the-mouse-that-scaed-ahmadinejad1I have to say it’s been incredibly inspiring to watch what’s been going on in Iran. For those of you who follow me on twitter, you know I’ve been doing what I can to help spread the word & support the struggle from far away. There’s much better coverage of what’s happening over there on Twitter and on YouTube if you’re watching: here’s a compilation of protest videos that Olivia Ma & others at YouTube have put together.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether it’s Ahmedinejad vs Mousavi. What matters is that people there are clearly sick of being trampled on and are demanding their rights.

In this country, as recently as the 2000 and 2004 elections, African-Americans in Florida and then Ohio were left wondering “where is my vote” too, but with less fanfare and sympathy. Our votes were stolen in some communities and in others, hurdles were put in place specifically to make if difficult for our people to cast their vote. Closed or inadequate polls, misinformation, roadblocks, faulty machines — you name it and usually conservative operatives were working it.

So we know how it feels to be fed a steady diet of patriotic ideals concerning one nations and the virtures of a people-chosen government through democracy only to find that the rules are different than you’ve been told. It’s a feeling that mixes humiliation with disappointment & disillusionment that can bleed over to despair if you let it. No, better to take to the streets. African-Americans once showed the world that through peaceful protest, a people can inspire a nation and a world to act in accordance with truth and justice, leaving discrimination behind. It’s noteworthy that women in Iran are an important part of the fight for more freedom and full suffrage.

It took us generations to finally achieve something that looked closer to freedom. A lot of people suffered and some died for the lives enhanced with opportunities and less blighted with discrimination than before. We know it can take time to get to the mountain top and not everyone who started with you on the journey will be with you at the end.

For African-Americans, well, we also know how the system can act when it’s really threatened and I fear more violence is to come. Yet hold steady Iranians — just as we faced down repression, unjust jailings, beatings and bombings, rapes and lynchings — so too look into the eyes of the government when it becomes desperate and do not blink. Look to our example and push on. Keep marching (and tweeting and facebook updating and YouTubing). Keep on…

“…until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
– Martin Luther King Jr. “

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