The Great Color-Blind America!


by Jaleho
Recently, A A Parsa wrote an article, "war on Ignorance," reminding us of America's great revolutionary past, what it stood for, and the recent "un-American" turn it has taken.  Ali wondered if the spirit of "We, The People" could reclaim the ideals of revolutionary America.


There were few comments negating the greatness of America by countering that America was built on top of crimes committed against the native American Indians and African American slaves, and claimed that some other Empires have been more moral and devoid of such brutalities.

I countered that despite ugly zigzags in American history, American experience has enriched humanity with one of the most amazing fast forwards history has ever seen, defeating European colonialism, skipping fast over feudalism, slavery, and going through industrial and information revolutions. Central to that rapid advancement was the revolutionary power of "We, The People" that Ali talks about.

As I said in my comment to his article, I do not attribute pride in any place of birth, rather to great ideas and ideals wherever its birthplace maybe. Today, I am proud of America for becoming color blind. Considering the intensity of anti-black racism in the US a mere few decades ago, one stands in awe of the rapidity with which an entire nation is electing an African American as president. Ironically, this very same election also reminds us that the ugly zigzags in America's forward move still exists in the form of xenophobia and Islamophobia,  reflected by questions raised about Obama's ethnic and religious background. Yet, this election put a strong last nail in the coffin of anti-black racism in America. "WE, the People" is still alive and kicking.

Here was my comment to Ali's article:


by Jaleho on Sun Nov 02, 2008 08:40 AM PST

It seems to me people of different origin put too much honor into a birth place, typically their own! I think one is better off look at history in a scientific manner and widen the lens more than "I," and the centuries of racism and nationalism that has blinded clear judgment in all parts of the world. To that point,

1. Genome project once and for all showed that ALL people are pretty much identical in innate potential.

2. History has a tendency to go forward, although this forward arrow can have zigzags, but the forward direction overcomes the shorter lived zigzags.

3. Different time periods fell with different system of governance in different parts of the world. It was not really the "people" somewhere who were "better" or more advanced than others, it was different social orders that afforded better achievements. The better social order prevails until it becomes corrupt or bad and when there is a better one to substitute it, according to history's mandate of going forward.

4. The progress is objective, although one can adorn it with a lot of subjective arguments, yet the progress can always be defined with some criteria of objectivity.

One can appreciate the past history and have hope for future if we look at history of the world in the above framework.

The past Empires all were created with the original hope given to large number of people, made great strides, became corrupt and that corruption gave revolutionary power to people to help disintegrate the scum of the past. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Persians, Indians, Greeks neither had anything unique in their great contribution to civilization nor any of them proved immune to the subsequent fall.

The next level of improvement brought the Islamic Empire which took the fruit of many ancient cultures in one universal language, gave hope to a large number of people trapped in their local tyranny, and reached Europe. By the time when Islamic Empire was getting corrupt and its stench was not being tolerated in many places it had reached earlier, the Europeans of Enlightenment had translated many of the great works of the dying Islamic Empire, and built the more advanced and wonderful centuries of progress based on those knowledge.

When the European Enlightenment matured to the stinky colonialism that reached Asia and Africa, the disfranchised Europeans , many of whom escaped the injustice and corruption of the dying colonial system of Europe, found a great new world in America.

Revolutionary Americans  were the greatest hope for all humanity. Equipped with the wisdom of millennia before them, through knowledge accumulated from ancient times, past to them through Europeans who themselves got it from Islamic Empire, the Americans did not have to re-invent the wheel. They invented the greatest form of government that humanity has yet seen.

The American system enhanced the entire humanity, with the short zigzag of horrendous thing happening to a native aborigines. The prehistoric, the agricultural period, the slavery, the industrial revolution, capitalism and Information revolution all the way to the decadent Imperialism in the US took a mere few hundred years; what the rest of the world invented piece at a time during many centuries was squeezed and built upon speedily in the American experience. One of the greatest things America did was the defeat of European colonialism as this article nicely attends to.

Now some people, in particular Israelis who love to compare the great American experience which was in part built upon the back of getting the land of native Americans, to that of their own stealing of Arab land! They miss the central point of history: that of its going forward!

Israelis like to compare America's monumental experience of pushing the history in its most amazing FAST FORWARD, with the land theft of bunch of European colonizers of a land which has been once cradle of civilization itself! They want to bring back European colonialism and apartheid which was almost dead in the 19-20 century, and perpetuate it in the 21 century.

