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Legosi (Tani Coyote)

Muslim Teen Ahmed Mohamed Arrested For Designing Digital Clock

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I am a tad divided on the issue.  The purpose of the court system is to reconcile claims and seek compensation for damage caused through negligence or otherwise maltreatment of people, pets, and/or property, which does unfortunately mean that someone has to lose money, regardless of their intent.  This is why the conservative media likes to hide details about lawsuits (such as the infamous McDonald's coffee case that people keep conveniently abridging).  Because they know if they can paint the American judicial system in a negative light, people will be less inclined to sue, even when it is well within their right to do so.  What happened to this kid was wrong, and it most certainly may have caused a financial loss (as well as loss to public reputation) that could have been easily avoided.  So on that end, I definitely support them pressing charges.

But those numbers seem a little steep.  The punishment does not equal the original sin, and all that jargon.  I don't believe that having something bad happen to you obligates you to an unlimited amount of money, nor do I think it would actually help compensate for the loss that they incurred as a result of this incident.  15 million isn't exactly petty change, and it's not one that I think either parties can readily afford.

However, despite all this, I feel like there's a part of the story I'm missing.  So if I am, please do not hesitate to let me know.  Something just seems kind of sketchy with those numbers.  Like they're omitting some crucial detail that would explain why they're so high.

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I am a tad divided on the issue.  The purpose of the court system is to reconcile claims and seek compensation for damage caused through negligence or otherwise maltreatment of people, pets, and/or property, which does unfortunately mean that someone has to lose money, regardless of their intent.  This is why the conservative media likes to hide details about lawsuits (such as the infamous McDonald's coffee case that people keep conveniently abridging).  Because they know if they can paint the American judicial system in a negative light, people will be less inclined to sue, even when it is well within their right to do so.  What happened to this kid was wrong, and it most certainly may have caused a financial loss (as well as loss to public reputation) that could have been easily avoided.  So on that end, I definitely support them pressing charges.

But those numbers seem a little steep.  The punishment does not equal the original sin, and all that jargon.  I don't believe that having something bad happen to you obligates you to an unlimited amount of money, nor do I think it would actually help compensate for the loss that they incurred as a result of this incident.  15 million isn't exactly petty change, and it's not one that I think either parties can readily afford.

However, despite all this, I feel like there's a part of the story I'm missing.  So if I am, please do not hesitate to let me know.  Something just seems kind of sketchy with those numbers.  Like they're omitting some crucial detail that would explain why they're so high.

I agree with you on the money part. Fifteen million is way too much unless like you say I am missing something important here. It was unfortunate and very wrong what happened to that kid but does it really mean that you now can sue for unlimited amounts of money? What if other people end up trying to purposely have a bad racial moment in order to sue for huge amounts of money? Is this what normally happens in court?

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Well hang on a moment. 

How much would you want? 

You're basically accused of being a terrorist because of your background with utterly no proof. 

Wrongfully arrested and detained.

You get photos taken of you arrested which are going to stick with you for life.

Whilst you eventually got a lot of praise and support, there are a ton of bastards out there who are likely using him as a scapegoat for their right wing bullshit.

Put a price on making that right? Good on him, the way this kid was treated was utterly disgraceful.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/08/05/how-higher-education-affects-lifetime-salary

He's a bright lightbulb. His lifetime salary will most likely be in the ballpark of $4 million assuming he goes for the highest degrees.

However, not only does he have his whole life ahead of him, but I doubt he's been rendered unemployable by this. This is greed, pure and simple.

Was he wronged? Hell yes. Does that mean he gets a free lottery win? Hell no.

This is one reason why the American legal system is garbage, because we have allowed lawyers and lawsuits to run rampant. The profession of the lawyer used to have great dignity, for they protected the rights of the wronged. Now all they do is make people rich off the slightest provocation.

Sure, we need to make a remedy... but let's think about this in other terms. Money has to come from somewhere. When you make a large payment due to legal issues, you must charge others more for the same services. As a former Chief Justice of the United States put it, lawsuits are basically a sales tax that goes straight into the pockets of lawyers; costs of nearly everything have gone up precisely because cases like this.

