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Discrimination comes in different shades
1 ( a madar)

Has anyone experienced discrimination, bias, hate or negative comment toward your children by a teacher?

2 ( a madar)


I think very strongly that discrimination happens. I have not seen or heard it directly, but definitely have felt it.

3 ( a madar)

Not at all.

4 ( a madar)

Never. And almost everybody at my daughter's elementary school and my son's preschool knows that they are 100% Iranian.

5 ( a madar)

I think we must watch our surrounding very carefully and watch out for different shades of discrimination that sometimes are hard to analyze and express, but easy to sense. and specially easy to sense by children!

There was an interesting panel of young Iranian women students at UC Berkeley discussing their issues of being Iranian women. It was presented as a video tape at the women's conference (www.iwsf.org) in Berkeley in June. One of the most interesting things about this panel was that those young women who were raised here (and mostly even born here) considered themselves "people of color"! We, the first generation audience, were surprised and even shocked to see that the second generation Iranians consider themselves NOT white, but of "color". Where did they get this "fact" of life? Certainly by experience, right? So, they have been discriminated, they have experienced isolation,... but at what point of life? That I think would be hard to answer. Because discrimination is not always very obvious! There is "discrimination" that is legally forbidden, there is *subtle* discrimination that is hard to prove in a court, but with hard efforts of experts it can be proven, and there is *soft* discrimination that is almost impossible to prove and is just something that you sense. It could be just the body language with no verbal communication...

I personally think there is a lot of it in different shades around us. but since (fortunately or unfortunately?) we are naive in our experiences of discrimination (because we grew up without it), we cannot recognize it easily and we hardly can tell when we are subject to *subtle* or *soft* discrimination. The more I live in this country, the more I can count the cases of being discriminated based on my gender and race in my early years of living here in the US.

What concerns me is that our children are being raised here and will be more alert and sensitive to different forms of discrimination than we are and will sense it without being understood or supported by us. That is, an African-American child may experience prejudice, but his/her parents have experienced it before and can prepare him/her to confront it and deal with it and fight it, etc. But we are relatively inexperienced and are often happy to brag about our Aryan ancestry without knowing that here we are being considered and treated as people of "color".

6 ( a mother)

In response to the discrimination comment I have this to say: I am not Persian but am as dark as my husband. In fact some say we could pass as brother and sister. I understand that many first-generation Persian-Americans suffer discriminations, as do many Americans who are simply "not white." However, it has been my experience that Persians too can express forms of discrimination as well. Just watch any non-persian in a Persian market. so I say this: Let he without sin cast the first stone! We all must be proud of our heritage, however not at the expense of ridiculing or subordinating others. An American women married to a Persian Man

7 ( a madar)

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu. Do not forget to include the topic in the subject line.

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