Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

Gosh, Golly, Gee, Iranians and Me

By Jean Mavrelis - 06.30.2009

I have to say in many ways, Iranians don’t seem so different from us.  Seeing citizens from the formerly branded “axis of evil” nation on the news forces us to think in ways that aren’t so clear cut in terms of who is good and who is bad. 

Gosh, Iranians have disagreements about how their government should be run. Granted, they can’t voice that disagreement without risking their lives – which they do – so maybe they have to be more courageous about democracy than we do.

Golly, many of Iran’s conservative voters are religious fundamentalists.

Gee, they also have differences that grow out of class and access to education.

Say, what if  all the religious fundamentalists in the world  joined a blog, and all the intelligentsia, the farmers, the factory workers, the scientists, and all the women joined one too..

Ah, but even if we spoke each other’s languages, or if everyone spoke English. It wouldn’t work unless we understood not only something about the ways we and others are the same, but how we are different as well.  That’s why the leaders of the future must learn to operate with multicultural understanding. In that way, Obama is the state of the art right now.

 


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