If You Are An Iranian-American Voting For Biden, Keep Scrolling…

If you are planning to vote for Trump or better yet, you are undecided, please hear me out.

In the past few weeks I was invited by a friend of mine to join a private Facebook group called “Iranian-Americans for Joe Biden”. I am a democrat and I am voting for Biden so naturally I accepted the invitation and began going through the posts. There were many articles which described Biden’s vision for America. There were some poll numbers showing Trump trailing Biden. I did find a few memes making fun of Trump, Melania and (since it was during the Republican National Convention) the RNC speakers. I didn’t find them funny or clever and I didn’t like the fact that in a group which considered itself a serious group, people were posting what I thought to be meaningless hogwash.

Then, as fate would have it, another friend of mine invited me to a group called “Iranian Americans for Trump”. I don’t know why she thought it would be good idea, since all of my facebook posts are in support of Biden. I think maybe she thought that the posts in this group would change my mind. Challenge Accepted. I did not join the group. However, I did not reject the invitation either. This way, I would be able to read the posts in the group and see what the other side was talking about it.

I was not surprised to see (waaaaaaay) more trollish posts making fun of not just Biden, but the Obamas and all Democrats in general. I am not going to lie, it was disheartening to see so much ignorance. For a minute I lost all hope of ever being able to have a normal conversation with any of the people who were active in that group.

But! I did not give up. I didn’t leave the group. I decided to stay and quietly listen. Little by little I started to weed out the trolling and the nonsense and started to read people’s posts and point of views. I started to see things from their point of view.

So here it goes my one shot to try and connect to any Iranian who wants to vote from Trump, or, is undecided.

I get that many of you had to flee the country due to the hardships that were imposed upon you by the government. I understand the anger and distain you have for the government of Iran. What happened to us as immigrants fleeing our own country was traumatic to say the least. I can even understand that you blame the democratic administration of Jimmy Carter for dropping the ball when it came to Iran in the 1980s. All of these are valid feelings that cannot be denied, forgotten or worse, shamed away.

Many of us were forced out to flee persecution and didn’t have the choice of staying. However, we did have a choice when it came time to decide which country we wanted to reside in. Many people migrated to Canada. Some people decided on Europe and some people decided to reside in Israel. A lot of us decided to come to the United States and not only become residents but to become citizens of the United States.

I know for a lot of people, becoming an American citizen was the means to an end. It is something you do when you live in US for a few years. Some people even take it for granted, but the day I became a citizen of the US was a big deal for me. I have spent most of my life in the United States and have been fully integrated into the lifestyle of an American citizen. I take my civic duties seriously.

What happened to us and our country was traumatic and tragic and there is no denying it. But It is 2020 and we live here. Most of us are here to stay, for good and we cannot make our political decisions based on another time and another country.

We have to look at the facts and the way those facts will impact the lives of all American citizens. Whether we like it or not, our vote will impact not only our lives but the lives of everyone else who lives in America. We need to stay away from sharing fake news, memes and doctored videos and really inform ourselves about what is going on in our country.

Right now in the United States there are many issues that require real leadership.

Donald Trump is not the cure for the problems that we are having in this country. He is the cause for it.

Donald Trump does not believe in science, he has rolled back regulations set to reverse the causes of climate change. He has called for less coronavirus testing. He has attributed to the racial divide in this country and he continues to break the law while claiming to be the law and order President.

The racial unrest and the reason the United States has the most number of positive Covid-19 cases and deaths is that Donald Trump is not fit to run a country.

People are dying due to the coronavirus pandemic. unarmed Black men and women constantly getting killed while their killers are walking away. White supremacy is on the rise, anti-semitism is on the rise. These are not issues that we can ignore just because we are holding the democratic party responsible for what happened to Iran in 1980s.

I implore all of you to read more, stay informed and learn about the issues that are threatening our lives and existence. Climate change, the pandemic, gun violence and health care are the issues that impacts us directly, not the way a President is going to deal or not deal with the Iranian government.

Talk to your American friends, talk to Black person in the supermarket. Get integrated into the life and instead of sharing meaningless memes, start a conversation with someone who thinks differently than you.

Our lives and the lives of many many people literally depends on your vote.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

If you’d like to read some more, hear from Biden himself directly:

https://joebiden.com/joes-vision/

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Piran Zarifian

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” ~ Leo Buscaglia