On Monday morning, a young Muslim boy named Ahmed was arrested at his school for showing his teacher the clock he had made from a pencil case. Ahmed was neither provoking nor threatening his teacher- the events that unfolded were clearly founded in racial bias within the teacher and police officers themselves. Despite this setback in his budding engineering career, the outpouring of positive support for Ahmed via social media today provides a welcome twist to this sordid story.
Following the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed, you’ll find messages in support of Ahmed from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, NASA, MIT, Questlove, and even Twitter themselves. But the most interesting of them all was a tweet from President Obama’s personal account:
So let’s dissect this tweet from the Grand Poobah himself…
“Cool clock, Ahmed.” –Starting off with a laid-back vibe, I like it. I also like how he’s composed a pro-engineering and science tweet instead of an anti-law enforcement one, way to focus on the positive, Barack!
“Want to bring it to the White House?” –Who cares about the ‘big house’ when you’ve got an offer to hang-out at an even bigger one…that also happens to be painted white. And houses the First Family (dogs included).
“We should inspire more kids like you to like science.” –Agreed! We’re always in need of the next Edison, McClintock, or Carver.
“It’s what makes America great.” –Boom, now I’m inspired. This last sentence is the most important- everyone can agree that innovation is what makes America great. And if we can agree with that point, then it’s too morally conflicting to agree with the decision to arrest Ahmed.
I’m a big fan of the President involving himself in current trending topics. POTUS’s of the past never had the demands of today’s ever-present social media cycle placed on them. Obama has been able to stay relevant without looking like he’s trying too hard to look like one of the crew. He maintains an air of dignity while also assuring us that he’s just a regular guy. In my opinion, Obama has passed the branding test with flying colors. Cheers to him for lending his opinion on small but important events such as this; and an even bigger cheers (if that’s an option) to little Ahmed for not letting the Man keep him down.