Horrible Parallels
December 8, 1979 — The Afro American

The Mossadegh Project | February 27, 2021                      


An African-American perspective on the 1979 revolution and the parallels between anti-Iranian discrimination and other minority groups in America.

Lead editorial in The Afro American newspaper of Baltimore, Maryland, then in its 88th year.

Crying for blood

Who can believe the wave of emotional hysteria that we are now experiencing in the midst of the Iranian crisis? Is this the same generation which just a few years ago risked shooting and imprisonment in protesting U.S. militarism in Vietnam?

It hardly seems possible that the American people (including its youths) are now crying for blood. Yet it is true.

All kinds of anti-Khomeini memorabilia from tee-shirts to toys threaten to make mockery of the season honoring the Prince of Peace. The Iranian ayatollah is even the center target on dart-boards. [Ash trays too]

Worse than all of this, however, is the wave of prejudice and outright harassment of persons of Iranian descent in the United States. Crowds hurl cat-calls and other objects at Iranian students, and other persons (some of whom are Iranians who have become naturalized citizens of the U.S.) report that they experience fear just walking down the streets of our cities.

All of this reminds us of horrible parallels in our own past. It all sounds too much like the treatment blacks experienced for years in the presence of whites in the South. And it reminds us also of the terrible wave of anti-Japanese fever that caused thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent to be hurled into concentration camps during the last world war.

In reality, it seems as if many among us are literally begging for a war. Part of this unjust and unfair situation can be traced to President Carter, whose own action against Iranian students has been criticized as unconstitutional. (Although, we must say that the response of John Connally and some other potential presidential candidates is even worse.) [Republican Governor of Texas]

Part of it just appears to be a part of the American psyche. (Although it is almost unbelievable to see this hysteria directed against another Caucasian people — the Iranians are not Arabs.)

Even the State department and CIA have joined in with such “old hat” accusations such as those which claim that the present uprising is really being directed by Communists or some Marxist group like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. When as, everyone knows, the Muslim world is an antagonist of the Communist world.

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Related links:

Anti-Iranian Chants At The Who Concert Amid Iran Hostage Crisis (Dec. 1979)

Send Shah Back to Iran | The Daily Vidette (Dec. 1979 letter)

Agitational Activities of Anti-Shah Iranian Students in the US (1963)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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