The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


November 29, 2000

Tearing down individuals

In response to Iraani, I hope she realizes that racism is exactly what her closed-minded and judgemental message portrays.

It's clear that Iraani feels that the actions of Iranians speak for the Iranian community. However, in making that the statement that she did, I feel that Iraani, not Maryam [Maryam and Daryl], is depicting a negative picture of her community.

Who is Iraani to judge whether a person is good, bad, disgraceful, or "all that"?

I recently attended a workshop in Chicago in which a panel of Iranian-Americans spoke about how the diaspora has influenced their lives and personal expression. A very clear message of pain and even shame surfaced and resurfaced throughout the session - hurt from being judged and misunderstood repeatedly. This is the same kind of pain that Iraani's letter perpetuates.

Perhaps it's easy for Iraani to stand with "her kind" while tearing down individuals; I wonder if she'd have the same strength standing as an individual member of the human race. We are all human beings and words are powerful tools that should be used with thought and consideration.

I find it particularly ironic that Iraani's letter was published on the same day that an African-American-Iranian, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, was featured as the Iranian of the Day. I wonder how T.J. would feel about Iraani's assessment.

Kyra Liston


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