December 2, 1999
Iranians in the U.S.: political power
The election of President Khatami in Iran back in 1997 brought Iranians
a promising and very heated atmosphere of democratic trial and bravery
resulting in new social and political openings. On the other hand, and
thanks mainly to the convenience and magic of the Internet, all this activity
and controversy is shared and monitored by a large group of Iranian expatriates
mainly in Western Europe, Canada and the USA.
Those of us who live in the United States have many opportunities, through
local publications, radio, television and the Internet, to stay tuned in
and contribute to the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran. Simply promoting
the right news and information and combating misinformation in the US media
about Iran and its current events can do this.
However, as Iranian-Americans - according to US government there are
more than a million of us - we have to begin concentrating on our identity
and status here, in our new home! On the eve of the 2000 US presidential
elections and the upcoming Census
2000, we have to make a concerted and aggressive effort to declare
our significant existence to the political establishment.
We must begin developing our political power base in whatever party
we happen to lean towards. We should also prepare for Census 2000 and plan
to provide the type of racial information that will put Iranians on the
map as a legitimate and significant minority. This census will be our best
chance for being counted (for more information search for Census
2000 on the Web)
I would argue that in order to be helpful to our beloved Iran, Iranian-Americans
must solidify and strengthen a social and political stance in their new
home. Such an effort will be the best course of action for the future of
our Iranian-American children as well as the prospects of a healthy and
mutually respectful relationship between Iran and the United States.