Like most grandparents today, I would do anything for my grandkids. Grandma P and I are very fortunate to have a group of intelligent, thoughtful and personable grandkids. They deserve the best and for the most part, they are receiving it.
Our two oldest will be teenagers next year, reaching that milestone age of 13. So far, we are not the ‘dorky’ grandparents as we do feel welcomed every time we see them. That ‘dorky and unhip’ mantra will become more prevalent as they get deeper into those teenage years….you know….those years when their friends know everything, and their parents and grandparents are dumb as a box of rocks. Grandma P and I are hoping we never get to that, but we are preparing for it, none the less.
But try as I may, I will never, ever be able to give my grandkids one thing……
Did you hear about Ahmed Mohamed? You will certainly recognize him if I tell you he is the 14 year old that constructed a ‘clock’ and brought it to school in Dallas, Texas. Under the pretense of wanting to show this ‘clock’ to his teacher, he brought it into the school. Another teacher saw this science project, thought it suspicious, and notified authorities. Ahmed was arrested and led away from the school in handcuffs.
Did you see a picture of the device that was a clock? It looked very sinister and did not look like anything that would appear on my nightstand next to my bed. Because it was in a briefcase, it looked all the more menacing. So, little 14 year old Ahmed was led off to the police station in handcuffs, and the media blitz began with all the fury of a category 5 hurricane.
“Racial discrimination!” “Religious discrimination! (Did I mention Ahmed was a Muslim?)” “He is only a young boy!” On and on and on. The liberal media, the liberal press, liberal celebrities and the liberal POTUS could not attach and interject themselves into this event quickly enough.
I read three news sources on the internet every morning. I follow that up by reading my local newspaper every morning. After I am done with this daily ritual, I always feel as if I am up on the events of the day. On that particular morning, there was no mention of Ahmed. The first I heard of it in the afternoon, was because the President of the United States was inviting some 14 year old from Dallas, Texas, to the White House for a visit for being castigated and arrested for building a clock! What? MIT had invited him to visit their campus. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and billionaire of Facebook had invited him to visit his corporate headquarters. He has had over $15,000 donated to his scholarship fund. Overreaction?
Let’s look at this a little closer. What would have happened if that device was a bomb and the school did nothing? If something would have happened, the public would have cried for the heads of the teachers and administrators for allowing such an occurrence. If the death of Cecil the Lion created such an outcry as to want to execute the hunter, what would the school bombing create in terms of outrage? I am sure those teachers and administrators remember well the events of Columbine and the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Where I live, the schools still have deputy sheriffs assigned to them.
Religious discrimination? It appears to me that everyone is so afraid of broaching the subject of religious discrimination that they fall over themselves to prove they are not discriminating. But let’s be honest here, in my post, Boo Hoo, I’m a Victim, I outlined 27 terroristic world events that were all done by Muslims. Not Lutherans. Not Baptists. Not any other religion. Muslims. How can you not be a little more leery about Muslims with their track record of terrorism and killing. This was not a Lutheran kid bringing a bag of lutefisk to school, this was a briefcase full of wires.
Someone brought up the idea that this was handled terribly because he was just a ‘kid.’ I will admit that maybe, just maybe, the police did not have to handcuff him. I was not a witness and neither was anyone except the five police that were involved. They probably wanted to be overly cautious rather than under-prepared until all the facts were known. Hurray for them! The comment about being only a ‘kid’? Well, let me tell you that there are many of our veterans from Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq that will whole-heartedly disagree with that statement. Unfortunately for those veterans, they often fought and often killed fighters that were much younger than 14. (According to Sharia law, a girl can marry as young as 9 years old!) If you read the book or saw the movie, American Sniper, one of Chris Kyle’s first incidences involved a young boy, 8 or 9, that was going to fire a rocket propelled grenade at an approaching Marine force. So, as far a Ahmed being a kid, if he were a terrorist he would already be a veteran by age 14.
