President Obama’s White House invitation to wrongfully arrested Muslim teem Ahmed Mohamed has been widely praised – but one outspoken conservative, former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Bristol Palin, has condemned it.
Mohamed, a 14-year-old ninth grader from Irving, Texas, became a social media sensation after he brought a homemade digital clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb. Local police put him custody before “pretty quickly” realizing they’d made an error. Police released Mohamed without charge and have said they only acted out of precaution and concern for student safety. School district officials have not commented publicly on the specifics because of privacy laws governing student discipline.
After Mohamed’s arrest made national news, Obama tweeted: “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.”
While many Americans considered Obama’s message a sensitive act of conciliation, Bristol Palin, the daughter of former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, attacked it as divisive in a blog post published Thursday on Patheos. “This encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victimhood,” Bristol Palin wrote.
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“Childish games like this from our president have divided our country … even more today than when he was elected,” she added.
However, Palin does not address the overwhelming gestures of support from other high-profile Americans like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, MIT astrophysicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and NASA engineer Bobak Ferdwski. Instead, while Palin acknowledges that police “made a mistake, clearly,” she accuses the president of trying to “egg” on cultural tensions and says he should “stay out” of the controversy.
Meanwhile, even Mohamed himself has suggested that his cultural heritage was a factor in his arrest. “I didn’t think I was going to get any support because I’m a Muslim boy,” Mohamed told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in an exclusive “All In” interview on Wednesday.
This is not the first time Bristol Palin has waded into public controversies. When past sexual abuse allegations surfaced against embattled former reality TV star Josh Duggar this summer, the former Alaska governor’s daughter seized the opportunity to accuse the media of an anti-conservative bias.
“I can’t believe how crazy the media is going over the Duggar family compared to the big fat yawn they gave Lena Dunham when she wrote in her book that she sexually experimented with her sister,” Bristol Palin wrote at the time on her blog. “The double standards make me sick.”
And three years ago, Palin found herself in hot water for launching a personal attack on the president’s daughters Sasha and Malia Obama. When the president said that his daughters helped him evolve on the issue of gay marriage, Bristol Palin mocked them in a blog post.
“It would’ve been nice if the president would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of ‘Glee,’” she wrote.