This is a continuation of a side conversation I started with Darius Kadiver here. My comment became too long and out of respect for Cameron Batmanghlich and other participants, I decided to remove it and blog about it instead.
I am honored you replied. There is no need for you to have to express your steadfastness and courage in expressing your opinions. I have been witness to it over time and like I said, I have admired your style and good manners in presenting your arguments and standing behind them. If I could take stock of the situation, you don’t disagree with others in the root of their sadness for Palestinians and in their rage over Israel’s actions in Gaza. Above and beyond being a movie buff, you have developed an “eye” for media’s constant manipulation of public opinion and you object to the way some people on the site may have fallen prey to such aggrandizements of facts. (Forgive me if I’m repeating what you just said, I am really doing it for myself to articulate and understand the source of this atmosphere.).
Dear Darius, what is it you would expect these people to do? To stop featuring videos, news articles, and blogs that are manipulative? How will they know which ones they are? Absent fair and objective reporting on the situation, and you must know that this is true, because even I know that it's true, where would they seek that information and reporting to bring and share with others?
Let me ask you this Darius, and I hope nobody gets mad at me, and this may be a rhetorical question, but if we could go back in time and use the experiences and knowledge that we have about the situation today (minus the anger and unkind words and unhappy feelings), what would be the appropriate way in which we as a collective should have acted to avoid these rifts? To continue discussing one of the most important events of recent times in a civil and fair way, and to come out of it still being caring fellow debaters?
I think based on what you have said and the things I read from most of our fellow Iranians, you all don’t disagree at all about the situation and your personal evaluations of it; rather, you disagree on the way facts and information about the situation is being presented, a matter of form and not one of content (and I am half-way smart enough to understand that if a biased form of presenting information is maintained, it will definitely affect the content over time, so I’m not playing games here.).
You must be aware that some of the voices we are hearing on the site these days do not all share what we have just established you and others do. I want to know why people are talking to you, an established, generous, interesting, and integral part of this community with the same language (either bad language or proper language laced with bad feelings) as the one they have been using to address some extremist new comers who are not revered and appreciated as much. It is completely unacceptable that the language of discourse within our community should be degraded to the level where derogatory, rude, and hateful adjectives and nouns are used for addressing a fellow-Iranian, no matter how much we disagree with him or her.
I hope you and others will help me and all of us to see the seriousness of the situation which is threatening our community and the style of public discourse you personally have worked really hard to establish and elevate. It would be a pity for all of us to lose it and have to start all over again. Any thoughts and ideas are welcome, but even if everybody’s contribution remains at the level of self-reflection and personal evaluation, I would still feel accomplished.
I thank you my very special friend, Darius. Our disagreements aside, nobody among us can deny the many valuable contributions you have made to Iranians in diaspora through your heartful and thoughtful labor of love to bring art, humor, and nostalgia to all. What makes us specially proud is that you have done it on Iranian.com, a most valued home for all of us.
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