Ameri is no different from any other
political candidate in America
By Jim S.
April 12, 2004
In reply to "Rock
the vote with Ameri":
Dear Ms. Farhang,
While the criterion you use to select a candidate to serve in the United States
Congress is your business and yours alone. I can't help but think that
if I were to suggest that I would vote for a congressional candidate
based upon his or her hair color or pizza preference that you would
find my basis of selection to be both arbitrary and ridiculous. Voting
for Mrs. Ameri based solely on the basis of where she happened to be born is
You state in your commentary, "everything that we do in the US...in the
name of Iran [is] a testament to our need for representation." What, may
I ask does any Iranian-American, including yourself, do in the name
of Iran within the borders of the United States?
Every Iranian and Iranian-American that
has made the difficult decision to emigrate from Iran in order to build a new
life in America has accepted the fact that they have certain responsibilities
to the body politic of their adopted home.
One of these responsibilities is
not to advance the cause of hostile governments at the expense of the
host country. Unless one is secretly doing things in the name of the
Islamic Republic, I can't see how one's need for representation in the American
Congress has anything to do with Iran or one being a ethnically Iranian.
While you might get a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing an Iranian
born individual was serving in Congress, there is something you
might have failed to consider.
That is, if elected, Mrs. Ameri will not simply be the "Iranian" Congress
woman she will be the duly elected member of Congress from the 1st Congressional
District of Oregon.
Ameri would be the representative of the people of
her district and no other people or district and she would
be sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
She would not serve Iran, Iranians or
Iranian-Americans, other than those residing in her district. Do you
have any idea about the demographics of her district? Here are a few demographic
of the 1st District.
According to the Almanac of American Politics the 1990 demographics of Oregon's
1st District were as follows:
Native American....... 1%
What can we glean from such statistics? First, she lives in a district
that certainly cannot claim to be a multicultural Mecca. Whites
make up 91% of
while all ethnic minorities combined account for less that 10% of the total.
Do you really think that Mrs. Ameri is going to serve the interests of the
ethnic minorities? It would be political suicide on her part to do so.
trying to sell herself to the great White middle class majority
which in this case
means that she must cater to a conservative constituency and espouse views
which may put her in direct opposition to the opinions and views held
by mainstream Iranian-Americans.
I would not go so far as to call Mrs. Ameri the Persian community's "Uncle
Tom" as did Sepand Rezaii [See: "Aunt
Ameri"], but facts are facts and
the truth is that Mrs. Ameri has lived in the United States almost twice
This fact alone means little, but taken with other facts it does
picture of how far from mainstream Persian-American traditions and values this
candidate may be. Certainly, she is a Persian-American and I'm sure that
she is proud of that fact as are all Persian-Americans.
You, Ms. Farhang, make much out of the fact that Ameri's first born is
named Darius. My wife, who is Iranian, named our first child Silvia.
Does that mean that she doesn't really have an Iranian heart?
If so, she has successfully fooled our children since they
speak Farsi with her,
celebrate Persian holidays, enjoy Persian customs and traditions and
go to Iran nearly every year.
Maybe I'll tell my kids their mom has
been lying to them all these years about having a real Iranian
heart. At the end of the day, however, what does being a Persian
at heart" have anything
to do with qualifying one to serve in the United States Congress?
I am sure that most Iranian-Americans respect those in the Iranian-American
community who are proud of their roots. Most would be gratified to
see that Mrs. Ameri stated that she was proud of her Iranian roots in
the National Iranian American Council news
release dated 2/19/04.
Certainly, this NIAC web site is intended for a mainly Iranian audience.
Then I looked at Mrs. Ameri's campaign web site which appears to be intended
I fully expected that she would again express her pride in being Iranian.
I was very confused, however, when I discovered that this congressional
candidate, who in one interview gushed ethnic pride in being Iranian,
failed to mention even once, anywhere on her own web site either the
word "Iran" or "Iranian". She
merely mentions that she's fluent in "Persian". I'm
sure that it was simply a mistake that she overlooked the fact of mentioning
her place of birth or her ethnic background in her campaign biographical
If you don't believe me look at her
site yourself and you will see that
I am telling the truth. The
Inescapable truth is that Mrs. Ameri is no different from any other
political candidate in America. Every single, last one of them is two-faced.
When it's advantageous to play up her Iranian roots to one group, she
When it's advantageous to conveniently
forget her Iranian roots with another
group, she does it.
Mrs. Ameri is no different from any other two-tongued
politician in America? I am simply confused by the fact
that you would play up her ethnicity to the extent that you do when
she herself is trying to conceal it from the voters in her district.
I fail to
see the relevance of her ethnicity, especially in light of the
fact that she doesn't wish for this information to be included on
her web site. It almost seems as if you are more proud of her ethnic
than she is.
I have nothing against Mrs. Ameri. I don't even reside in Oregon's
1st Congressional District. I have nothing against her politics and
other than what appears
on her web site, I don't know what her positions are on various issues.
A political candidate's position on the important issues facing America
determine how each of us casts our ballot. Any person in America
is completely free, however, to select a political candidate based
their own set of criteria whether that criteria is based on ethnicity,
color, jacket size, number of cats and dogs, shoe size or nothing
This is America after all, and far too many young
men have paid
the ultimate price
over the years to guarantee that you have the right to use your
vote wisely or foolishly. No one has the right to tell you that
considerations are far
more important in a major political race than where a candidate
was born, so I won't tell you that.
I will tell, however, that I am personally very uncomfortable
with the idea of voting for someone based solely on their ethnicity
or country of origin. The social and political fabric of America
depends to a large extent
on every ethnic group surrendering some small part of its ethnic
identity in exchange for the common welfare which unifies all
of us together
simple, but unique belief that we are all Americans is the one
unifying force that binds us together as one people and one nationality.
If Mrs. Ameri is elected to Congress, it will not be because
the majority of her constituents are ethnically Iranian, but
she had a
message that resonated with the mainstream electorate within
her district. The
NAIC web site states that only 6,500 Iranian-Americans live in
Mrs. Ameri's district. That means Iranian-Americans make up less
2% of the population
of the 1st District.
If all the district's Iranian-Americans cast their ballots based
upon ethnicity there would still not be enough of them to elect
Mrs. Ameri to Congress. There is nothing that that the millions
of Iranian-Americans that live throughout the nation can do to
or hinder Mrs. Ameri on
Given your views on voting, you had better hope that all those
white conservative native born Americans do not take your advice
only for other white conservative
native born Americans because if they do, Mrs. Ameri doesn't
stand a chance on Election Day. Only the voters in her district
be able to rock the
vote in her favor or against her. Let's only hope they do so,
in one way or the other, because of her positions on the various
are of importance to 1st Distrist voters, and not because she
was born in Iran.
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