On Acknowledging the Armenian Genocide

October 18, 2007 at 6:34 pm (injustice, politics) ()

Like many others across this blue planet, I’ve been thinking and reading today about a resolution currently being pondered by Congress, which would the formally acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

Holocaust deniers are pretty widely regarded as straight up crazy, and often as something far less favorable. And yet, when some madman tries to say the Holocaust didn’t happen, or to downplay the horror, I can feel the acid in my stomach burning through all my organs, rising in my throat. I have the comfort of knowing this is not really necessary — I denounce that person’s claims along with the rest of the world.

So what would such a claim mean to me if the world weren’t behind me?

It’s a second crime, a second act of genocide, to deny a people’s most painful history.

There is only one simple, inadequate way we can rectify the great crimes of the past: we can acknowledge them. We can tell the story. We can promise not to let them happen again.

Refusing to tell the story is an implicit agreement to allow it to happen again. And again and again and again.

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4 Comments

  1. Sara said,

    There is only one simple, inadequate way we can rectify the great crimes of the past: we can acknowledge them.

    No – we can only rectify past crimes with a time machine.

  2. Daisy said,

    Hahahaha

    Pardon me, Sara. You are correct.

  3. Isabel said,

    It’s politics, dear. Turkey will withdraw its support for the Iraqi war if “we” acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. And the U.S. has several important military bases controlled by Turkey. Bush simply wants it referred to as “historical mass killings”- even he isn’t denying that 1.5 million died.

  4. Daisy said,

    Yeah, I know. I’ve done more reading about it since writing this… Buttt

    I don’t know, it still freaks me the fuck out and it’s not okay, even if it might be necessary for now. Genocide will — and does — continue to happen every fucking day, and I think that’s in no small part because of moves like this. Until the world is willing to condemn genocide across the board, it will continue to happen. It may continue even after the world condemns it, but that condemnation is certainly a prerequisite for the cessation of the worst crime every committed.

    It’s like in my history class last year where I kept saying, “Can’t we just agree that genocide is wrong, period? That that is more than jusy ‘my opinion’?” And we absolutely couldn’t, which is bullshit.

    Of course the US acknowledging this particular act of genocide should be on the back burner compared to the acts that the US, you know, actually perpetrated.

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