I'll say it again: they're expecting the school district to pay several of the million. That's money stolen right from other students as far as I'm concerned. Yes, the school has discriminatory practices against some children. But that is not an excuse to punish the other children.

I'm all for this kid getting some sort of compensation for his wrongful treatment. The school authorities need firm reprimands and I'd say some would be rightfully fired. There needs to be revised procedures so this never happens again. There's a lot of remedies that go beyond money.

Cases of discrimination are not about the person discriminated against. They are about the community that is discriminated against. It's the reason a hate crime is more severe than a regular crime; the case is bigger than the person who was wronged. It's why there's always a huge concern over whether or not a white cop shooting a non-white person was motivated by racism.

Anwyay, if they win a huge amount of money... I feel most of it should go to help other Muslim or minority students. Unreasonable to expect such restraint, right? Well actually... it's been done before. This is identity lawsuits done right; the plaintiff asks for reimbursement of legal expenses as well as some sort of remedy. I presume gay couples are caused a fair amount of distress and financial loss as well, so this child is not a special snowflake.

There was no shortage of support outpouring for him. He's going to be just fine with or without the money. You have to remember: Muslims make more than the average American in spite of Islamophobia here. Muslims put up with a lot, but they don't come close to the sort of systematic destruction of their lives that groups like black Americans or American Indians endure.

Once again though, I applaud the family's genius in their timing. At a time when America's Islamophobia is crawling out of the woodwork, they felt this was the best time to press charges like this.

Edited by Noelgilvie

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I agree with you on the money part. Fifteen million is way too much unless like you say I am missing something important here. It was unfortunate and very wrong what happened to that kid but does it really mean that you now can sue for unlimited amounts of money? What if other people end up trying to purposely have a bad racial moment in order to sue for huge amounts of money? Is this what normally happens in court?

The United States is a lawsuit happy society in general, so much so that it's been a recurring joke in the media since AT LEAST the 90's. There's no shame in wanting a little restitution, but I do think it goes above and beyond when you're suing for an amount that would very likely bankrupt the public institution you're targeting.

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He's not going to get the entire $15 million or even most of it. This is an obvious way to force them to instead settle for a reasonable amount. That's generally how this works. If he does by the grace of God manage to get all of that, then one must assume that the lawyers put up an amazing argument for it.

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http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/08/05/how-higher-education-affects-lifetime-salary

He's a bright lightbulb. His lifetime salary will most likely be in the ballpark of $4 million assuming he goes for the highest degrees.

I have been through enough education and life experience to know that those kind of articles are pure bullshit.

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Money has always been the bottom line in America. If this teaches schools/other institutions not to make the similar mistakes lest it end up costing them a fortune, I'm all for it.

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I'm with Tara and Ogi on this honestly. Yeah, there should obviously be charges I'm all for that, the kid/family deserve that, but not endless supplies of cash. There's a line where it just comes off as ridiculous to expect that, especially out of the school. Like Ogi said, schools are already having a shit time with the budget already had, and this is gonna effect other students, and that just isn't fair. Punishing other kids cause the school dun fucked up just doesn't fly with me. The judicial system in America honestly is very exploitable and broken, and stuff like this really shows it. Especially if the kid wins the case.

 

I hope Nep is right that this is just a tactic to find a agreement price.

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He's not going to get the entire $15 million or even most of it. This is an obvious way to force them to instead settle for a reasonable amount. That's generally how this works. If he does by the grace of God manage to get all of that, then one must assume that the lawyers put up an amazing argument for it.

I suppose that'd be more reasonable for me.

Hopefully it's not an obscene amount. Maybe a couple hundred thousand or something.

The family feels threatened in Texas, I'm aware, but... there's not much that can really be done about that.

Besides, this sounds crazy... not live in Texas. Sure, they shouldn't HAVE to move elsewhere... but this is reality. People give up their homes all the time for safety elsewhere. It's just the tragic nature of the world.

I have been through enough education and life experience to know that those kind of articles are pure bullshit.

