This weekend’s election results from Iran are back in. It looks like some glaring, real super shady stuff went down and folks are now rioting in the streets. They’re rioting not unlike the way we are in the aftermath of the LA Lakers winning the NBA championship. They’re rioting because they saw their freedom and votes snatched away. They’re rioting in spite of the fact they have a repressive government that has outlawed demonstrating. They’re rioting in spite of the fact that the government has placed a former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi who was the main candidate in the opposition party under house arrest. Can you imagine if we had placed Senators Al Gore or John Kerry under arrest after the 2001 and 2004 elections?
Yes they are rioting in the streets of Tehran. They’re rioting the way we should’ve when we saw elections stolen from us here in this country. They’re rioting the way we should’ve after the coup that took place last week in New York where some outrageous shenanigans occured and two Democrats were taken into a backroom, some things were said to them by a rich GOP backer and the next thing you know they came out and aligned themselves with the Republicans. The end result was NY’s first African American speaker of the house, Malcolm Smith being ousted from his position and the GOP suddenly controlling the Senate.
Yes, they are rioting in the streets of Tehran and when I say riot, I don’t mean they went down to the police station, paid some money and got a permit to protest. They didn’t wait around to get a grant or funding for the demonstration. Folks were not distracted by petty rap beefs, Hollywood spats or Jay-Z announcing he’s bringing death to the autotunes. The riots in Tehran where dust is being kicked up is because people feel like wrong is wrong and right is right. It’s wrong that Iran’s current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hardliner who is repressive to women, says that Gays don’t exist in Iran and believes the Holocaust never happened suddenly beat a guy who is being depicted as a Barack Obama like challenger, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, who awoke and inspired all these voters under 30 (1/3rd Iran’s voting population) to go to the polls in record numbers by the millions. It’s interesting to note that Mir Hossein Mousavi has been described as moderate but according to Iranian progressives he’s actually quite conservative, but nevertheless the news narrative we been treated to is that he’s gonna bring about change.
Going into the election it looked like Mousavi was gonna win and when the results came out and it was reported that Ahmadinejad beat him by a landslide, people were stunned. When Ahmadinejad took to the airwaves, declared victory and started announcing that Democracy is beautiful thing and that we’ve seen it work, people yelled ‘fraud’ and have been going off ever since.
They’re rioting in Tehran the way they did this in Kenya last year when the elections were stolen. They did this in Mexico when the elections were stolen. Although I will admit, we seem to be getting more news coverage to the election uprisings in Iran then we did in neighboring Mexico. Maybe it’s because at the time our government ala George Bush was supporting the man and the party that stole accussed of stealing Mexico’s elections-Felipe Calderón. In fact US news coverage was so scare in spite of the massive demonstrations and riots in Mexico City the news blackout made Project Censored Top Censored stories for 2006. Thank God for twitter and other forms of modern technology we are able to keep abreast the riots in Tehran
What I find most interesting and a bit ironic is the critical reaction and anger being expressed by folks sitting in our government who roam the halls of power. We have our own government officials crying foul. They wanna know how could such a thing like this happen? They are outraged and expressing disbelief. How could Iran be so blatant in stealing an election? All sorts of criticisms and insults are being tossed at a Ahmadinejad, a guy who Vice President Joe Biden once described as a ‘wacko’ and a ‘madman’. But sadly with each pointed remark and as more and more fingers are wagged at Iran and its fraudulent elections a mirror is raised up. It’s the proverbial mirror that forces us here in the US to look at ourselves. It’s the proverbial mirror that calls us into question. Lemme sums things up with this tweet I got the other day from popular Bay Area DJ Sake 1.
“Dear USA, u have no fucking right to question tha legality of other countries’ elections, nor to say they’re ruled by “religious fanatics” …u lost that right at inception BTW. But if u need a more recent reference point you got GW Bush”.
Yep, that about says it all. Remember we allowed not one, but two elections to be stolen from us. Sure people were angry for a quick minute, but after things died down sort of we went back to business as usual. By the time the next election cycle came around we went and re-elected people back into office people who didn’t lead a charge to correct the theft of our Democracy. For example, I find it ironic that Vice President Joe Biden who called Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a ‘wacko’ is the same Joe Biden who didn’t raise his hand and demand that the votes be recounted and an investigation take place during the 2001 fiasco that led to George Bush being ‘selected’. He remained silent with all the other Senators even as member after member of the Congressional Black Caucus came before the them demanding rand begging for redress for the stealing of votes.
I find it ironic that Biden and others who are so vocal about what took place in Iran were dismissive when allegations of voter suppression emerged in the 2004 elections in Ohio. You didn’t see too many people in Congress or the Senate running around bringing attention and promoting documentaries like American Blackout which offered up some keen insight to the egregious flaws we have in our voting process.
Its ironic to hear some of our esteemed politicians yelling voting fraud in Iran while they never addressed the voter suppression that took place even when Barack Obama was running against Hillary Clinton. Yes, he eventually made it into the White House, but I haven’t forgotten the disturbing stories and all the madness that went down during the primaries. I have friends who are still paying a price for scandalous things that took place in in states like Texas, Nevada and even in California. The bottom line here is as we talk bad about Iran we need to get the shadiness out of our own elections.
I’ll add one other thing, I certainly hope those who are not in office who crying about the disenfranchisement in Iran were crying about the disenfranchisement of millions of Black folks in Florida. Again this comes down to what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I realize there are some people who are new to politics and thus they weren’t up to speed back in ’01 and ’04, but there are a lot of folks who don’t fall into this category who were. up to speed. Y’all know who you are. You’re the ones sending me emails and links to articles, getting all excited about riots in the streets and insisting that we go out and be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tehran but couldn’t do the same when similar things were happening here.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m down for that-100% especially if its young people making noise and yelling something is wrong. To me, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems crazy even though some of us backed him when he has stood defiant to the US and asserted that Iran has a right to develop its own nuclear weapons. He’s disconcerting even when some of us backed him when he stood defiant to Zionist backed Isreal and gave money to Lebanon to rebuild after Isreal bombed her a couple of years ago. There are many who backed him when he asserted that Iran should be a major player in the Middle East and not just the countries we in the US are backing.
So if we can back Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for standing up to imperialist US policies and interests and we can back the students who are rioting in the streets because they are standing up to the repressive policies of Ahmadinejad can we at the very least stand in solidarity those communities of color who got votes stolen here in the US?
I mean it was just this year after Barack Obama got elected that the great state of Texas which has a long sordid history of thwarting votes attempted to pass a controversial Republican backed Voter ID bill which was gonna have all these stringent requirements for pictures and documentation that people would need to vote. Basically it was designed to intimidate voters in Black and Brown communities and low income areas. With Texas’ voter population changing and the state on the verge of eradicating its super red state status, many had been working overtime to not let that power shift happen. Passing a Voter ID was the Texas GOP’s number one priority over the economy, health concerns and a host of other issues. This was their baby that they pulled out all the stops for. They wanted to hold on to power at all costs.
As this was happening we’re we in solidarity with those communities of color opposing this measure? Did we even know about it or care? It was voter suppression being legalized right before our very eyes without much fan fare being made by the Joe Bidens of the world as well as the folks sending me emails to be in solidarity with Tehran. In any case lets keep our eyes on Tehran and see how things unfold and let’s keep our eyes on voter problems at home. Many of the concerns raised in American Blackout have not been resolved even with the election of a popular president. So lets strive to get rid our own flaws so we won’t appear to be hypocritical when we step to a country we allowed our own fraudulently selected ex-President George Bush call one of the Axis of Evil in our name.
That’s some thing to ponder…