Iran is demanding reparations from the U.S., dating its claim from U.S. support of the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, as leader of the country’s populace back in 1953, all the way up to the current nuclear agreement that so angers conservatives.
I do not have in-depth knowledge of Iran and its people or politics. I know only one Iranian, an engineering professor and a Submitter to God alone (sincere spiritual Muslim). I apologize if this sounds stereotypical. The mutual respect for and affinity I have with my friend is anything but.
Instead, I am seeking a way to understand how the U.S. might respond to Iran’s request. How could the U.S. possibly consider seriously, not to mention honor, a reparations request from anyone other than African Descendants?
There must be a thread somewhere about how Iran goads the U.S. to make certain moves, and like a reluctant caged animal it learns its trainer’s true intent and is finally subdued to obey. Iran well knows the condition of Africans in the U.S., from historical trauma to present-day forms of institutional slavery and murderous lynching.
Certainly Iran also knows its request is absolutely unreasonable. In what to me looks like a hoot and a holler–they are poking at the congressional refusal to open the African/Indigenous American reparations discussion, while simultaneously expecting the U.S. to take the bait and actually acknowledge their request!
Reparations today, to review the basics, signals a governmental response to injury and harm, and is usually brought to the table of negotiations between inseparable adversaries for the purpose of righting historical wrongs (due to war, genocide, Crimes against Humanity).
Inseparable adversaries is the key. There is mutual realization that their future is inextricably linked. The table of negotiations could be the World Court or some mutually agreed upon site and is not so important.
The only reason enemies sit together is because both parties seek justice and improved economics. Each has something the other wants; something desirable and necessary. Each realizes the two must work together for the advancement of the rainbow of interests in their countries.
When the U.S. has had a seat at these negotiation tables, the rainbow of interests has never considered the needs and rectification of Africans/Indigenous People in the U.S. No matter what this country did abroad–vanquishing Nazis, repelling communism, halting fascism, opening closed markets–post-disaster negotiations benefited everyone except descendants of the vanquished and enslaved.
And because business at home continued as usual, any benefits were detrimental to those who continued to be used and abused by systemic historical trauma.
The way it looks to me, Iran is setting up the U.S. to crash into its own brick wall. Iran is steering the wheel of a drive-by vehicle, and the U.S. had better swerve quickly if it wants to stay in its lane.
Is there a relationship to the nine principles of loving living?
I am loving that they have the nerve. Someone must think this reparations demand is really funny, and they are laughing. Now it will be interesting to see how the U.S. is going to respond.
Read this article to learn Iran’s demands. There is nothing funny here. Not one major Western media outlet has picked up this story; so, as usual, the subject of a debt owed for wrongs remains invisible.
As to their legitimate request for reparations, from the African/Indigenous perspective–the Iranians will have to get in line!
For further reading about domestic U.S. terrorism, you may begin with the following:
- Randall Robinson’s book synopsis for Berkeley Journal of African American Law and Public Policy (2004), What America Owes to Blacks and What Blacks Owe to Each Other. The Debt (2001) in full book form is available on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates’ reparations article (2014) in The Atlantic Monthly.
- Deborah Howard’s book, Repairing the Quilt of Humanity: A Metaphor for Healing and Reparation.
- National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America.
- African American leadership groups: smoking with the enemy
- Black Males in Schools: Mental Health, Wellness and the Misdiagnosis of ADHD (youtube video 4+ minutes)
- Like It Is Television Special: How The FBI Sabotaged Black America (youtube video 50+ minutes)
- “The Night Tulsa Burned,” Black Wall Street (youtube video 40+ minutes)
- Other African-run communities decimated by terrorism documented here (scroll down, choose from list, and read thoroughly).
- American Holocaust of Native Americans (youtube video 30 minutes)
- Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families
- Governmental medical apartheid stories explored by CNN.
- Bibliography of the Racial Equity Institute. (downloadable PDF file)