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Foot in the door
Our success here indicates that indeed we have made it in the great United States of America. That we belong!

By Faye (Fereshteh) Farhang
April 14, 2004
iranian.com

The many responses that I received for my article [Rock the vote with Ameri] on Ameri prompted me to reply so to make clearer my point in what I consider to be an on-going analysis of her effectiveness as a candidate. Just to assure my reader, I expected most to disagree with me but as a writer my intention is more to challenge than to acquire a following.

Again let's consider the bigger picture ñ why does her political position as a Republican not matter but her origins should make Iranian Oregonians cast their vote? I need my reader to see ten steps ahead....bear with me.

It is in one word 'regrettable' that the many who have read the article on Ameri have failed to grasp my stance as to why she is a viable candidate for the Persian American Community at large -- solely because she is Persian.

In fact Jim S. in his "opinion" [Inescapable truth] equates my reasoning to vote for her based on her Persian background to a rather arbitrary, ignorant stance -- similar to voting for someone simply because they like the same type of pizza as you.

Mr. S., kindly show more sophistication in your analogies; I am referring to a person's origins here not their choice of food. I am referring to what will define her in one way or another until the day that she dies.

I am referring to what propels me as a democrat and liberal to vote for her, a neo conservative. The issue at large is what Ameri represents, as a figure head, even a puppet, and not so much what she brings to the table as a candidate.

All political candidates today have their follies, in fact the line between Republican and Democrat is becoming more blurred. But Ameri may in fact be the "Token Persian" to make it to Congress! And do you really think that as a Persian American I will back down from my position to support her, simply because I am a Democrat and she's not?

If I lived in Oregon and (thank you for your statistics) although unnecessary, I would do everything in my power to support her and her campaign. She represents to me and should be to Persian Americans at large, a symbol of inclusion in American political life, this is so much more than the ridiculous "cozy feeling"of having a Persian in Congress that you talked about.

The point here is inclusion. It has been over twenty six years that the fundamentalists have ruined and tortured Iran, and forced the majority of Iranians to embark on a diaspora. It is here that we have begun to build again from scratch.

Our success here on various levels -- be it political, economical, etc, indicates that indeed we have made it in the great United States of America. That we belong! And that we will contribute as best as possible to the American body politic.

Let us not forget that as a community we are "Americans" of Persian origin. To all those Mr. Jim S's out there who insultingly doubt that Iranian Americans have done anything in the name of Iran, in the name of their origins, within the borders of the United States I pose this question: What site are you writing for? Isn't the work that you see here everyday on Iranian.com a testament to the act of representation? I salute the editor for giving us the stage to voice our opinions. And that Mr. S. is one example of what Iranian Americans can do for representation.

Like I said previously, one step at a time will get us to that level where we could actually be choosy about the candidate we support. And I'll end on a note significant to both our positions on Ameri.

The heart of the matter is elegantly phrased by another reader of Iranian.com, J.D. Waltz writes in his response to the article, "It's the question of whether or not some representation is better than none. And what that representation truly entails. I'm reminded of the 'token Black guy' syndrome ... is that worth it? Maybe so. Maybe it's that foot in the door truly needed for future reform and true access, but maybe it's just hollow appeasement."

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