Muslim Teen Arrested for Appreciating Science
By: Paula Davis
On September 16, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed walked into Macarthur High School, eager to
impress his teacher with a homemade invention. Instead of being praised, Mohamed was reported by
the teacher, which was followed with a visit and interrogation by the police.
The teenager was soon handcuffed, his crime being the creation of a hoax bomb. The young inventor
was soon released, and all charges were dropped, but the situation would not be swept under the
carpet. Through this entire process, a bomb squad was never called into the school, and no one was
evacuated. So, this raised serious speculation as to whether or not officials ever believed that his
clock could be a bomb, or if they were looking to make a joke out of the situation.
Once social media caught wind of the story, the hashtag “#IStandWithAhmed” became a global
trending topic, bashing Islamophobia and uplifting the future engineer. People all over the nation
tweeted out pictures at their respective workplaces, clocks in hand, further strengthening the support
system behind Mohamed. Through the power of the Internet, Mohamed caught the attention of
President Barack Obama, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, MIT,
and many more. Dozens of parties are looking to get into contact with the teen, noting that the world
is in need of young scientists like him.
The Irving, Texas high school has since received intense backlash for the event, accumulating
hundreds of posts on its Facebook wall, shaming the system. In a state where slavery is being
removed from textbooks, social justice advocates made sure that their opinions were voiced clearly
throughout the sea of posts.
Mohamed has officially withdrawn from the school. He is looking to continue his education someplace
where he can work on and improve upon his craft, without having to worry about being judged.
A Nightmare Unfolds
By: Miya Jones
A 32-year-old African-American named Kamilah Brock was sent to the psych ward on Sept. 13 after
cops allegedly claimed she was lying about owning a BMW.
Brock is filing a lawsuit against the city of New York, unidentified officers, and Harlem Hospital.
According to the lawsuit, on Sept. 12, the Long Island native was driving in Harlem and pulled up to a
light with her music at a high level. An NYPD officer approached her and asked her why she did not
have her hands on the steering wheel. Brock said that she was dancing and that she was at a light.
The officer then asked her to step out of her 2003 BMW 355Ci. She was taken to the NYPD’s 30th
precinct where she was eventually let go after a few hours. Brock was told to come back to the station
to retrieve her car.
Brock arrived at a police substation to retrieve her car. “I told them [police] I have a BMW they asked
me what kind of car it was and from that moment they started looking at me differently like I could not
have a BMW,” said Brock to Pix 11. Brock was then put in handcuffs and taken by EMS to Harlem
Hospital and committed to the psych ward.
Brock’s attorney, Michael Lamonsoff, seized medical records from the hospital and showed that she
was injected with powerful sedatives and was forced to take lithium. Medical records also showed
that the hospital tried to get Brock to deny that she owned a BMW, was a banking executive, and that
Barack Obama followed her on Twitter. Brock in fact is a banking executive and Obama does follow
her on Twitter. Brock remained at the hospital for eight days.
Brock claims her constitutional rights under the 4th and 14th amendments were violated and that she
suffered “unwanted and unwarranted intrusion of her personal integrity, loss of liberty [and] mental
The NYPD claims that Brock was taken into custody but could not comment due to pending litigation.
By: Grace Shallow
On the night of the Season four premiere of Project Greenlight, a show for people who would not
normally have a chance to find stardom to start working the industry, co-executive producer Matt
Damon made a comment that created a lot of criticism and a trending Twitter handle named
The winner of Season four of Project Greenlight will be directing a comedy film called Not Another
Pretty Woman, in which the only black female character is a prostitute named Harmony, who is
abused by her white pimp. Effie Brown, known for producing 17 feature films, was concerned that the
role may perpetuates a stereotype of black women.
Damon and Brown were discussing, “the only team left with diversity” on the show, the pair being a
Vietnamese male and a white female, and Brown supported the choice of these two due to their
sensitivity to the portrayal of Harmony that another, non-diverse team may not allow. Damon said
“When you are talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the
show,” meaning the diversity of the crew working behind the camera is not influential on the portrayal
of characters or continuation of stereotypes.
This comment sparked backlash against Damon and spotlighted a trend of underrepresentation of
female and Black workers in the film industry. According to a study conducted by Dr. Martha
M.Lauzen: “[…] programs with at least one woman executive producer, females comprised 43% of
major characters. On programs with no women executive producers, females accounted for 37% of
characters”. These results mean if there are more women working off screen on a production, it is
more likely audiences will see more women working on screen. According to a study conducted by
USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative, which stated that of the films with a
Black director, 40.2% of all characters were Black. When the director was not Black, only 10.6% of all
on screen speaking or named characters were Black.
To Matt Damon’s deepest regrets, there is proof that diversity off screen affects the portrayal of the
actors on screen in a way that is not supportive of the point he was making. This contributes to the
label “Damonsplaining” which derives from the term “mansplaining”. Merriam-Webster.com
recognizes “mansplaining” as a term describing a man who “talks condescendingly to someone,
especially a woman, about something he has incomplete knowledge of ”. Damon’s comment makes it
obvious that he is ignorant to a reality in the industry.
The effect of Matt Damon’s comment on public perception should not stop at the idea of “Matt Damon
has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to diversity”. The viewers can begin to see that
Damon’s comment was not only out of line, but false. There is a legitimate issue concerning who
audiences view as the successful, on-screen actors. As shown by the studies, there is a correlation
between who is behind the screen and the characters on screen. Hence, Matt Damon is just a by-
product of the issue that governs a large, money-making industry.
By: Danell Burton-Worrell
Traffic on major highways, and the Ben Franklin Bridge will be restricted in the city before, during, and
after Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Zoo and many other businesses will be closed for this weekend. Also, on public
transportation they have selected scheduled stops and if you don’t have the 3-day SEPTA pass you
cannot get on. Many Philly public and private schools will be closed during the papal visit. The
citywide Francis Festival will take place over the weekend of September 26-27. Pope Francis will
arrive on Saturday, September 26 and speak at Independence Hall before celebrating at the Festival
A massive party will also be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. On Sunday afternoon the pope
will say a Mass for thousands of people. Actor Mark Wahlberg will host The Festival of Families with
Pope Francis in Philadelphia. There will also be star-studded performances by Aretha Franklin, The
Fray, Jim Gaffigan, Marie Miller, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The World
Meeting of Families Conference is the world’s largest gathering of Catholic families. This even will
host 100 speakers, panel discussions, workshops and more at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The World Meeting of Families is to explore the role family plays in society and to give families
opportunities to talk about their challenges and blessings. This will be the group’s eighth meeting.
According to intelligencer an online newspaper “In less than a week’s time, the event is expected to
generate an estimated $420 million in economic impact almost all of it related to the papal visit, and
directly and indirectly support more than 100,000 jobs”.