Racist Blurb Against Armenians Found in UCSD Student Newspaper

Hateful blurb about the Armenian people written in The Koala, a student-funded satirical paper at UCSD.
Hateful blurb about the Armenian people written in The Koala, a student-funded satirical paper at UCSD.

Hateful blurb about the Armenian people written in The Koala, a student-funded satirical paper at UCSD.

On May 26, a racist blurb against the Armenian people was written in student-funded satirical paper, The Koala, at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Disappointed in the distasteful writings of the paper which touched upon stereotypes, comparisons to animals, and the Armenian peoples’ genocidal history, the UCSD’s Armenian Students’ Association, Alpha Gamma Alpha, Alpha Epsilon Omega, and the All-Armenian Students’ Association released a statement regarding their concern with the lack of inclusivity The Koala exudes and calling upon the university, that rejects any act of discrimination, to “honor their promise to take action due to the clear violation.”

“To whom it may concern,

At the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), we are proud to promote a climate of inclusivity and diversity, and this includes all students of different race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. As Armenian students who attend this institution, our respective organizations (the Armenian Students’ Association, Alpha Gamma Alpha, Alpha Epsilon Omega, and the All-Armenian Students’ Association) aim to uphold the Principles of Community created by the University and every student’s right to feel safe on campus.

On May 26th, 2016, it was brought to our attention that The Koala, an independently student funded paper at the University of California, San Diego, recently published a problematic and hateful blurb aimed at the Armenian population, violating the Principles of Community. In the satirical segment, titled “Top 5 Downsides of Having an Armenian Baby,” Armenians were ridiculed not only for their physical appearance, but also stereotypically compared to Kim Kardashian and to animals, also suggesting an Armenian baby be sacrificed to Turks. Although we understand that The Koala is a satirical paper, we do not appreciate this poor taste in journalism, which was very clearly aimed at our minority group. Satire is aimed to support victims, not further isolate and demean them.

Most specifically, the segment made light of the Armenian people’s genocidal past. The Armenians are an ethnic minority who experienced genocide from 1915 to 1923 by the hand of the Ottoman Empire, annihilating 1.5 million individuals and leaving thousands without homes or families in the process. We are appalled that a group of supposedly educated collegiates in the 21st century would feel the need to publish such ignorant, hateful, and insensitive content. Mocking the atrocities that were inflicted on our ancestors and the trans-generational trauma we as modern day Armenians experience is crossing the line. More than an entire century after the genocide started, it is painful to see that certain individuals still refuse to acknowledge the severity of the situation. We as Armenians have prospered and contributed immensely to the United States as a whole, yet we are perpetually made to feel unwelcome by acts such as this. Furthermore, though we comprise a small percentage of the student population at UCSD, we work to add to the collective consciousness of the UCSD student body by educating about the Armenian Genocide, and also stand with other minority groups who experience outright racism and hate-speech on a daily basis.

The Koala has published various other problematic articles throughout its existence aimed at various ethnic groups and social issues. According to the Principles of Community, UCSD rejects “acts of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and political beliefs, and, will confront and appropriately respond to such acts.” We as Armenians at the university, will not stand for this form of harassment and call upon the administration to honor their promise to take action due to the clear violation. As a group who has endured victimization throughout our history, this form of hate will not be tolerated in the 21st century. We refuse to feel unsafe on our own campus and we will fervently pursue our efforts in bringing forth justice not only for this isolated incident, but for the hundreds of other articles published in the past aimed at other minority groups.

We acknowledge that the writers at The Koala, and any other individual at the University are entitled to the freedom of speech. We also acknowledge that any statement made by The Koala does not reflect the views of UCSD proper. That being said, we are concerned that a school that prides itself on hosting an inclusive campus climate would allow such hate and discrimination to continue for so long. It is time to put an end to this lewd behavior that has clearly made thousands of student in the past feel unsafe and thousands more to come.”

 

Yeraz Kochkarian

Alpha Gamma Alpha, Inc., CEO

alphagammaalpha.CEO@gmail.com

ykochkar@ucsd.edu

 

Armen Mehrabian

Alpha Epsilon Omega, Executive Director

bod@alphaepsilonomega.org

armen.mehrabian@alphaepsilonomega.org

 

Mikael Matossian

All-Armenian Student Association, Chair

matossian@g.ucla.edu

 

Seda Byurat

Alpha Gamma Alpha, Zeta Chapter, President

ucsdaga@gmail.com

sbyurat@ucsd.edu

 

Andrew Tavoukjian

Alpha Epsilon Omega, Eta Chapter, President

tritonaeo@gmail.com

atavoukj@ucsd.edu

 

Agapi Tshamjyan

Armenian Student Association, President

ucsd.asaexec@gmail.com

atshamjy@ucsd.edu

Authors

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13 Comments

  1. Armen said:

    It’s better that people are making off-color remarks about the Genocide as opposed to outright denial. Instead of calling the waah-mbulance they should roll with the punches and have some fun and fire one back at the newspapaer. Perhaps an editorial explaining what the genocide is for the people that didn’t get #5 and some pictures of pre-surgery Kardashians – they were really beautiful!

