The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


December 15, 2000

That's not racism, bro

I know you´ve been accused of being biased in the past with respect to the content we see in I just wanted to let you know that I now strongly believe there´s some truth to that.

The evidence is clear. By simple inspection of the Letters section, one can see that, although you may not censor the letters, you definitely regulate the content of that section by deciding which letters to post and which letters not to post. And, NOT coincidentally, the ones you post seem to agree with your own views and opinions.

Take for example the recent furor over the picture of Maryam and Daryl. Never mind the actual picture itself, I mean who cares about Maryam khanoom's love interests? That's her business, right?

Now, any common sense, informal, non-scientific survey taken of Iranians on the subject of marriage to Blacks would reveal an overwhelming disapproval. There's no question about that -- it's not even something you can argue. You could do a completely randomized survey and you'd get the same results.

Yet, suspiciously, all the letters we see on your website are militantly in favor. You posted one opposing view but the rest posted on the subject just attacked that person for being a rabid racist. Now I don't know too many Iranians who would NOT be disappointed if their son, daughter, brother, or sister married a Black person. And I'm suspicious that you intentionally refrain from posting letters that are critical of interracial relationships for fear that it would make Iranians look bad to Americans and the outside world.

Look man, I've lived my whole life in the United States. I've gone to some of the best schools and I consider myself progressive and learned. When an Iranian mother or father tells their child that they would disapprove if they married a Black person, that's not racism bro.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to preserve one's Iranian culture and Iranian racial characteristics in one's offspring. That is absolutely not racism. It is human nature and it is normal. It is very difficult to maintain and preserve Iranianness in one's offspring when you marry an American, but it is absolutely impossible to do so if you marry a Black American.

Now if an Iranian girl falls in love with a Black man, that is obviously her business and I don't think our job is to criticize that. But I think so-called liberal-minded and "socially progressive" Iranians like yourself need to understand the other point of view and stop dismissing it as blanket racism.

Yes, we call those redneck White Americans who forbid their sons and daughters marrying Blacks racists, bigots. But that is different. Those rednecks are Americans, and they are directing their prejudice against other fellow (Black) Americans. We come from a separate culture and nationality altogether.

At any rate if my accusations are true, I would urge you to stop this kind of censorship and just post them as they come. Let the writers of the letters worry about the consequences themselves.

Nariman Neyshapouri


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