Material advancement is not as sure as we might have expected, but "the good life" is possible for most here in America. Professional advancement is based largely on merit and achievement, rather than ties and favors. Intellectual advancement comes more easily with open education and free debate. Political advancement is more elusive, maybe mysterious, but it's likely to be the most important thing that awaits you in this country. We have come to a land where the political domain is open to all and not the privilege of a chosen few.
For what we deserve is to have options. To be allowed to choose, based on our own considered judgments. To be able to weigh the competing truths and support the ones that seem credible to us. That is also what we stand to lose in the wake of the aggressive attacks that have recently been directed at the National Iranian American Council, and the unfounded allegations made about us.
If anyone - NIAC included - tries to persuade you, or to gain your support, you have the right - in fact you deserve - to hold them to account; to demand that they meet a series of tests, a set of hard questions:
1. Who are they? Do you know their names, where they come from and what they have done during their lives?
2. What do they stand for? What principles guide their activities?
3. What is their plan of action? Is it made public? Is it open for discussion?
4. When they criticize others, is their criticism based on reason, evidence and proof, or on opinion, speculation or rumor?
If we ask the hard questions, the honest will be glad we did; others will treat you as an enemy. The truthful will welcome scrutiny, while the others will dodge and hide. And if you ask hard questions, you may have to be courageous when some question you and your character, because they seek to divert the spotlight from themselves. But, to quote an American poet, "just so long, and long enough" will the haters be able to hide the truth that love offers freely.
NIAC's founders, officers, directors and advisors are known and have disclosed their personal biographies. NIAC's finances are an open book to any who care to inquire. We don't make decisions for you, we only provide you with options.
NIAC's mission is one that will raise all Iranian-Americans, and raise America in the process. In the one year that NIAC has been in existence, we have been able to transform the Iranian-American community's from one that is politically apathetic and suffers from weak confidence in its potential to influence, to one that brought Monster.com and its discriminatory polices to its knees in less than two days.
However, every transformation is a challenge to the current status quo. Unfortunately, greater participation is seen as a threat by those who have grown accustomed to, and benefited from the apathy of the masses. To those who believe that the political domain is theirs alone - it is their birthright or given to them by God - bringing democracy to the people is a tragedy that threatens their monopoly on power, on access, and on choices.
Whereas most Iranian-Americans fled the dictatorships in Iran, a few also brought a piece of that dictatorial mentality with them to America. Fortunately, in America, we have the freedom not to choose that mentality.
NIAC is exercising that freedom. So can you.
We invite you to learn more about NIAC, and to learn much more about being fully a part of life in the United States of America - it is only what you deserve.
NIAC is a Washington, DC-based 501 c(3) non-partisan, non-political, non-sectarian and non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Iranian-American participation in American civic life. NIAC does not work with and has no ties with any governments, political parties or political personalities. For more information about the organization, please visit www.niacouncil.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a fax to (202) 518-5507.
... Payvand News - 5/29/03 ... --