Granted, you're also in the UK, so things might be different.

Though personal experience is irrelevant here, because not all degrees are equal.

The good news for Ahmed is engineering degrees are the cream of the crop in their income.

Money has always been the bottom line in America. If this teaches schools/other institutions not to make the similar mistakes lest it end up costing them a fortune, I'm all for it.

Mmm... I don't know.

No matter how wronged you are, that doesn't justify taking money from schools. There's a ripple effect here.

If you sue the school, there go a lot of programs beyond the core courses. If you sue the city, there's a little more leeway, but cities are notorious for cutting education first with shortfalls.

When suing on basis of discrimination, social justice should be the primary concern, not a paycheck. The gay cowboys I mentioned did just that. This family should be doing the same.

I wonder how quickly these kinds of cases would dry up if we mandated the bulk of funds be donated to advocacy groups. We'd quickly find out who's in it for the money and who's in it for the justice if nothing else. Unless you are seriously hindered in your ability to work (i.e. physical debilitation), money shouldn't be the concern of these sorts of lawsuits.

Something tells me this family isn't broke, either, given they were able to relocate halfway around the world.

Edited by Noelgilvie

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It's not a matter of whether they're broke or not, it's a matter if making them realize that "Oh crap, discriminating against minorities might actually have serious consequences." And if sapping them of tons of money is the most effective way to do that, then so be it. Maybe they'll next time before they make assumptions based on the color of someone's skin.

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So you're all for screwing over kids not even involved in this? Where is the fairness in that? "To send a message?" You can send a message and make it heard without needing to fuck over people hard. Sucking dry people is never going to play out well even if it "sends a message what you did was wrong." I can cut off someone's hand for stealing a dollar, and justify it with "it sends a message that it's wrong to do that", but there are other less extreme methods that likely can get the same message across.

Edited by Michael Munroe

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Kids are already fucked over living in an environment that is this blatant with its racist treatment of minorities, to say nothing of the systemic problems with public education that were in place well before Ahmed got arrested, but it's only until those brown people take it to court for money that they're not even going to get that we suddenly care about the quality of Little Timmy's education. Where was this concern beforehand?

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School budget HAS been a thing complained about and discussed before this. Acting like it hasn't and is only now becoming a thing just cause a non-white student is suing the school is ridiculous. Again I'm all for the kid getting compensation, though just cause the education system is already in a shit heep shouldn't mean it's okay to make it shittier. Again, if that isn't the actual expected amount, and it's much lower, I can understand that. If it's actually that much and results in major changes in the district in a negative way, that's when I'm gonna raise eyebrows.

 

if they can get the message out that "what you did was wrong" and create a change without the need to make conditions for students worse, I don't see why not simply go for that. Or at least some of the money he gets could maybe go towards better conditions for students or something.

Edited by Michael Munroe

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So you're all for screwing over kids not even involved in this? Where is the fairness in that? "To send a message?" You can send a message and make it heard without needing to fuck over people hard. Sucking dry people is never going to play out well even if it "sends a message what you did was wrong." I can cut off someone's hand for stealing a dollar, and justify it with "it sends a message that it's wrong to do that", but there are other less extreme methods that likely can get the same message across.

The thing with "less extreme methods" is they seldom, if ever, work. Imagine if you this guy was part of a network, let's say, that partook in the stealing of dollars for years on end, and you kept telling various people in that network that it's wrong to steal from people for years on end. You've tried every "reasonable" method of getting them to knock it off, but it consistently fell on deaf ears. What other options, then, are left?

My point is that if these less extreme methods actually worked, we likely wouldn't be here discussing all this. Yeah, it sucks a guy had to lose a hand in order for the message to sink in, but quite frankly, he could've kept that hand had the network listened the first time. The goal here is to get people to listen; the message "what you did was wrong" just isn't getting through to people, so if changing it to "what you did was wrong, and if you do it again, we'll make you pay hard for it" is what it takes for people to finally get it, then oh well. Is it harsh? Yes. Is it unfair? Perhaps. But so is being discriminated against because you have brown skin.

