Hating Armenians Must Be OK
BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
That’s what I’m starting to conclude, that Armenian-hating, at least in the political realm, has been sanctioned by some unknown powers. The unfortunate medium, bearer, victim of this obnoxious phenomenon seems to be one of the best public officials ever fielded by our community, LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
I’ll start with the most recent example, and proceed backwards chronologically.
Please take a look at the accompanying picture. It depicts Paul in a Turkish fez. The “artist” is unknown, but the sign has been seen in his council district, and even outside, in Burbank, where this picture was taken. How obnoxious! A symbol of those who committed mass murder against our nation, a symbol so odious that even Kemal Atatutk, who continued the Genocide, felt compelled to expunge from Turkish society, is now being attached to an Armenian! Can you imagine the hue and cry that would ensue if a swastika was attached to a picture of a Jewish elected official? Yet no one seems to mind this.
Let’s move back in time some two years, to when Paul was first running for LA City Council. A political mail piece appeared that depicted LA City Hall surrounded by barbed wire sought to evoke Holocaust era imagery, somehow hoping to attribute this inappropriate intentions to Paul. Fortunately, decent folks in the Jewish community disavowed this. Its basis was so flimsy as to be laughable. Some idiot had posted anti-Semitic comments on the Asbarez blog. This was the “evidence” of reprehensible positions being connected to Paul and the ANCA. Very few objected to this vile manifestation.
Going back another four years, you may recall the essentially anonymous political mailer that attempted to tie Paul and the ANCA to attacks on Turkish diplomats three decades ago. Once again, such a debased tactic caught very little opprobrium. Although in a post-election interview, the candidate that was supposed to benefit from this hit piece contended it cost him the race. And, of course, next to no one condemned this attack.
So you see why I’m starting to believe that somewhere, in some political circle(s), it has become OK to hate Armenians and use that hate to attack candidates and elected officials of Armenian heritage.
It’s time to start making noise about this. Those living in LA and Burbank ought to go to their respective city council meetings and demand that such hate speech not be allowed to appear on the streets of their cities. While this may not be doable because of constitutional free speech protections, it would sure stir up enough attention and response by the community at large to convey to the offenders the message that odious pictures such as this one are unacceptable in this day and age.