Genocide Is Not An American Value
April 24, a day to remember the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Yezidis killed in the Genocide of 1915. This year we mark the 102nd Anniversary of Red Sunday, which commemorates the arrest of 270 Armenian intellectuals from Constantinople marking the start of the Armenian Genocide. We honor all victims of the 1915 Genocide, which saw the systematic extermination of over 3.5 million innocent Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Yezidis from across the Ottoman Empire.
Yet, why should we care? And how can we use our concern to make our world a better place? We should care because of the violence and oppression we see in the world today. We should care, selfishly, because if we don't, how can we be sure we won't become victims one day? We should care because our religion tells us to care for the downcast. We should care because our hearts tell us it is the right thing to do.
As an Armenian, I look to my faith for guidance when I am angry or distraught about the injustice I see around me. A local Armenian priest had this to say, and his words worked in my heart.
"Yes, I know that we are all remembering the Genocide martyrs and we want the world to remember them.
But can we also be overwhelmed by the witness of the Martyrs and celebrate them?
And, then, can we use both those thoughts and feelings to stand in solidarity with any oppressed people in the world today?
The vulnerable in Armenia.
The Native Americans defending their lands.
The undocumented immigrants cowering in fear of deportation.
The people of color who are being profiled on our streets.
The vulnerable environment.
....not to mention every corner of the world where people are oppressed.
We Armenians, because of our ancestors can identify." Der Yeprem Kelegian
He has a YouTube video that made me think hard about my own feelings. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WOzcI8hhUfo
Any time there is oppression in the world, let's stand together for love and be the change we long to see for ourselves and for everyone. Change comes one heart and one mind at a time. American politicians may dissimulate, but there is nowhere to hide so much slaughter. As Americans we can seek the decency and morality which politicians forsake, and then state truthfully that "Genocide is not an American value."