The Armenian Youth Federation-Youth Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (AYF-YOARF) Eastern Region USA stands in solidarity with the family of George Floyd and the communities that are continually affected by this nation’s tragic history of police brutality and racism. As Armenian Americans, we feel it is imperative that our community, as well as other non-black peoples, recognize our role in allyship and be aware of the acutely adverse experience of peoples of color in America.
As Armenian Americans and members of the AYF, we stand for equality and freedom, and we demand the end of all forms of oppression. We cannot fully comprehend the pain and suffering the African American community is currently facing and has for hundreds of years, but as Armenians, the issues laid bare over the past weekend are as salient as ever. Systemic racism is deeply rooted in our society, and it is imperative that the AYF-YOARF supports the fight against it.
Our A.R.F. Dzrakir calls for the “founding of a society in which the individual will be liberated from all forms of ethnic, religious-denominational, national, political, social, and economic discrimination, oppression, and exploitation” in which civilians all maintain “a free and equal right to vote, and equal protection under the law.”
As members of a diaspora created from the ashes of Genocide, we know the dire consequences of unchecked and unresolved oppression all too well. We must stand against the oppression of any people, passionately shouting that no human should be subject to unjust treatment, based solely on the color of their skin. As Armenians, we know first-hand what hate can and continues to do to minority communities. The cycle of racism will not be broken by the voice of the Black Community alone – we must be their allies.
We call on our members to combat everyday examples of racism towards people of color within our own lives and communities so that we may work towards a future free from hate. The racism that is endemic in this country must end. We encourage our members to engage in anti-bias, anti-racism and anti-bigotry education. Our prayers go out to George Floyd’s family and the black and PoC communities. May he rest in power.