Updated: Apr 30, 2022
Interview with Gevorg Vardanyan
Q: Do you think it is important to address the crimes against humanity committed in the past? If yes, why, if no, why? A: Of course, it is important, very important. I can list at least two reasons for that. First of all, we all want a better future, without hatred, prejudices, and xenophobia. However, we can not do that without addressing the wrongs of the past. It is not possible to achieve a better future based on lies and denial. We have to tell the truth, the hard truth, tell what really happened to ignore all kinds of biases and political manipulations. Second, we can not admit the history written by the “winners,” or put more correctly, the killers. The official narrative has excluded those who were oppressed and killed and celebrates those who did so. Our job, as researchers, is to challenge the official fake narrative and make the oppressed voices heard. Q: Are there possibilities for the generations of the perpetrators and those of victims to come to a final reconciliation? A: I think every research on genocide, human rights violation somehow, directly or indirectly, intends to contribute to a possible reconciliation. But one should keep in mind that reconciliation is not possible without facing your history.
A symbol of modern day heritage is a reminder of a hideously sordid past of genocide. We can debate the subjective nature of racism, but we cannot debate the systemic annihilation of a race of people.
This"great" nation was built on the strength of genocide and the massacre continues in the modern day. Though many would argue that genocide looks like that Don Cheadle movie based in Africa, I offer a closer understanding of the word genocide. If you look closely enough, you may begin to get an eery feeling of familiarity. I contend that genocide is not exclusive to third world countries and that until we face the truth of our nation's history there can be no reconcile. Historically we've been taught to view genocide only on mass scales, Holocaust, Rwanda and the other big name mass annihilation. However, the very definition of genocide denotes the motive of the destruction as deliberate. What can be a better visual representation of deliberate killing than driving your knee into the neck of an unarmed man until he dies? What is a better visual of deliberate aim to destroy a group of people than the current state of education? Each of these complexes bear their origin in the birth of our nation, but yet their effects have been stifled by the oppressor for "fear of inciting hatred". I believe it is less a fear of inciting hatred and more a fear of self-actualization on the part of the oppressed. Why else would the broad daylight slaughtering of innocents be so welcomed in the mass media? If the concern was truly a fear of inciting hatred, then the inbred hatred of the oppressor would not be running rampant on the evening news. And to placate centuries of oppression with a capitalist holiday and the guilty verdict of a handful is insulting. The masses may be blinded by the optics, but for our president to travel across the sea to speak at a commemorative event remembering genocidewhen there is genocide happening on his own front lawn leaves me to question the true motive at work in this nation. There has been a cycle of humiliation and oppression at play in this country for too long. The world has long watched the secret lynching in broad daylight without true remorse. We glory in the blood of innocent oppressed people, but riot for the causes of endangered animals and sports teams. We storm the capital in the name of quarantine, but can barely utter the countless names of those slaughtered by systems never built to protect or serve them. If my claims seem baseless, then pick up a history book and see that any time an oppressor wanted to have their way it came at the expense of the oppressed. Then pick up news articles from the past hundred years and tell me who the most oppressed group of people is.
The oppressed people who can't hide in shadows or blend in to the crowd. The oppressed people who have been told their heritage should be held in the shadows while they're martyred for the cause of entertainment and fashion.
The oppressed people whose rise to the top has been predicated by their ability to speak properly and wear their hair a certain way; but are ridiculed for the very accommodations they were required to make.
The oppressed people who for decades have tried to stand up against the oppressor only to be met with fire (Tulsa) hoses (Birmingham) , and drugs (banned in 1914, but didn't show up in black communities until the 80's).
The oppressed people who die in silence, march in silence, but are still publicly questioned and shamed for their emotions. Name a race of people who cried out for saving, but each time their saving came out it was thwarted by systems in place (education). Name a race of people who have been told their history cannot be told in its fullness while they live with the scars of their history everyday (epigenetics). There is a revolution at works in the bloodstained fibers of this nation. A revolution that if done correctly will not result in the hatred that the oppressor is so fearful of, but will result in the truth being taught through a lense of understanding. We as oppressed people understand that our expertise makes us superior and that can be scary for anyone who has historically held all the power. But we also don't hold it against you. This is not about who is the more superior. It is about finding the beauty in our different gifts to truly be of service to God. The oppressor needs to understand that we are not our ancestors. While we do not want anymore bloodshed, we will not cower in the shack waiting to lynched. While we stand for justice, we will not sit idly in the back. While we speak up for our rights, we will not silently forget what our ancestors went through for us to achieve these rights. This revolution will bring a halt to the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group. It will bring to light the wrongs of this nation, not for condemnation, but for correction. To the oppressed people, we can no longer fight fire with fire. That is a tactic taught to us by the oppressor whenever they didn't get their way. We must use our strengths collectively in the way they did during the American Revolution. Make our goods and stand together. Or at the very least, get on the same page about what we want, so we can stand up together. To the oppressor, there is no more hiding your true nature. We see you for what you are and for what you've done. For now the history books write you as the hero, but the false narrative is being uncovered.
To those who directly oppressor and to those who stand on the sidelines blinded, should the terms of reconciliation be met with violence We will know that it was You. Your fear of inciting hatred bred from your fear of ineptitude. We don't want what you have. We don't want revenge on you. We don't want to be the land of the free in the backs of the enslaved.
We simply want to make America great for US.
For our children and your children and their children to live in a world that is one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.