The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 3, 2001

NOT the worst racists

In response to Mr. Bakhshandeh's email, condemning racism, it appears that he fails to recognize the racism in his own writing. How has he come to the conclusion that Iranians are the most racist people in the world? I am sure he must have had negative experiences but has he gone all around the world and somehow measured the "racist factor" of each country? (Something that Mr. Neyshapuori claims to have done)

Iranians, like all people around the world have racists, and I am sure we also have tolerant people. It's hard to believe that we are the most racist people in the world. Just look at the history of the last century and you will see that we are not even close to the top.

The only fact here is that making judgments based on the melanin content of someone's skin are racist. What do we know about this couple? For all I know Daryl could be a "batche Abadani" named "Dara" who Americanized his name after coming here in 1977 as an exchange student and Maryam could be American and from Lebanese roots.

All we have is a picture. Maybe they are not even married. Remember this is the internet and anything goes. Nobody seems to doubt their preconceived notions which they form based on first impressions. Fear of losing ones heritage is completely understandable and marrying someone to spite your parents is crazy and requires years of therapy. But do we know where Daryl stands on cultural issues?

He might be in love with Iranian culture and want to raise their children within that culture (if they even want to have children). Hey, they might even want to move to Tehran and live there! Maybe Maryam dislikes Iranian culture so much she would not want to have anything to do with it. But please spare me the talk about racial purity (Mr. Neyshapouri). He needs to go to Iran and see the people from the different corners of this great and beautiful land.

Just to point out the level of hypocrisy of some of the letters, I still have to hear one of them criticize Dr. Jarrahi's marriage to Gina Davis. Somehow I doubt Dr. Jarrahi is keeping with his Iranian heritage, but I assume the critics did not have a problem with that because according to their viewpoint marrying a tall blonde is going up in the racial hierarchy.

Rabid racist remarks are disgusting but what is worse is cloaking it in the pseudo-intellectual jargon of "conservation of cultural heritage" without a single bit of information. All who were enraged, insulted or overly gleeful about that picture should look deep inside and realize that they made all their conclusions based on the color of two individual's skin. unfortunately it is a common reaction and a human flaw, but unless we talk about it there is no way to move beyond it.

Finally I would like to congratulate the two newlywed couples, and apologize for using their personal lives for my argument.

Mahmood Kanani


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