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Iranian Americans and the 2010 U.S. Census

12 Mar 2010 03:2914 Comments

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I don't understand this. Since when "Iranian-American" became a race? Last time I checked, that was a nationality. And why in heavens does it matter what race we are? Can we just focus on the things that matter, the things we earn, the things we do, rather than so much fixation on a factor that is due to pure luck anyway?

Sam Sedaei / March 12, 2010 6:04 AM


It matters because once a group gets their numbers counted, they can qualify for federal funding for scholarships, cultural funding, training, immigration assistance, etc.

Random Indian tribes are qualifying for millions while we are acting like that video.....

There 1 million Iranian-Americans in the USA, with the highest education/income levels...according to surveys from Cititgroup & HSBC

Anonymous / March 12, 2010 6:30 AM


Amir / March 12, 2010 7:10 AM

Please spread awareness about this issue -- tell your friends, forward to everyone you know

Amir / March 12, 2010 6:51 PM


Those "random Indian tribes," Native Americans and African-Americans have a history of the kind of repression and even extermination that Iranians have never experienced in America. And while immigrants from South America are constantly the subject of bigotry in America, Iranians are welcomed with open arms and equal opportunities.
There is absolutely no merit to the notion that we deserve the same kind of special treatment that those other minority groups do.

And if what you say is true about the high income and education levels of Iranians, that's evidence to my previous claim and a reason why Iranians don't need special treatment.

Finally, your explanation still doesn't explain my other concern, which is "Iranian-American" isn't an ethnicity but a national identity, unlike other minority groups that receive scholarships and other perks from government.

Sam Sedaei / March 12, 2010 9:02 PM


Census statistics do not calculate how much a community suffered. And what Anynomous said IS true regarding our high achievements. And it isn't just about funding. It is also about politicans recognizing our community and addressing our needs as well. We live in a free country and we should use every means to accessing the resources this country is willing to offer us. Also, the term 'ethnicity' by Census 2010 is loosely meant to include 'race, heritage, ethnicity, or nationality group'- this is specifically their grouping. I hope I have answered your question and I hope you take the time to fill out our forms so that we are represented fully here in America.

Arash / March 13, 2010 2:08 AM

I'm actually half Native American, half Iranian.

When I fill out forms with ethnic boxes, I check the box "Native American" and I check the box "Asian."

"Asian" is the closest description, I figure.

Pirouz / March 13, 2010 2:09 AM

I don't see the reason for opposing the recognition for "Iranian-American" or "Iranian" people. People call themselves African-American even after being here for 5+ generations.
So my question is, why the opposition? What is the harm in calling your self "Iranian-American" even if only one parent is Iranian, or even if you have been here more than one generation? What is the harm?

Ramin / March 14, 2010 10:13 AM

Will put this on our blog to raise awareness. Well done and very funny. Thanks for posting the video.

Anonymous / March 16, 2010 10:53 AM

Hey, not for a white person to tell anybody what to do. You are what you consider yourself, I guess. But, going to 2010.gov, I see on the preview form that they give:

Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Other Asian (Print: e.g. Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian, and so on), Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, Other Pacific Islander (Print: e.g. Fijian, Tongan).

So, I see absolutely no reason why not to write in Iranian-American whatsoever. Arab-Americans have a similar campaign. Actually I see it as an oversight/mild slight, when you consider the other groups listed.

Also, it might make policy makers and/or members of congress in Washington pause, even if for a wee bit, if they see the true number of Iranian-Americans. In my humble opinion, I hope Iranian-Americans do this; but, hey, to each their own.

By the way, Maz was funny as always!

Kurt / March 16, 2010 8:12 PM

Oh dear, forgot to mention - I didn't mean to get into a tiff by calling myself white and offending any Iranian pride by implying that you aren't. Sorry.

Kurt / March 16, 2010 8:17 PM

There are a host of ethnic groups living within the borders of Iran. An anthropological listing would include ethnic Persians, Qashqai, Baktiari, Kurds, Lurs, Azuri Turks, Gilani Persians, Arabs, Baluchi, Eastern Persians (Meshad), Assyrians, and Armenians. What is the U.S. Census looking for if it mixes ethnicity with national identity?

Ronald Orr / March 30, 2010 4:42 AM

I remember my dad telling me that when he tried to get a student loan at one point they told him he was not minority enough! This was in the '60's! I am 50 years old and half American and half Iranian. I have seen the Iranian population grow. We do need to be counted for the sake of prosperity! Please fill out the census in full and be honest. Iranian and proud!!!!

Thanks Maz for putting some humor to it!!


Sonia / March 30, 2010 8:17 PM

bahal bod! ^_^

sara / May 20, 2010 6:06 PM