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November 20, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-20

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Page 4-Tuesday, November 20, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom

Harassment of Iraniansis misdirectedanger

Vol. LXXXX, No.65

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

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Anger directed against Iranians in the
United States is both counterproductive and
dangerous. Many Americans, especially
students, are confusing criticism of the taking
of hostages in Tehran with hostility towards
Iranians in this country. Such unnecessary
harassment of Iranians here is misplaced
anger and may serve to hurt the chances of
freeing the hostages safely.
The harrassment of Iranian students here
"hasn't changed their stands and has poisined
relations with the U.S.," according to at least
one expert, Prof. Kenneth Luther of the
University's Near Eastern studies depar-
tment.
But, regardless of its political effect, the
hostility against Iranians living and studying
here has implications even more dangerous.
The most obvious ramification is the
harassment of innocent Iranians. "It
scapegoats and punishes people who have no
responsibility for what is going on," commen-
ted one local minister.
Iranians in Ann Arbor have received death
threats, and harassing telephone calls in the
middle of the night. One Iranian woman said
she and some friends are afraid to leave their
houses in the evening. Judging from the
behavior at Friday's anti-Iranian demon-
stration, the woman's feeling is more than
justified.
People with dark skin or a mideastern ac-
cent are being mistaken for Iranians and sub-
jected to the same kinds of harassment.
What's more, this misdirected anger is
being encouraged by some government of-
ficials. Senate majority leader Robert C.
Byrd (D-W. Va.) said he understood
Americans "throwing rocks or eggs or
anything else" at Iranians who choose to
demonstrate in the United States. "I'd feel

like taking a punch at one myself if I could get
to him," Byrd said in one copyrighted inter-
view published Saturday in the Charleston
Daily Mail.
Luther said he was treated with respect by
Iranians who knew he was American when he

By Laurie Krauth

if she is deported. Political experts at the U of
M agree that some Iranians here may face
surveillance and unemployment if they are
sent back to Iran.
How different is deporting those Iranians
from the herding of Japanese descendants in-
to concentration camps during World War II?
Americans who understand the racism in
calling Blacks "niggers" are not making the
connection in calling Iranians "camel-
jockeys."

.it is ironic

that while

A mericans

aren't injured or villified in Iran, Iranians
are villified and harassed in the U. S.
-Prof.-Kenneth Luther,
Near Eastern studies
department

visited their country. He said it was ironic
that while Americans aren't injured or
villified in Iran, Iranians are villified and
harassed in the U.S."
The hostility against Iranian students here
continues the dangerous tradition of
punishing descendents and visitors from
countries we have no political disputes with.
One Iranian said she fears reprisals in Iran

Many people are realizing that seeing the
Vietnamese as "gooks" made it possible to
justify U.S. policies against them. Will seeing
Iranians as "terrorists" and "camel-
jockeys" allow us to abuse them as well?
Laurie Krauth is a senior in the Univer-
sity's residential college.

HOS'f bC ED46 13(FwiML R~E56RE Ai'f C
OIN INFLATION
Anti-Iranian backlash

is misplace(
P ERHAPS THE ugliest aspect of
continuing hostage crisis in Iran is
the base instincts of Americans it has
fueled across the country and here on
campus. The feeling of helplessness at
the events in Tehran, and the in-
dignation at being subjected to a
government-condoned act of official
terrorism in our own embassy there is
of course more than enough to give rise.
to frustration among most Americans.
But that frustration has taken the
form of protests, often violent, directed.
against students here in this country,
whom we recognize as having the
same rights to free speech and assem-
bly as American citizens. To vent that
frustration at Iranians here exercising
their rights may be satisfying for a
few, but in the long run runs rough-
shod over those very principles of
freedom this country purports to
protect. What would be the difference
between the United States and Iran if
this country disallowed all pro-Iranian
dissent, just as Khomeini censors the
opposite line?
The backlash here against Iranians
reeks of the kind of concentration
camp discrimination the Roosevelt
administration practiced in locking up
Japanese Americans during the
Second World War. A federal judge has
already ruled unconstitutional the
government park services ban ors
parade permits in the District of
Columbia, and the administration
should take careful note - even in
flammable situations, the rights of in-
dividuals are guaranteed under the
Bill of Rights and must not be usurped.
This includes Iranians, who have the

