Can We Get a Little Respect Here?

One Chicano-American's take on the crisis in Iran

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: June 24, 2009

Can We Get a Little Respect Here?

I'm sorry, but I don't get it....somebody please explain the details to me ...'cause I'm bothered by something happening today.

Latinos protest in a relatively poor section of downtown L.A. regarding unfair immigration policies towards Latinos, and a heavy police presence results in everybody getting strong armed and tear gassed.

Iranian immigrants in the rich L.A. and Orange County enclaves of West L.A. and Irvine protest their rage against hometown presidential elections halfway across the world, disturbing our peace, and they get all kinds of supportive media publicity, yet NOBODY gets as much as a parking ticket?

Where were the immigration agents here? Where was the LAPD & OC Sheriff? Anybody even ask?

We resign ourselves to the fact that George W. Bush's first presidential election may have been tainted with some political shenanigans,but we dealt with it. We endured not one, but two terms of this baboso, including a quagmire war situation and this current economic crisis , and you didn't see ANYBODY in Iran, Timbuktu, or anywhere else flying American flags protesting in public against him.

What makes these Iranian immigrants -- rich, but STILL immigrants like many Latinos -- think that they can disturb our peace with their protest of dissatisfaction against THEIR hometown government on the other side of the World in OUR Country, and demand (not ask or even respectfully suggest) that America once again waste billions of AMERICAN money to intervene for their benefit in their own country while they don't even offer to contribute a dime?

I wonder if any disturbed white folks called the cops? What does Rush Limbaugh say about this?

White folks made more noise against Sonia Sotomayor than against these Iranian protesters. I guess money talks after all or we've become intimidated by all middle easterners living amongst us....

To my surprise, thanks to the media coverage, I now realize there is a bigger, more affluent ( i.e. rich) Iranian community here in Southern California than I thought existed.

They don't live in the 'hood, don't drive used Chevys or Fords, don't shop at Penneys, Wal-Mart, or Big Buy, don't drink Coronas or Bud Lite, and sniff their noses at us Americans who don't take tea on Rodeo Drive or some Orange County beach bistro.

They don't kick down to American beggars or flower and fruit vendors on freeway ramps. They don't attend local American fundraising events for cancer victims or the suffering poor. ( Unless it's a high brow, political event in Brentwood or Malibu that most locals don't even get invited to)

They aren't ignorant to the fact that despite their riches they enjoy here in America in a manner they can't back home, our cities, counties, and state are economically crumbling, yet, they haven't lifted a finger to help.

But they INSIST on protesting in America about Iranian politics. Boy, are YOU guys putting salt in old wounds!

They don't even offer to help, as they circle like sharks, scooping up foreclosed properties and businesses, further enriching themselves on American misfortune, yet they are complaining about their country in OUR face, while accusing us of "being spoiled"!

In the same city where 2,000 teachers may get laid off, not a lot of Iranians joined OUR protests, and they couldn't even kick down one Mercedes carload of protesters to make some noise in Sacramento, yet the UCLA Director of Iranian studies comes on national TV and DEMANDS that America, as a World power, and President Obama, as leader of the free world, MUST step in and intervene in Iran.

Who the hell gave him the right to dictate American foreign policy when HE can't even stay home to make things right? Put up or shut up.

Hell, we're busting priests and pastors here in America for molesting little boys, and they want us to go against their mullahs and ayatollahs THEY put in place with THEIR revolution for exercising unquestionable power THEY gave them?

Where's all their millions of people who participated & supported their revolution that stripped women of rights and dignity? Where's the supporters of "Honor Killings" that treat rape victims as the perpetrators? Where's all the "Holy War" warriors that blow up innocent civilians and kill American soldiers and brag about it? Shouldn't these guys be taking things into their own hands in their own backyard?

Hey, baby...que paso?? I swear to Allah I don't know what went wrong in Iran after they kicked us out in '79, remember?

Never heard of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico ever taking hostages and expelling us.

Hell, I'm not being a racist here, but it's your country, your problem...DEAL WITH IT OVER THERE ! You live in America now, and you are living better than a lot of us Americans living in East L.A., Compton, or Pacoima, baby!

Show some respect and appreciation!

Make a contribution to some of the people, NOT the government or some corporation, if you want the people's support. Show us you're not above being humble as you enjoy the fruits of America..

Like Orange County white folks are fond of telling Mexicans: "Don't like it here? Pack your bags and go back home, you weren't invited!" ( yeah, I've actually been told that once in Mission Viejo when I complained about poor service at a restaurant where I was the only person of color in the place), I invite you to go elsewhere if you can't enjoy the peace here.

I'm sorry to those of you who are offended, for my perspective may be totally off your radar...

I've watched for over 30 years as Iranians have burned, spit, or trampled on MY American flag, American soldiers have been killed in Middle East "interventions" while our veterans are minimized once they come home. My Latino Cuban & El Salvadorian brothers are still waiting for some help & acceptance after their failed revolutions, all Mexicans are vilified, while my friends, family, community and I suffer under an economic crisis I've never experienced in my adult life....and WE aren't over in Iran pitching a bitch about it!

The treasures of our civilization, CHILDREN & EDUCATION, are being disregarded and disrespected in favor of the rich and priviliged....and you want US to understand that YOU'RE upset about elections on the other side of the world when we have Americans living and starving in the streets?

I know I've NEVER had your support and understanding...don't wait for mine.

Reach out to the people over here, if you EVER expect understanding & support for what happening over's never too late for people to learn and respect.

...I invite any and all comments.

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is a struggling Brown American in a hard economy, a U.S. Military Veteran, a working class family guy who has never been able to afford a Mercedes or move to Iran for a "better life"...pero no ay pedo !
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