BLACK LIVES MATTER
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
I would like to take a brief, but a heartfelt moment, to share my personal experience in the United States. As an immigrant from a troubled country, it was always my dream to come to America, in pursuit of the values our Founding Fathers established: freedom, limited government, and individual responsibility. My country of ancestral origin, Iran, lacks such basic values, guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. As a naturalized United States citizen, I see myself as only American, and nothing other than that. I have, by choice, taken the oath of American citizenship, an oath U.S.-born citizens are not required to take. As a United States citizen, I would hope to enjoy my guaranteed rights and values. Every so often, I am not able to.
In many ways, I have not felt what the African American community has, so I will not even pretend I have suffered the ordeal they have. I was never an African American kid jogging through a white aristocratic neighborhood, being threatened and scolded. I was never stopped by the police and threatened to be killed. I was never screened through United States Customs and Border Protection for Malaria, Yellow Fever, or Ebola simply because of my skin color. Unfortunately, African Americans are told to stay out of privileged neighborhoods, they are threatened to be killed by cops, and they are often screened for ridiculous purposes. This is social Apartheid, not the America I cherish and love.
During my childhood, however, I suffered as well in an oppressive, dictatorial, and inhumane regime of radical tyrants, so-called “leaders.” What I am seeing in the United States reminds me of Iran and the images of brutality I saw there during my childhood. Yes, I was never physically shot. Nevertheless, I have been emotionally shot for years, ever since I came to this country.
When I opened my first practice in Connecticut, in 2000, the dental community was almost exclusively European American. I suffered from institutionalized racism and social Apartheid, but I kept working. So much, that eventually, I was able to see some growth in my practice. But it seemed as if privileged America could not stop scolding me there. I continued being subjugated to racism. In recent years, that racism has increased, be it through legal action, persistent detest, etc. It seems as if no matter how much I try to please privileged America, I am still not qualified to be in their group, I am still the “other,” the oriental, or the non-American. But I am proud of my heritage, and I have not let this nation’s socially and racially cleaved system stop me.
So, even though my situation remains different from many African Americans and minorities, I am still very much a minority. I want to reach out to the African American, Asian American, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Native Americans, Latinos, and other racial groups of this nation. I want you to know that I am standing beside you in our fight for justice and that I stand in solidarity. I am doing so because not only do Black Lives Matter but so do all lives.
In a reaction to the recent unjust events in the United States, I have made the following decisions:
– Columbia Dental will change its Facebook logo to have a black background, showing our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We will keep this modified logo until we believe justice has been served in this nation.
– Columbia Dental will as of now immediately frown upon racism and hatred.
May God bless you and may God bless America.
– Abbas Mohammadi, D.D.S.,
Columbia Dental, Owner and Founder