Worse than Blacks
Conversation with my younger cousin in Iran
By Ahmagh Khan
June 16, 2004
NOTE: When I read this email, I thought about
how often I've heard Iranians say things like, "We are America's
new Blacks," or "Finally,
are getting a break." On Saturday, I heard a White woman in liberal
San Francisco saying, "I don't like Arabs. They're so mean."
-- J. Javid
Hi Uncle Ali! I want to come to the US. I am
going to go to Dubai and get a visa!
Why? Have you been watching
your "Bay Watch" videos again?
I told you many times: if you come to the US, there will be no
women in bikinis running in slow motion into your arms!
I know. But I can meet ordinary American women and maybe I will
Sure, like their daddies have nothing
better to do except marry their
daughters to Your Highness, a hairy, dark-skinned immigrant,
fresh off the airplane from Iran!
Why do you say dark-skinned? I
am White. We are Aryan!
Go stuff your Aryan self. Let me tell you something:
Americans haven't heard anything about Aryans or Persians or whatever.
them, we're no different than an Arab or a Hindi or a
Pakistani or Afghan. And they don't consider us to be "White." They think
we're dirty. So keep saying "We're Aryan!" and
see where that gets you.
If they don't consider us to be White,
what do they think we are? Black?
No, worse: Middle Eastern.
But that's not a race,
that's a geographical location.
Look, no one here gives a shit.
You are not White. To them, White means from Europe.
You mean we have to mingle with the Blacks?!
The Blacks won't have you. At least they're Americans.
The Mexicans, the Hindis, the Pakistanis, the Arabs and us -
we're all seen
as smelly, dirty immigrants who can all be terrorists. So don't think
that if you come here, all will be OK with your life. You'll
have many new troubles.
But I can get a job!
A job doing what? You think there are so
many jobs here just waiting for you to fill them? Tell me, what
wonderful and rare
skills do you have? You can barely speak English!
have a Masters in Computer Science, you know that!
And I speak some English.
Let me tell you something: YOU
know that I have a masters too and worked as a computer programmer.
And you know what? My former job
is being done in India right now, by a guy who charges a 10th
of what I charged. So instead of coming to the US, why don't
straight to Bangalore! In Iran they worship you if you have an
advanced degree. Here, the car salesman has more respect
because he makes money.
So what if your project was done - you still have
a job though!
No, I don't. That's not how it works here. Here,
your employer can fire you at any time, for any reason. As soon
as there are
no more projects, they kick you out. You may get some small amount
of money for a few months, but that's all. Then, you're on your
own. Here, its not like in Iran where you can't be fired
after a certain time. Here, people usually work many different
their lifetimes. In fact, companies like to fire people - their
stock values go up!
I'll just get an ordinary job! I'll work as
a waiter if I have to.
You barely speak English, you have
no job experience, and worse, you're Iranian and are seen here
as a potential terrorist. So
why would any employer hire you and not that Mexican or that
young, sexy college girl? Tell me, do you know how to work
as a waiter?
Do you know how to carry food, mix drinks, speak to people
and get their orders? Do you have any idea what kind of food
they eat here? No, you don't, and there are 10 other people who
that same job and they have more experience than you.
must be jobs there; what do people do?
Nursing is in demand,
and so is plumbing...
Akh! You want me to
come to the US and work with sick people and fix pipes?
worry aziz, you can't work as a nurse if you wanted,
because it takes at least 2 years of education. And
the plumbers here earn very good money, but you can't be a plumber
if you wanted to either
I can't even be a plumber there? Why not?
neither you nor any of your relatives are members of the plumbers
union! You think they'll just let any idiot work
a plumber or electrician or automechanic here like in Iran?
So what do people
Oh I guess you can do some low-level office job.
Maybe you can convince one of these Pakistanis to let you work
in their baghali
store as a cashier. Or you could drive a taxi but you
can get shot and robbed in both jobs!
Zeki! I can drive a taxi
in Iran! You want me to work for a
Look, I am not telling you not to come to the
US. I am just telling you about the realities of life here.
who can pass the exams here, or have some other skill
that does not exist in the US, you will have to do menial jobs
- and yes, work for Blacks, Pakistanis, Arabs, whatever.
what about all of those Iranians who come to the US and become
Sure there are a few but most came with lots of
money. And for each one of those there are 1000 poor badbakhts
apartments, drive taxis or have other shitty jobs, and have
no life - and are very alone. Look, the people who
are lucky and have orzeh will succeed, whether in Iran
or USA or China or Japan.
So you're saying I don't have any
Let's face it - There are people making money in
Iran, and if we had orzeh we'd be making money there too instead
of travelling a million miles away to live with strangers. No,
I am just
saying you shouldn't look at the US as heavan on earth, where
problems will be solved. What do you think goes on in America!?
But I want to be free. I want to say whatever
I want and go where want
and do what I want!
And what the hell do you have to say
that is so important anyway? Sure, in the US you can say whatever
you want - and only sometimes
they take you away to Guantanamo and say you're a terrorist
and torture you - but yes, you can generally say whatever you
But that doesn't mean they'll put you on TV as soon as you
arrive here. People here are busy, they work 10 hours a day,
care what you have to say! You can stand on the street and
yell all you want, next to the other crazy people. And the
you can go is to work and back - if you get a job - for at
least 10 hours a day, like everyone else.
If it's so bad,
then why did you go there?
Why do you think my email address
goodbye to spam!