They miss the point of history by their own make believe history and propaganda. Israeli experience would die soon just like the weak and irrational links always do, so will the most backward forms of the American order now, as more and more Americans demand the great liberty and prosperity that American revolution brought to them, defined America, and is is fast decaying.


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Party Girl, AW, Mark, and somehope

by Jaleho on

PG, I agree with you completely, and to those good American values that you mentioned, I'd add organization and a unique form of honesty, being incapable of dishonesty somehow. The combination of qualities you mentioned, makes them DOERS. 

AW, and together with you and 130 million other people whose collective wish will put Obama in the WH, I have high hopes for the future. I feel a bit worried, of the burden of expectations piled up un him. Even if he followed to the best of a human capability his promises, even if became God instaed of human, I am sure he'd be disappointing a lot of people. God would have some trouble fixing this economic mess and the rest of Bush legacy, even if he'd the power of the Fed to print money :-)

Mark, hope you're right or else I have to fundamentally change my optimistic character. It would be one bad blow.

somehope, I can only hope that God steps out somemore.



lets hope for Iran to become

by somehope (not verified) on

lets hope for Iran to become religious, ethnic ... blind.
Can we make that happen or will God have to step in.


Lieberman is toast.

by MarKa (not verified) on

I don't think you need to worry about Joe Lieberman in the West Wing. The Democrats have not forgotten how he betrayed them by going to the Republican convention and bashing Obama. They wouldn't appoint Lieberman dog catcher at this point, let alone a position with the prestige of Secretary of Defense.

Party Girl

Dear Jaleho

by Party Girl on

Thank you for your heartfelt piece.  I love America and I love Americans.  In my book, they continue to be some of the most honest, no nonesense people of the world.  Americans' most valued characteristic in my opinion is their love and respect for achievement which moves them to do better and to try harder, instead of riddling them with jealousy and hate.  This country has done so much to set high standards for other people of the world, and with a good leader at its helm, I believe America will once again gain its glory.


highhopes, you said

by Jaleho on

"Rahm Emanuel as WH Chief of Staff. Do you still like Obama, Jaleho? "

I think you missed the point that I have made clear already, here's what I said:

"I am not going to be delusional about things Obama would do differently, I am sure a lot of it would be Washington's politics as usual soon. But, there is the sliver of hope that he would resist to corruption, follow people's mandate for what they elected him for....he's the best bet, no doubt. Even if he doesn't do anything dramatic, the synergy that he already brought to the young and colored and minority is going to lift them up and make the difference."

So, a short answer to your question is: absolutely, I am thrilled about Obama's election and I didn't need his assignment of Rahm Emanuel to give me a hint that many things he'll do would be Washington politics as usual. Obama's statement on the status of Jerusalem was far more pro-Israeli than Bush or any other president in US ever was.

Rahm Emanuel is one of the best fund raisers for Democratic Party, he's a great organizer and he's a Chicago guy.  A clever choice for Obama to clam the Jewish nerve and take them more on board, just as a pragmatist would do. A Chief of Staff for a hands off president can be a very powerful job, and for an engaged president, which I believe Obama will be, can be just like a secretary. Rahm Emanuel would be a fantastic secretary!

But, I tell you in advance what would make me regret MY vote for Obama, as I still believe that even if he disappoints ME, his election for the reasons I stated in my post is worth everything for America and for the world.

1. If he does not end the Iraq war relatively quickly and clearly. I believe that was the platform that sent him to the WH, and if he doesn't follow that mandate, he would be betraying American people, and pretty much the rest of the people in the world who celebrated his election.

2. If he gives the job of Secretary of Defense to Lieberman, which is what the real traitors have been trying to shove to American people since Perle, Wolfowitz and Feith were kicked out of Pentagon. He would have gotten that position under Hillary or McCain.

3. I wouldn't mind this as much, but if he selects Larry Summers as Secretary of Treasury, I would lose respect for him as that would indicate to me that he's bending to pressure, and can not stand his own ground.



To BigBoy

by I wonder (not verified) on

Does the definition of a great revolutionary include those who lead popular uprisings against brutal dictatorships, by cheating, lying and resorting to "Taqiah" in order to succeed in replacing them with far more brutal dictatorships of their own?

AND I am not talking about now, 30 years later, since
Khomeini revealed his true colors and declared his true intentions then, immediately after the success of the revolution 30 years ago, when it was already too late.