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For one, I just did a quick search in this topic and no one has discussed the institutional flaws of public education in America (Hell, people were actually making posts advocating he sue the school, which is just hilarious to me), so I go back to my general sentiment that we only care about this kind of stuff when it's convenient.

Second, assuming he got awarded all $15 million, which again is a possibility I'm still wondering why we're entertaining, then it literally would not be awarded all at the same time. It would be given over time in a manner conducive to the school system continuing to actually operate. Public institutions (which do operate on budgets that can handle relative high restitution, otherwise this number wouldn't even be on the table) have had to pay out large amounts before for fucking up. So Timmy's not going to revert to school books from the 1700s teaching him about blood letting.

Third, it's actually not a victim's responsibility to make sure the perpetrator's life is easy. If you fuck up legally and have a little less money to spend as a result of that fuck up, then too bad. In this case, the perpetrator happened to be a public institution- both the school and the police. Anything you do to reform or punish those things is going to have a ripple effect against people who had nothing to do with the actual incident, because that's the nature of something being a public institution- everyone pays into it, thus everyone assumes some sort of financial stake in its goings-on. That's life. Either get out in the streets and advocate against racism with the rest of us or just privatize everything to save yourself the hassle.

Fourth, no one has even defined an amount that would be appropriate for him to take from Little Timmy. $10,000 is fine but $100,000 is too much, I guess. I don't know. No one knows. No one knows the budgeting, the allocation of funds, the revenue of the school, or anything. Everyone's literally just freaking out at the number with no context, and again still acting like he's going to get all of it without the lawyers doing the legwork of making that a reality.

All in all, this sudden concern for Timmy is just a farce to me. Timmy gon' be fine. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my 40 acres and a mule still.

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The thing with "less extreme methods" is they seldom, if ever, work. Imagine if you this guy was part of a network, let's say, that partook in the stealing of dollars for years on end, and you kept telling various people in that network that it's wrong to steal from people for years on end. You've tried every "reasonable" method of getting them to knock it off, but it consistently fell on deaf ears. What other options, then, are left?

My point is that if these less extreme methods actually worked, we likely wouldn't be here discussing all this. Yeah, it sucks a guy had to lose a hand in order for the message to sink in, but quite frankly, he could've kept that hand had the network listened the first time. The goal here is to get people to listen; the message "what you did was wrong" just isn't getting through to people, so if changing it to "what you did was wrong, and if you do it again, we'll make you pay hard for it" is what it takes for people to finally get it, then oh well. Is it harsh? Yes. Is it unfair? Perhaps. But so is being discriminated against because you have brown skin.

okay, but do we know if we've tried every method? Cause while I understand we've attempted to get across to people this issue, I'm not sure if we've tried every doable method that could be effective yet, not drag others down. While yes, this would be a step forward perhaps for students of color, keep in mind students of color will also be caught in the crossfire and effected in a negative light.

 

with what has happened recently, idk, perhaps we could actually make some good progress without the need to go to these levels of extreme to make points.

 

@nep I was referring in general to the issue, not in specific to the topic as you didn't make that clear. I know I sure as hell bring up outside this site, the state of education as one of the annoying issues in this country.

And you make a point, that I've agreed with already, and that is that we don't know if this is just merely a price created to discuss a more reasonable one. If this is over the longterm and not immediate payment, perhaps it could be a bit more understandable sure. Though I'm now curious about the financial situation of the school district in question. 

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okay, but do we know if we've tried every method? Cause while I understand we've attempted to get across to people this issue, I'm not sure if we've tried every doable method that could be effective yet, not drag others down. While yes, this would be a step forward perhaps for students of color, keep in mind students of color will also be caught in the crossfire and effected in a negative light.

Like I said, what else can we possibly do? And even if we did think of another solution, what reason would we have to believe it'd work after countless failures? We can't just try every softshoe method in the book on the grounds that it could probably possibly work while not hurting anyone, we need results now.

And honestly, minorities are gonna be seen in a negative light regardless. Why bother trying to play nice with that in mind?

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