Like all good liberals, there are often reactions before all the facts are known. Did you know that Ahmed’s older sister was suspended from school for a bomb scare three years earlier? Did you know that Ahmed’s dad once ran for president of Sudan and is a defense attorney? Do you think any of that may be an influence on this whole event? Could it have been staged?
Ahmed, by bringing this menacing looking ‘clock’ to school, broke a boat load of laws, both state and federal that have been enacted since 9/11. I hope he takes his clock to the White House. I hope MIT gives him admission. But if I were them, I would review my admission standards for someone that blatantly has broken the law.
The one thing I cannot give my grandchildren? My grandchildren will never be able to experience the “Age of Innocence” that Grandma P and I were a part of.
When we were growing up in the 50s and early 60s, life was much simpler and safer. Our parents never had to lock their home. Never. Unlike today, no one ever thought of having a home alarm system. It would have been thought to be ridiculous and unnecessary. Today, many homes have an alarm system, including ours. Without air conditioning, the windows were often open all night. On a really hot night, the doors were open because the screen doors allowed the entry of any cooling breeze.
No need to worry about losing your car keys. They were always in the ignition. No one locked their car doors in my home town.
We never had to worry about illegal drugs. There weren’t any. Our idea of being ‘illegal’ was smoking a pack of Marlboros. There wasn’t any market or usage of marijuana. Being in a farming community, marijuana, or Indian hemp as we called it, grew wild in the ditches and around our fields. It was a nuisance weed, so it was destroyed. Who knew? (That possibly explains why so many county workers volunteered to destroy it by burning.) On occasion, as if we wanted to audition for membership to the Hell’s Angels, someone would steal a beer or two from their parents. Six guys would share two beers. You can tell that we were really greasing the skids straight to hell!
There was never any sex, swearing or violence on TV or in our movies. We did not need PG whatever or PG18 whatever for ratings for our movies. Every movie was pretty much appropriate for any age group. I still love watching some of these old movies. They were not only classics, but they were classy. This was entertaining without being raucous. Today’s movies and television are loaded with explicit sex scenes, swearing and overdone in very detailed explicit violence. Your kids and grandkids are watching this! From that and from violence enhanced video games, what are they learning?
In my youth, differences were settled with your fists. Today….an assault rifle. It takes a real man to punch someone in the face as opposed to shooting them in a drive by shooting. If you punch someone, you are close enough to receive retaliation. The cowards of today resort to lethal violence, from a distance.
In the 50s and 60s, we did not live in a world that was instantaneous. We did not have social media or computers for that matter. We had TV and radio news, magazines and newspapers. We believed what our newscasters told us. Today, less than 40% of the public trusts the media. If ignorance is truly bliss, then we were damn happy.
We knew who our friends and allies were and who are enemies were. It was pretty much cut and dried between the NATO members and the Warsaw Pact nations. Our country said the Pledge of Allegiance; I did it every school morning for 12 years. Our country was one made up of extremely proud, independent and patriotic citizens.
Every generation is marked by an event or events that change their lives forever. For the Greatest Generation, those who lived and fought during WWII, it was the Great Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the Millennia’s and earlier, it was 9/11. For the baby boomers of my generation, it was the assassination of President Kennedy. If I had to throw a dart at a calendar to mark the day that my Age of Innocence ended, it would be November 22, 1963. The 60s were marked by turmoil on a worldly stage. Viet Nam was a protracted war that took over 57,000 American lives. Both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated in the later 60s. Lyndon Johnson decides not to run for reelection. It seemed that almost overnight, our country went from being stable and peaceful to being one of turmoil and dissention.
My grandkids will never experience an ‘Age of Innocence.’
What would have happened with Ahmed if he were living in the US in the 50s? He would have had his ‘clock’ taken away, reprimanded for bringing it to school, and then made to copy a page out of the dictionary with Miss McCarty during lunch recess for punishment. My, how things have changed He’s going to the White House and MIT.