I outrage
right to rally for Khomeini and con-
demn U.S. imperialism in their home
country, if they so desire.
That misguided and misdirected
anger might better be directed towar-
ds the Carter administration, with a
demand for a full public explanation as
to how the deposed Shah of Iran got in-
to this country in the first place. The
United States must not cave in to the
terrorist demands of Khomeini s
student blackmailers in Tehran, but
neither must this country become a
haven for the likes of deposed despots,
fascists, and friends of Henry
Kissinger. The shah must not be turned
over to the terrorists, but neither must
we allow the shah to remain in this
country once events in Tehran have
played their course. And the ad-
ministration's buckling under to
Kissinger and David Rockefeller,
allowing the shah to set foot here, will
be something President Carter must
be forced to answer to in the next
weeks and months. Khomeini is a
brutal despot, ranking about a 10 on a
scale of world oppressors. But when it
comes to sheer brutality and
repressiveness, the shah is not even on
the scale.
So to those students here on campus
and elsewhere who evoke the memory
of John Wayne and march against
Iran, chanting fanatically to Nuke Iran
or kill all Iranians, be reminded that
such a response to events in Tehran
only exchanges repression and bar-
barity for repression and barbarity.
And the ultimate victim in the end will
be the civilized nature of civilization it-
self, since U.S./Iranian relations seem
hopeless soured forever.

Daily Photo by PETER SERLING

Satan America? To hell with Iran! - Or so reads the sign of this angry protester on the steps of the graduate library for last week's
demonstration.
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Iranian protests draw crossfire

To the Daily:
We feel that Steve Roach's
letter concerning the Iranian
situation is totally deplorable and
void of the principles on which
our Constitution is based upon.
America has traditionally been a
country of equal opportunity for
all (even Steve Roach's Iranian
"bastards")and Roach's idea to
deport Iranians is against the
American principal that one
should not be discriminated
against because of his
nationality, race, or religion.
Roach complains about the dic-
tatorships of the Ayatollah and
the Shah. He implies that they
have oppressed the Iranian
people, but in proposing that we
deport the Iranians, he is ad-
vocating that the American
government do the same thing to
the Iranians. In short, we feel
that Steve Roach is an arrogant,
prejudiced sonuvabitch. (We
should know, we're his room-
mates.) We feel that Steve
Roach, not the Iranians, should
be extradited. (This way we'd
have a double instead of an
economy triple.)
-Jeff Forman, Jeff Banker
To the Daily:

be civilized. To that end, he
recommends deporting all
Iranian students from America,
after taking a few hundred (or
thousand) hostage. After all, they
did it to us first! Although, just to
teach them a lesson, perhaps we
should round them all up instead
and put them all into detention
camps. After all, if it was good
enough for the Japanese
Americans in the 1940's, it's good
enough for Iranians in 1979,
right?
Or, alternatively, we could in-
vade Iran. (Another laudable
suggestion of Mr. Roach's). Let's
kill a few thousand Iranians; that
should teach them to act
civilized, by gum! And let's face
it, who really cares if they kill the
American hostages? It's the
principle of the thing, dammit!
The nation which produced John
Wayne, George Patton, and
Richard Nixon will surely never
stoop so low as to act solely in
regard to preserving human life.
That would be soft.
Now that we see the situation in
its proper perspective, I have
only one question: Who is Stever
Roach and why is he saying these
ridiculous things?
--Andrea Darvas

placing and maintaining him in
power, the US media has misled
the American people as to the
nature of the crisis today, and has
created an stmosphere of
virulent super patriotism and
racism against Iranians and
Arabs.
After the first time the Iranian
people deposed the Shah and
replaced him with an elected
government, the US, through the
CIA, sponsored a coup d'etat that
brought the Shah back into power
in 1953. The Shah maintained his
power through a US trained
secret police force, called.
SAVAK, that tortured, beat, and
killed political opponents. It is
estimated that the Shah was
responsible for the murder of
600,000 to 800,000 persons during
his 25 year reign of terror. In one
day alone, in September 1978, at a
a demonstration against the Shah
in Tehran, the Shah's soldiers
killed about 6,000 unarmed
demonstrators.
THE RECENT ENTRY of the
Shah into the US was engineered
by the likes of Henry Kissinger,
David Rockefeller, and Sen.
Barry Goldwater. These agents
of big business, who have been
involved in military coups from
Indonesia to Chile and who were

hostages have signed a petition
supporting this demand, accor-
ding to the Nov. 11, 1979, edition
of the New York Times.
In response to this, the US
government has seized all
Iranian assets in the US and has
taken the first steps toward an
economic blockade of Iran which
is considered an act of war by in-
ternational convention. In ad-
dition, the use of food as a weapon
has been raised along with the
spectre of open military interven-
tion in Iran.
THE BIG BUSINEgs rulers of
this country are trying to foise on
the American people a view of
Middle Eastern peoples as
savages and inferior. By whip-
ping up racist stereotypes and
hatred, as they do against
Blacks, Latinos, Native
Americans, Asians and other
minorities, an atmosphere is
created where the most extreme
and brutal forms of repression
are advocated and justified. The
workers, students, and oppressed
peoples of this country must op-
pose those who fan racism and
super-patriotism and unite with
the struggle of the Iranian people
against US imperialism.

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