American Wife


by American Wife on

I'm afraid you might have misunderstood MY words.  I was truly appreciative of your article.  This isn't about any other article or any other exchange between you and I or anyone else.  I'll reserve my right to disagree with you on any other subject if and when it comes up...:-)  But in this, we share a common goal... to continue what Obama has started... a healing.


Jaleh I agree

by BigBoy (not verified) on

Hi Jaleh,

I agree with your optimism and pride regarding Obama's election. I think this is a major positive development for the world.

I also don't see how calling Khomeini a great revolutionary is so objectionable. The man led the popular uprising against a brutal dictatorship and succeeded in overthrowing it, which to me is almost a definition of the term. You may disagree with what is going on in the country 30 years later, but to dispute the historic accomplishment is difficult.


Dear American Wife,

by jaleh- (not verified) on

I wish you could get used to the fact that I mean and feel exactly what I write, nothing more, nothing less!

I do believe that last night America pushed the forward gas pedal on history to a crazy speed, obeserved only in America. She can go forward before the old order had a time to die, and that's spirit of what America has been about in my opinion.

I think you can travel to parts in this country where people who lynched blacks can still be alive, but the new generation of Americans burried them alive!!



by highhopes (not verified) on

Rahm Emanuel as WH Chief of Staff. Do you still like Obama, Jaleho?

Emanuel was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1959. His father, the Jerusalem-born Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a pediatrician and was a member of the Irgun, a militant Zionist group treated as a terrorist organization during British rule.[3][4][5][6] His mother, Martha Smulevitz, worked as an X-ray technician; she was the daughter of a local union organizer,[1] and would herself become a civil rights activist; she was also once the owner of a Chicago-area rock and roll club.[6] The two met in Chicago in the 1950s.[7] Emanuel's older brother, Ezekiel, is a noted oncologist and bioethicist, and his brother, Ari, is a high-powered talent agent in Los Angeles and inspired Jeremy Piven's character Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage.[1] Rahm himself is also the inspiration for the character Josh Lyman on The West Wing.[1] He also has a younger sister named Shoshanna, fourteen years his junior.[1]

When his family lived in Chicago, he attended Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, a Jewish day school.



Khameni and his ilk have

by highhopes (not verified) on

Khameni and his ilk have stood defiantly in support of insidious corruption and xenophobia, religious and gender segregation (apartheid), a culture of brutal repression, violence, perversion of that is decemt and just, immorality, and denial of basic human and economic rights for thirty years.

These actions and the stark images of their consequences have spread across the middleast to spread more hate and divisions between moderates democrats and militant religious fundamentalists.

The consequences of spread of militant khomeinism should galvanize Iranians and the international community to a cry for an end to the IRI/Islamists apartheid. There should be a firestorms that should be lit in hearts of all of freedom and liberty seeking people of the world to help Iranians to face IRI assault on freedom, liberty and mainstream prosperity. Economic security for all and not just for the Khodis.

As a new call to arms was sounded by Obama two years ago, Iranians need to learn from Americans to take their country back.

IRI"s trampling of individual freedoms and blatant contempt for the rights (economics, social, human, religious) of the average Iranians are nothing short of what black Americans faced 60 years ago in the South antebellum.

There needs to be a shift of conciousness in Iran too.

Honesty, and love of country (instead of religion) in both word and deed can replace treachery and perversion of all that is decent in the Islamic Republic We need someone like Barack to lead and give Iranian the power back that was hijacked by right wing religious fundamentalist in 1978.

We need to wake up and come to an understanding of the injustices borne by IRI's deeds and the legacy of suffering and destruction that it has left and will leave behind as did Martin Luther King and his movement.

Today, Barack Obama is hope for a better tomorrow for all Americans. He stands on the shoulders of all those people who have incessantly prayed for a day when "justice will run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream" (Amos 5:24).

Perhaps one day, Iranians will have the opportunity to have a leader like Barack Obama.

We need an Iranian Barack Obama. It's time for all Iranians of ideological stripes to unite and put their country first instead of their ideologies.

We could learn so much from this US election to build a movement, a cause, to take our country back from the jaws of extremist IRI apartheid.

American Wife

Thanks Jaleh

by American Wife on

Regardless of your personal beliefs and the negative comments already made below in preparation for another "great debate", your article was very touching.  I wish it could be taken for just what it is... an appreciation that the US has grown and will continue to grow and heal those scars of past. 

