Clock boy costume: Offensive, racist, and uncreative
By Megan Mahar
Ahmed Mohamed made national headlines when a clock he built was mistaken for a bomb. The 14-year-old ninth grader from Texas received a lot of support nationwide with a Twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed, even receiving recognition from President Obama.
Obama tweeted the young man, saying, “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”
He also received praise from Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerburg, the creator of Facebook. The story, however, doesn’t stop there.
It’s barely been a month since the incident, but a costume company hasn’t wasted any time using this controversy to their advantage. Costumeish.com, an online costume retailer, launched an ad for a costume designed after Mohamed. It contains a NASA T-shirt, a pair of glasses, a clock, and a pair of handcuffs. The price for the costume was $80.
Daily Mail had reached out to the CEO of the online company, Johnathon Weeks, and asked if people were actually buying them. “Yes, we have sold a few of them so far,” Weeks said. The company is known for making controversial costumes.
Some people took to Twitter to express their distaste for the costume. One said, “This year we should have a law permitting the slapping of anyone in an Ahmed Mohamed costume.” Another user said it was a terrible idea.
Halloween is a fun time for many people, and costumes are generally harmless. Sometimes however, it is taken a little too far. Being a person that likes the more creative costumes, I see ones like this and not only do I think it is offensive and mocking, but I also think it lacks creativity. Even traditional costumes can be touched up to be unique. Halloween is that one day a year where a person can dress up as anything they want to. Why would anyone choose to dress up as Mohamed? I see it as degrading and embarrassing for Mohamed and his family.
All controversial costumes are going to be offensive one way or another, but I cannot help but wonder where the line is drawn. When do the people who come up with costume ideas ask themselves, is this going too far? That line should have been drawn here.
Mohamed is just a child, so I do not think that this costume should have ever been up for sale in the first place.
His family said in a press release that he has been severely traumatized by the whole incident. Now, with his religion being brought into the matter, it could be seen as racist, which is not a laughing matter.
I find Halloween to be more fun when we think of the costumes ourselves and the ways we can make them stand out, not by turning a controversial issue into something less serious than it is.
The Daily Dot, the website that initially created the costume, has since pulled it from their market. However, they went on to mention how easily people could make it themselves at home. Let’s just hope that nobody takes that route.