The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Discrimi-Nation: Armenians

Disclaimer: Continuing today, the Opinion section of the Daily Sundial is publishing an article series on discrimination in and around the nearby community. Reporters agreed to write stories in regard to how their lives are affected because of their race, culture and/or disability. Stories of how individuals lives are affected because of their race, culture and/or disability that aren’t represented by the reporting staff were contacted through organizations that represent them. If you feel there’s a story to be told about how the lives of individuals are affected by their race, culture and/or disability that aren’t being represented, please contact the editor at, and its inclusion in the series will be considered. Stories included in the series were selected by considering the demographics of the campus’ student population. Content of articles in the series could be interpreted as offensive. Keep in mind that the series is meant to inform people about how differences are perceived and how they affect us as a community. It’s not the Sundial’s intent to escalate animosity, but to create understanding. Comments and responses are welcomed and can be submitted to the editor’s e-mail for publishing consideration.


I’m Armenian-and no this isn’t some sort of disease. I’m like many others in the United States. My ancestors come from a different country, but who cares?

Am I not correct in assuming that the first European settlers came from various countries, all of which were obviously not American? Armenia is also a European country, so again I ask, how am I any different?

The fact is I was born in the United States and I’ve lived my whole life in Southern California. I’ve gone to all-American public schools and have received the same education as a good percentage of the American population.

I’ve gone to summer camp and created macaroni art. I grew up watching cartoons like “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons.”

I graduated high school with good grades and I’m currently a graduating senior at CSUN. So what gives another person the right to assume my inabilities, in school or otherwise, without ever having said a word to me?

How is it that a professor on our very own campus can use the “ian” ending on my last name against me and call me a foreigner because I asked a simple question in hopes of clarifying an assignment?

Unfortunately, many “Americans” I’ve come across outside of Los Angeles County don’t even know that Armenians exist. This not only worries me, but makes me question the ability of our school systems.

I was under the impression that America was supposed to be the melting pot of the world, where all different cultures, religions and ethnicities come together and not only live together, but actually enjoy the diversity. So why is it that I hear terms such as “white-washed” and “armo” being tossed around as labels?

Yes, I’m Armenian. Yes, I’ve adopted much of my American culture, to my parents’ dismay. But, the fact is, when asked what I am, my response will often be “a human being.”

This may sound clich’eacute;, but I’m tired of not being American enough for Americans and not Armenian enough for Armenians.

I’ll admit that English is more readily available to me and that my Armenian speaking skills aren’t always perfect. But why do I have to prove myself to either culture? Why does an “American” person have the right to judge me based on my last name, and why does an Armenian person have the right to feel superior to me because my sentences aren’t always eloquent?

I treat others with respect and judge them only on their character, not their ethnicity, language, skin color, or accent. I just hope that one day other people would return the favor. After all, isn’t this America?


A large part of being an Armenian in the U.S. consists of fighting for recognition. The Armenian genocide happened over 90 years ago, and yet we are still fighting for it to be recognized so those responsible will be held accountable. From the time I was born, it has been a message passed on to me from my parents and grandparents. The message was to fight for my rights and for what needs to be acknowledged.

Why would we care if the U.S. recognizes the Armenian genocide? It was the Turkish Ottoman government who decided to commit these devastating crimes, and it’s the Turkish government which continues to deny that these mass killings ever intentionally took place. But it’s the U.S. government that’s apparently the most powerful government in the world. The U.S. is the place where we’re supposed to feel safe. It’s a place where we are supposed to be given our human rights without question. And it’s the U.S. government that was founded on the suggestion of freedom.

But I don’t feel free.

My own government continues to push this issue aside, rather than facing the facts and taking a stand, a stand that would represent nothing but the truth.

Between the years of 1915 and 1923, about two million Armenians were deported and marched into the surrounding deserts, where many were either killed in route or left to starve to death. About 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, whipping out over 2,500 years of Armenian presence in the historic Armenian homeland.

On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers, England, France and Russia, issued a statement openly charging, for the first time ever, another government committing a crime against humanity.

The Turkish government has repeatedly attributed the deaths of over one million Armenians to World War I.

Are you kidding me? Over one million people were killed. And what type of major roll did Armenians exactly play in this war that over one million Armenians were attacked and killed? None. This is another failed attempt by the Turkish Government to try and cover up the mistakes of the past.

House Resolution 106, which would recognize the Armenian genocide, passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a 27-21 margin on Oct. 10. It’s now awaiting a full vote by the House.

At the urging of many officials, including President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the vote has been delayed due to the withdrawal of many of its co-sponsors. Turkish officials have threatened to intentionally damage military relations with the U.S. if the resolution were to pass. Turkey plays a big role in giving the U.S. a strategic military location in the Middle East. This quickly drew the response of President Bush, as he claimed it’s a bad time for this resolution to be brought up because of what the U.S. is currently doing in Iraq.

Please refresh my memory again President Bush on what we’re trying to do in Iraq.

And when will be the right time? My people and I have been trying for years.

The more I think about this situation, the more I feel betrayed by the government’s failure to attack this issue with force and certainty. But then again, it would only be the right thing to do.

The point? If the U.S. can’t take a stand for what’s right, who’s going to set the example for the Turkish government? This is why I don’t feel free. The political agenda of the U.S. government has drowned the fight for human rights in this case. How can anyone feel safe? If the group who committed these crimes against humanity, and the government who contributes to its denial, can’t be held accountable, how can we be sure this won’t happen again? We can’t.

It’s happened again, over and over and over again. The Armenian genocide wasn’t the last genocide.

On the eve of the horrific crimes committed by Adolf Hitler and his military, Hitler spoke these words, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

And it’s still happened again, over and over and over again.

The only question that remains unan
swered is when all the killings will stop.

Discrimi-Nation Checklist:

The following lists the race, culture and/or disability of reporters who have an article that’ll be published or has already been published during the series. The order in which articles were published is random. To receive more information on the series of articles or to suggest that the Sundial write an article about how an individual’s life is affected because of their race, culture and/or disability, please refer to the disclaimer.

African descent Mexican descent European descent Armenian descent Jewish descent Asian descent Middle Easter descent LGBTQ Natve American descent Central/South American descent Deaf

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