Peace out... :-)



by Anonymous b (not verified) on

I wonder how you can reason your stay in a non-moslem country when you are so fascinated by Khomeini and his legacy in Iran. I wonder with what kind of moral you measure the acts of mollahs'barabry that left thousands of deaths, no individual freedom, no political pluralism and no hope for the Iranian youth.
How can you justify the Mullahs who are corrupt, brutal, reactionary and alien to most iranian peole and their culture? Have you ever thought of them or your blind faith, or interests avoid you to think about? What is your goal and status as a khomeinist in the US? If you are not a joke, for me you are a puzzle.


To Jaleho: sorry I was not familiar with your thoughts but ...

by I wonder (not verified) on

I guessed to some extent where you were coming from.

You said:
"Khomeini was one of the greatest leaders of the century who had the vision to lead a people against the strongest neo-colonial force in the world towards its independence ... "

The above statement speaks volumes about you.

I wonder why you are worried about shoreter roopoosh, etc. to "breath a bit easier" when you visit Iran.

You for one should have no problem none-what-so-ever, put on a chador and remember that the important factor here is that Iran has independance now and the rest like Iranians' violation of their basic civil rights by mullahs are trivialities, all objective and quantifiable.

Best of luck with your delusions.


I wonder,

by Jaleho on

You seem to have read my writings enough, so you must know that I do not share your idea that Iran has gone backwards! In fact, I consider Iran's revolutionary movements in this century, starting with monumental Constitutional Revolution, to the Islamic Revolution, on par with great American Revolution.

In each case, "We, The People," stood up to tyranny and colonialism. To me, Khomeini was one of the greatest leaders of the century who had the vision to lead a people against the strongest neo-colonial force in the world towards its independence. Iran's revolution was very similar to American revolutionaries standing up to Brits against all odds, defeating the greatest army and navy of its time. Just like Iranians, the Americans could not break the colonial yoke by military might, but they gained their independence by perseverance, believing in the power of people vs. tyranny, and revolutionary ideals. And, just like I say in No. 4 above, progress is objective and quantifiable. I have clarified some of those measurable criteria in my recent reply to Friedman's article:


I also believe that Iran's revolution has had its own ugly zigzags, but it has been a force pushing our country forward. Has it been a utopia for young Iranians while they were going through all those ugly zigzags? Of course not!

That's why I feel more indebted to the young women in Tehran, thanks to whose fight for one more centimeter of hair showing, or a shorter roopoosh, I can breath a bit easier whenever I visit the country! They helped Iran gain its independence, participated in defending the country in a brutal war, showed solidarity when the country needed it and fought against internal tyranny whenever they could. Despite the forceful roosari, the Iranian young women made the large part of university graduates, and have become a force in arts, cinema, and science to reckon with.

Measurable impressive progress for Iranian women, all over the country, not limited to few women in Tehran.

And yes, I DO hope and believe that its most backwards elements would die, just like every other weak link does, Iranian people will make sure of that, just like they have done before.


Thanks Maryam,

by Jaleh- (not verified) on

I still can't get over the excitement of last night's monumental victory!

I am not going to be delusional about things Obama would do differently, I am sure a lot of it would be Washington's politics as usual soon. But, there is the sliver of hope that he would resist to corruption, follow people's mandate for what they elected him for....he's the best bet, no doubt. Even if he doesn't do anything dramatic, the synergy that he already brought to the young and colored and minority is going to lift them up and make the difference.

But, regardless of what he does, and sure considering the degree of expectation from him, no human can afford to deliver as much, is undeniable...

America made another one of those unbelievable fast forwards of history. Some of the people with lynching mentality are not dead yet, and the new generation came out in droves to wipe them out, and revive American democracy which was getting decimated by a low voter turn out!


To Jaleho: what is the difference?

by I wonder (not verified) on

It is interesting that you mention Israelis yet you completely ignore the plight of Iranians under their mullahcracy, their mullah leaders and their totalitarian theocracy who have been trying for the last 30 years to take Iran back to the 6th century, forcing Shari'ah laws up people's butts and trying so desperately hard to perpetuate apartheid and discrimination based on religion, ethnic origin, etc, etc. on a grand scale in the 21 century.

Don't you believe mullahs miss the point of history as well by their own make believe revisionist history and propaganda? Don't you think backward regressive mullah experience would die as well "just like the weak and irrational links always do", and don't you think that Iranians deserve to demand the liberty and prosperity that Mullah Khomeini promised and the Iranian revolution was supposed to bring to them?!

Palestinians deserve better but Iranians don't?!

Maryam Hojjat

Jaleho, Great Truth

by Maryam Hojjat on

In your comment to Ali Parsa.   Thanks for your article.