Friday, June 19, 2009

Iran on Juneteenth

Today the US House (and Senate?) passed a resolution apologizing for the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans--a tad overdue.

This action comes on Juneteenth (June 19), the day African-Americans have celebrated the end of slavery since the 19th century.

It's our third apology, recently, starting with regret over the interment of Japanese-American citizens and followed by regret over our killing and brutality toward native peoples here.

Today Iran's Ayatollah described last Friday's voting as President Ahmadinejad's "definitive election."

Today Senator John McCain said that President Obama has not done enough to support the people of Iran who are demonstrating against their government and the "re-election."

The US, however, can do nothing to help the people of Iran. Our hands are tied by who we are and what we have done in the past--both in the Middle East and in our own nation.

Iran's government-run media are blaming the US, Israel, and Britain for the uprising in Tehran.

If we do anything more than continue to make statements in favor of human rights in Iran, we only make things worse.

The 2000 election of George Bush did not reflect the will of our voters--the Florida courts and the Supreme Court had to decide it.

Since then we have imprisoned and tortured people unfairly, as the government of Iran is doing at this very moment and will do more of in coming days.

We can pray and we can call for respect for human rights, continue our economic boycott, but given our own interment of Japanese Americans, our history of slavery and lynchings and disrespect for African-Americans, our deliberate removal of Native Americans from their land and their rights, we can do no more.

Iran is a sovereign nation and will make its mistakes, as we did. Its people will use every means to regain their freedom... many will die and be imprisoned.

We can watch and pray for them.

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