AND SPEAKING OF self-destructive reactions, Ayatollah Khomeini dartboards are one thing -- but the hounding of Iranians who are legally present in this country is another. The difference continues to elude some crazy mixed-up natives. Here are a couple of cases:
In May, the Louisiana State University Board voted to forbid the enrollment of citizens of countries where Americans have been held hostage three months or more and of students from nations with which the United States has severed diplomatic relations. The Louisiana House followed with approval of a resolution applying the exclusisons to all public colleges in the state; the Louisiana Senate approved this, tempering it only somewhat by limiting the exclusions to Iranians who break state or federal laws, cause public disturbances or openly support the kidnapping of Americans in Iran -- whatever all that is supposed to mean. Last week, faced with the prospect of legal battles, LSU directors did back off from the ban, though their decision to back off still is subject to ratification by the full board of supervisors.
In Atlantic City, Tina Bahadori, a straight-A high school senior who had won a class competition to deliver a valedictory address at graduation, was blackballed. Eighty of the school's 140 faculty members signed a history teacher's petition objecting to an Iranian giving the speech -- and the superintendent agreed.
The irony is that those high school authorities would have learned something from Tina Bahadori. The speech dealt with dreams of youth and how these dreams can change the world. "It's pretty ironic," her replacement, Helene Plotka, commented, "that the subject was dreams and they took a dream and destroyed it. It goes against everything that America stands for." Amen.