at 2:33 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tell Me No Lies: does someone need to be a "saint" to be worthy of support?

The question is on the other end: how compromising could the picture get before you say "yeah, um, this particular victim of discrimination is not the one we'd like rally behind."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:40 AM on September 17, 2015


No, the question is, in a situation where there is a complete and total lack of evidence of wrong doing of any sort, why would you simply assume that a 14 year old is some sort of bad seed?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:55 AM on September 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


no one is reaching into your pocket, Tell Me No Lies, so maybe just consider your objection heard and move on.
posted by nadawi at 6:58 AM on September 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Would Ahmed show up in diversity statistics as "Other"? The stats I see divide the world into white, black, Asian, Hispanic and other. I guess most Muslims end up in the Asian bucket?
posted by mullacc at 7:23 AM on September 17, 2015


muslim isn't a race. he'd tick whatever race he identifies as. muslims in the united states are very racially diverse. his family is from sudan which is firmly situated in africa, though, which makes him quite literally african-american.
posted by nadawi at 7:35 AM on September 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


My suggestion would be to let things shake out for a week or two and see what comes up out of this. It seems like the Mohammed family is okay, or at least at no risk of becoming homeless right away because of this, or in urgent need of cash for survival.

But this is hopefully going to shine a brighter light on the disproportionate rates of education-disrupting disciplinary actions on children of color (and it starts in preschool, it deserves a light shone on it in all school districts, not just Irving), and also the lack of encouragement if not outright discouragement those children receive for GATE and STEM-centric educational programs.

Also, a Kickstarter is not for collecting donations, it's for funding a project with rewards and some sort of output, and you can't just sign someone you don't know up for that, because random strangers are not your dancing monkeys. You should also never start a gofundme or other donation-collection mechanism for someone you don't know and/or who has not consented to have a fundraiser opened in their name and is willing to deal with the substantial tax implications of receiving donated money. (Someone did this last week to a friend of mine, literally while their house was still on fire, apparently without consent or any sort of agreement that this friend was actually going to give them any funds raised. Not okay. I know the urge to doooooo something is strong, but sometimes you just have to go make a casserole and then eat it yourself.)

Opportunities to give, however, will arise (and indeed already do, see Donors Choose) to give to kids like Ahmed, and some of those venues do have community/team functions.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:35 AM on September 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


No, the question is, in a situation where there is a complete and total lack of evidence of wrong doing of any sort, why would you simply assume that a 14 year old is some sort of bad seed?

I don't recall that I have.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:25 AM on September 17, 2015


no one is reaching into your pocket, Tell Me No Lies, so maybe just consider your objection heard and move on.

I'm sorry my incessant single reply to someone who asked me a direct question has so thoroughly derailed this epic community discussion. I will hush now and allow this historical juggernaut of a MetaTalk thread march on to its glorious conclusion.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:31 AM on September 17, 2015


Maybe the people who need some help -- learning about Makerspaces and the cool things that can be created by interested kids and adults -- are teachers or other community members?
posted by amtho at 10:06 AM on September 17, 2015


Would Ahmed show up in diversity statistics as "Other"? The stats I see divide the world into white, black, Asian, Hispanic and other. I guess most Muslims end up in the Asian bucket?

Speaking as a Canadian with two kids who have dual citizenship between Japan and Canada, this is the single-biggest problem with the American approach to race. While racism exists, "race" does not.
posted by Nevin at 11:49 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think, -if this is going to happen-, that we should hold off and see what happens here. It already seems like he's getting enormous support, and it's also not really clear what this money would be for hen it looks like he already has a college path ahead of him(at least potentially). It really seems like there's a huge outpouring of options and support and potentially fully funded education stuff?

If there's a clear outlet, like "fund this/these specific things" or "gather up money to put towards this charity or list of charities" or something it would make sense. Just as "send money to mistreated kid!!1!" it strikes me as, in the absolute most charitable viewing, sketchy.

I get the urge to do something, but there's no reason that the something we would do would be less effective in even a month or two, or at least a couple weeks.

It's not like we're going to need to fund his lawyer. If that was really an issue, and he tweeted it, it would be funded by some rich googler in an hour or something(or just pro bono).

I'm trying my hardest to not ape any part of that awful threadshit comment in the main thread that compared it to kony2012 and stuff, but raising money with no clear goal is EXACTLY the kind of dumb internet bandwagon shit that pisses me off. I'm all for it but like... lets have a goal clearly ahead of us first maybe? What was laid out in the outset of this thread seems potentially already done.
posted by emptythought at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2015


What if he ends up studying humanities?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:01 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good question. This is certainly a humanities problem he's experiencing.
posted by Miko at 10:47 PM on September 17, 2015


Then he studies the humanities, why is this a problem?
posted by divabat at 11:12 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Then he studies the humanities, why is this a problem?

It's a problem because upthread the suggestion was made to fund a STEM college for him. If some kind of college fund is created for him then it should be for whatever field he chooses to study. STEM, humanities, it's all good.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:16 AM on September 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


random strangers are not your dancing monkeys. You should also never start a gofundme or other donation-collection mechanism for someone you don't know and/or who has not consented to have a fundraiser opened in their name and is willing to deal with the substantial tax implications of receiving donated money.

In light of all the attention Ahmed has received, and the fact that someone else has already set up a crowdfunding campaign for Ahmed, I've given up my original idea anyway—but I quite explicitly stated, twice, that I would (and indeed did) reach out to the Mohameds before doing anything. The grar over the notion that I'm going to go to all this trouble just for my own self-satisfaction is unwarranted.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:55 AM on September 18, 2015


I don't know why there is so much pushback in wanting to help out a kid who was ARRESTED AT HIS OWN SCHOOL FOR LEARNING!

