Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | June 22, 2009

A Response to “Ashamed”

Unlike my fellow author, I was not present at the protest rallies this weekend. First, I would like to share my own reasons for not attending.

While I feel that the bloodshed begun on Saturday is atrocious, I also feel that Western involvement of any sort is still going to cause further problems for those fighting for freedom inside Iran. The Iranian government has already begun a diligent and detailed campaign to convince its citizenry that this entire movement is a result of Western involvement. Iranian officials have made several absurd allegations already, including the claim that CNN trained people to hack the Iranian government and the claim that the protests are merely a cover-up for a Western backed takeover of Iran. It is my opinion that any outside involvement in this situation will only serve to add fuel for such ridiculous claims, and that is not something that I wish to be a part of.

On a more personal level, I am not an activist. I never have been, and I likely never will be. I enjoy paying attention to current events because the occurrences of today will be the history of tomorrow. I look at the world around me through a screen of academia, as if today’s events are but a historic and sociological experiment. For those same reasons, I enjoy writing about what happens in the world around me – thus my involvement in this blog. That said, events such as those on Saturday (in other words, the senseless violence inflicted on peaceful political protestors) make me sick – and if I thought for one moment that attending the protest rallies in Atlanta would have helped the situation or helped to inform people of the situation, I would have been there. Call me a realist, a fatalist, a pessimist, or whatever name you see fit, but I simply cannot believe that adding my voice to the protest would help.

I am glad that my esteemed colleague, the Cobb County Liberal, disagrees with me. I am glad that he maintains the idealism necessary to take part in civic activism, and I am glad that he strives to make himself heard and to affect change. But, though I respect and admire his idealism and his fortitude, and though I am glad that attending the rallies this weekend gave him a sense of pride and accomplishment, that is not my nature.

Having defended my own lack of action on this issue, now let me say that I entirely agree with the Cobb County Liberal on several points. I am ashamed that the issues and events going on in Iran were not the most important thing on the agenda for my government, my media, and my fellow citizens. I am ashamed that relatively few people were even aware that Iran had elections, never mind the upheaval following the elections. I am ashamed that I have had to explain the bare basics of the situation to so many people.

I am ashamed that the top ten news items on every major news source includes articles like “Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back?” but not a single thing about Iran.

I am ashamed that my fellow Americans simply don’t care about what goes on outside our borders, because such an attitude implies a level of arrogance and ignorance that is too commonly found in the general American public.



  1. is there another protest going on this coming week

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