  2. hiedi baghoomian said:

    *** Wow., it’s unbelievable, if this was written about any other minorities, you will see immediate protests in the streets.
    Shame on this university!! despicable !!

  3. Hamik C Gregory said:

    Whoever wrote it, definitely suffers from mental illness!

  4. David Balyan said:

    This article is indicative of rising fascist and racist sentiment around the world; and I am including the US. It’s very similar to the things the Nazi press was writing about the Jews in the 1930’s. No freedom of speech for Fascists!

  5. anonymous said:

    just find out who the writers are and beat them down. then sacrifice them to turks

  6. Lusine Korekyan said:

    Unfortunately rasizm, chauvinizm and fascizm all starts with dehumanization of any human beings or entire nations, for any stupid reason. People that can express such idea’s are potentially criminal, even if they hide them under the sarcasm mask.I can imagine what an unhealthy atmosphere is there in the university. I am sorry for the students that study there. I will do everything to aknowledge everyone i know that the university is poorly managed, and ill reputed.

  7. robert said:

    Not that this makes it appropriate but the Koala isn’t funded by the students, nor is it our university newspapr. its just self funded racist filth.

  8. Stepan said:

    The writer must suffer inferiority complex, and alas, not very educated even attending an institution of UCSD caliper, which I have a lot of respect. The writer should be reminded, that not long ago, the governor of California for two terms was an Armenian, G. Dukemejian. During his terms, California enjoyed prosperity and growth. This is just an example….

  9. Ara said:

    This article smacks of hate speech. Where are California’s Armenian organizations and activists? Nip this type of behavior in the bud. When you fail to react, they take it as a sign of weakness and continue with their arrogant impudence. When you slap a BULLY down, he cowers before your fierce reaction and will respect your resolve and strength of character!!! Fear them not. Our people have faced worse evil and survived.

  10. Melanie Mitchem said:

    Here’s a suggestion: Have Koala republish the blurb but substitute Black,or Muslim, for Armenian. Then the “Black lives matter” group and the local Muslim community can protest at their office and try to plant a bomb. Much like Muslims hiding behind women and children, like certain people holding up criminals as a rallying point, there is no courage needed or glory gained in demeaning and bullying a weaker segment. I find it hilarious that they are attempting to poke fun at a group of people who, in general, have more honor than the entire editorial group on this publication.

  11. Marco Khan said:

    Armenian’s have more brain, culture, history, intellect in one piece of discarded nail than all the Turks combined ! What were they before they stole our lands?? Bunch of nomadic tent living hordes fighting amongst themselves ! They didn’t even have a written language to call their own. When Armenian’s had our Kingdom and castles these nomads were still trying to figure out about fire and wheel !! Probably real turk has more hair than any monkey and donkey combined! That’s why they had to rape and base their new population on bastards !Everything they have is and has been borrowed from others! Their language is mix of borrowed words and phrases from all the Christians and indigenous people living in what is called Turkey now! Their alphabet was borrowed from Persians first then a few decades ago was changed to latin to make them closer to Europeans ( who all of them despise the Turks and what they stand for and what they have done and still trying to do! Their religion is borrowed from Arabs. Turks are still killing Arabs but now they have created a new group called ISIS to do their dirty work! Find out for yourselves how much Turkey is connected with the terror group ISIS and why was Turkey buying oil/petrol from ISIS ( 8 Million dollars a DAY!) !!The Turkish presidents own son was in charge of buying the petrol from ISIS! No wonder they shut down the Russian jet and instead of attacking ISIS along side of the international coalition they attacked the Kurdish forces! Turks are liars , back stabbers and cowards ! They are the main cause of the Syrian refugee crisis and now using the refugees to get more money and deals from EU! But everything they have done is submerging to the surface and their TRUE identity is revealing ! Just find out and read for yourself what did Erdogan say about Turks and birth control !! Just backward thinking and their goal of wanting to rule Europe and Asia if not by war but by populating it with more of their kind!! They have already shown they can not be trusted and their history of dealing with Christians! Just ask any Greek, Armenian, Assyrian and…now the Kurds ( fellow muslims ) Iraqi’s and Syrians !! No one likes them most Eastern European countries have deal with them in the past and now again! Your university should do it’s own research before allowing an ignorant student publish a stupid 5th grade remark! It makes you look bad!

  12. Armine Babaian said:

    I understand that The Koala is a satirical paper. Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. This is not satire. This is a repulsive and deliberate attempt to demean, degrade and mostly dehumanize Armenians. That being said, however, it is a very desperate and weak attempt at that. Left me wondering if the author is trying to settle a personal score yet falls flat on his face.

  13. Nina Sagryan said:

    Shame on UCSD for allowing this. And the people who wrote this I spit on u! So ignorant and hateful. Obviously it comes from the jealousy and hatred they have for the Armenian community. They aren’t the first to be jealous of us. Let’s just wait for their names to be published for the rest of us to make sure justice is served with our own Armenian hands!

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