I hear mefites all the time talking about 'bad ass' stories for how they fucked the man in high school, and it ends with someone of authority telling them "no". But this lil mofo was actually arrested in front of his peers for doing nothing wrong. Stop being all jealous; this kid is the ultimate badass.

"Back when I was in high school, I was nerdy...and liked science. Also I was Muslim...in Texas. And then one day I did a science project, and they arrested me and suspended me. I used that time to shop around for lawyers so that I could end up owning the school system and forcing them to implement the teaching of SCIENCE in Texas."

He is bad ass; your stories are just ass.

Although...the dude is a Muslim. And if you apply the technical concept of "charity" in this situation, it would not apply. Barring his family being in some kind of financial ruins, money going to his family prolly wouldn't be considered charity, and rather a "gift". I'd buy this kid like a $5 gift, but I wouldn't take it away from my charity budget for more legit causes.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2015


If he studies humanities then he's gonna be poor.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2015


I do have a suggestion for this, and I think it's a really good one, so please let me know if you would like more information.

Well, yeah—that's why I was asking :)


Escape from the potato planet and anyone who might be interested--if you want to MeMail me for more info, I'd be really excited to work with y'all. I've kept an eye on this thread but I don't want to take away from Ahmed and his family so yeah, if you're interested in that slightly wider lens, please do MeMail.
posted by librarylis at 12:30 PM on September 18, 2015


If he studies humanities then he's gonna be poor.

At least he will be rich in culture. Also, not every graduate of a STEM program is rich, and flooding the STEM labor market with fresh-out STEM graduates isn't going to drive up wages.
posted by Rob Rockets at 1:57 PM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, thanks to the mention of Donors Choose here, I found a great way to support both humanities and minority participation in STEM - buying bilingual dictionaries for ESL students.

(Now to figure out the whole employer match thing ... )
posted by research monkey at 3:43 PM on September 18, 2015


Ahmed was wearing a NASA t-shirt, built a functional digital clock from scratch and said he wants to go to MIT.

Why the hell are people talking about humanities vs STEM?
posted by Nevin at 5:20 PM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


muslim isn't a race. he'd tick whatever race he identifies as. muslims in the united states are very racially diverse. his family is from sudan which is firmly situated in africa, though, which makes him quite literally african-american.

Don't chide me for the way someone else categorizes these things. Explaining to me that an American with parents from Africa is African-American is the kind of assholish behavior you fight against here.
posted by mullacc at 5:26 PM on September 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why the hell are people talking about humanities vs STEM?

He might decide to be a civil rights lawyer.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:23 PM on September 18, 2015


i wasn't being an asshole - you've read a tone into that comment that wasn't there. i was answering your question. i really am sorry if it came off wrong.
posted by nadawi at 9:42 PM on September 18, 2015


Ahmed was wearing a NASA t-shirt, built a functional digital clock from scratch and said he wants to go to MIT.

He absolutely did not build a functional digital clock from scratch. He took an already assembled commercial product, broke it out of its case & installed it into a new one, a little metal briefcase-looking thing.

In some of the videos of him talking about his "inventions" he briefly displays them. They've all been identified as commercial products he simply removed from their cases. See the main thread for more details; I don't want to derail this thread but I can't let that go unchallenged.
posted by scalefree at 12:21 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was an early supporter of the kid but in light of new evidence my opinion now is that he hacked the media & social opinion, not any electronics. Whether that's worthy of praise & support is another question. I haven't decided where I stand on that.
posted by scalefree at 12:25 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ball alive, can we please not have another discussion in here about whether the kid who got arrested for making a clock made a good enough clock. There was more than enough of that on the blue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:08 PM on September 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like we can't discuss it there either. Serious question - is there anywhere onsite we can discuss it? Would a new post on that subject be accepted?
posted by scalefree at 1:37 PM on September 19, 2015


There isn't a place to discuss every possible topic on MetaFilter. And there doesn't need to be. In particular, we don't need a space to critique victims of bad acts, especially victims who are minors.
posted by grouse at 2:00 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


That'd be a no then. OK. I'm pretty sure a time will come when events unfold & we'll revisit that decision, but I'll sit back & wait for it to happen organically.
posted by scalefree at 2:11 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


It got discussed over there a bunch already. If you mean is there a place on the site where you can re-up the discussion without people saying they're tired of it, I'm guessing at this point no, but in any case in here is definitely not the place to even try is the main thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:53 PM on September 19, 2015


Looks like we can't discuss it there either. Serious question - is there anywhere onsite we can discuss it? Would a new post on that subject be accepted?

What was the vintage response to this? Get your own blog? I think that's right, no? It's so far in the back of the storage room I can't quite make it out.
posted by emptythought at 3:03 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


For anyone interested in the larger issue of schools using police to enforce school rules, and of the overcriminalization of childhood, and of the school-to-prison pipeline, and of the disproportionate effect that these policies have on children of color, these are some very worthwhile organizations working on such issues:

National Juvenile Defender Center (donate)
ACLU School-to-Prison Pipeline initiative (donate)
Children's Defense Fund (donate)
NAACP Legal Defense Fund (donate)
The Advancement Project (donate)

There are also likely organizations that work specifically in your local area on these issues. The ACLU of Texas has been doing great work in the area where Ahmed Mohamed lives. In your area too, these problems almost certainly exist, and there is probably a local community group, or a public defender's office, or a juvenile defense nonprofit, or other organizations doing this work. This isn't a problem unique to this town or to this child, and my hope is that the attention being given to his case can shed some light on the breadth and depth of this problem for hundreds of thousands of kids across the country whose childhoods have been interrupted and who have been traumatized by unnecessary contact with the criminal system.
posted by decathecting at 4:00 PM on September 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


« Older Draft Mode Request   |   On Sept. 11, 2001, there was no Facebook, no... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments