In Yerevan, we have the bleakness of a stolen election, politely and preemptively, of course, but stolen nevertheless.
In Glendale, we have the bleakness of some Armenians running as spoilers, and some political factions working to keep Armenians down.
In Burbank, we have the bleakness of overt hate fueled by ignorance; see the accompanying transcript of a telephone message received by Armond Aghakhanian’s campaign for school board.
In the diaspora, we have the bleakness of a severe disconnectedness with the civic/electoral/political reality of the Republic of Armenia. I am just as guilty as anyone, in this respect. Can you think of anything significant I’ve written over the course of the last half-a-year during which the presidential campaign played out there?
All the vile people who are responsible for these sad states of affairs should beware. Their time is short. Why?
In Yerevan, there are bright spots. People voted in very significant numbers (if not a stolen majority) for Raffi Hovannisian to become president. And, they’re now making an issue of the rigged election results by standing up, firmly, for their rights as citizens.
In Glendale, there are bright spots. Decent, thinking people, Armenian or not, are coming together to work for the election of the best candidates, regardless of the desires of some machinators with outsized egos and a desire to control political life in the city.
In Burbank, there are bright spots. Armenian residents are voting at above average rates in very difficult, competitive races for city council, school board, and city clerk. To the best of my knowledge, the candidates, whether supported by the Burbank ANCA or not, do not harbor anti-Armenian sentiments. Those who have learned about the message received by Armond’s campaign were quite shocked. And, there is progress in the Burbank police department where anti-Armenian attitudes are being slowly eliminated.
In the diaspora, there are bright spots. People are speaking up about the unacceptable electoral behavior of the power elites. There was even a demonstration yesterday, in Glendale, in front of the Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia. Ever so slowly, people are getting over their fear of “airing our dirty laundry in public,” and seeing the value and effectiveness of letting the sun shine in on the dark activities of those corrupting our fledgling republic.
Keep fighting the bleakness with the brightness of engagement and action.
Text of telephone message
Yes, good day to you. I was trying to reach Lori Adams. Since she sent me a letter in the mail endorsing (cough) Armond, Armond for Burbank teachers (uhh) school board.
And (umm) I just wanted to say (umm) please don’t forward me anymore mail regarding such a candidate. Especially (umm) for someone here in Burbank. And I, and I will tell you for the reason why.
Umm I don’t understand why Armenians think they have the right to run for government government positions.
They’re not, they’re not, indigenous and native to this country. And also they’re the freaking of America.
I mean they have refugee status. They get section 8 housing to pay for their rent. They get small business loans to pay for their businesses. They get grants to go to school so they can become dentists and pharmacists. Then they get food stamps, they load them up with (umm) 300, 400 dollars of groceries. And then they schlepp themselves into $80,000 Mercedes they didn’t earn.
Are you kidding me?!
Are you kidding me?!
So please, please, a vote for you!?
Are you kidding me?!
You’re not a part of America, you’re not a part of the United States.
And if you don’t know your history you should know it.
You were ousted out of Russia, the Armenians were, you went to Turkey, the Turks almost eradicated you, then you went to the Middle East…your…nobody likes you!
And so what makes you think that you even have the audacity to to even be in the United States of America and have a vote?
When you’re the freaking of America.
I am just so insulted!
I am so insulted by this letter!