The Great Debaters
US African Americans And Armenians
Shared Memories
Compared Genocidal Sructures

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  • In response to the Statement of President Obama on Armenian Remembrance Day : The White House April 24 2009
  • "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President." Barack Obama, January 19, 2008 (*1)

Shared Memories: Struggles for Authentic American Values

Today, the world knows about the Armenian Genocide committed by the Young-Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. In the USA, more than 40 states have already recognized it officially. (*2) The denial of the Armenian Genocide is not an expression of free-speech. It is not a simple cultural ignorance from an outsider with maybe a behavior of a character. But at level of non-said impunity, it is an aim to deny absolute crime. Such attitude leads to an ulterior phase: to symbolically exterminate a second time. It was really what happened with Hitler who said in 1939 "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" (*3)

Genocide is not a manifestation of any religious fanaticism. (*4) Only a State with its administration can organize and legalize systematic deportation. Only a State can implement a massive methodical extermination of a group or groups on people. A genocide is irreversible and it is irreparable. It breaks the chain of human transmission.  It usurps and erases Death, the natural link which connects one generation to the other- and replaces it by premeditated murder.(*

Hiding or minimizing such facts undermines American democracy. Letting legally import unpunished and unrecognized State genocide denial, (*
6) can only sociologically encourage discriminations and delinquencies -consciously or unconsciously. Denial of an imprescriptible crime is against Human Rights. It does not only concern the Memory of the descendents of survivors of this 1915 Genocide, it concerns the wider emblematical context of impunity and injustice: a context exported by the Turkish State -heir of the Ottoman Empire. (*7)

The actual Turkish State maintains unacceptable, historical falsifications. It is as if it would be said that Middle Passage was "a second class voyage" and
Slavery in the USA was "with employment contract".(*8) Genocide and its denial are the ultimate phases of racism. Today gun traders are slave traders of yesterday. Thus at present, the heirs of slave trade companies and ship owners, as the other heirs such as insurers, bankers, stockholders of that time, do not miss to trade with Turkey, always in denial about the Armenian Genocide, calling the Turkish State "a strategic key ally". Crimes against Humanity and genocides are not negotiable !

American citizens have to be morally and symbolically protected from diplomatic complacency and accommodation between countries. It is necessary for the USA to recognize the Armenian Genocide for international credibility in responding forcefully to other genocides. The American government also has the necessity of domestic credibility regarding the American people who are economically (and spiritually) going through the present crisis : the American people to whom the American values of the founding fathers were taught - as they were so much to Armenian survivors helped by the American missionaries after 1915. (*

hen Mr President in your statement, you declare : "I strongly support efforts by the Turkish and Armenian people to work through this painful history in a way that is honest, open, and constructive." What has the Armenian people done till now ? And then, what about the Turkish people ? Besides a handful of compassionate intellectuals to whom we bow. In spite of -or because of- Realpolitik, true African Americans -decendents of slaves- can certainly better understand the Armenians -descendents of survivors of an unrecognized Genocide.

Yes Mr. President, America, the American people, the scattered Armenians and the whole world deserve a truthfully change in politics: a new true real approach regarding actual double standard Human Rights. Yes we can.

Nil Agopoff,
Paris (France) April 5 2009 (*



(*3) - - -

(*4) Thus Al-Husayn Ibn 'Ali, Sharif of Mecca ( 1854-1931), Emir of Hejaz -Guardian of the Holy Sites from the Hashemit dynasty and forefather of present king of Jordan- vigorously condemned the massacres and deportations of 1915-1923 as being not at all in accordance to Muslim religion and being against Islam.  -

(*5) Psychoanalyst Hélène Piralian, Paris France: The impossible transmission - To Save Death. To Leave Murder - Unfortunately her recent book has not been yet published in english

(*6) for example, former Representative Robert L Livingston, a Louisiana Republican, has already picked up $12m from the Turks for his company, the Livingston Group (november 2007) :

(*7) In 1923 the former Turkish criminals were retrained and recycled into high position official posts of the kemalist new regime of the Turkish Republic.Taner Akcam, A Shameful Act, Henry Holt & Company 2006 - - -

(*8) if both were not crimes against Humanity ? -

(*9) Tucy Atkinson (Video on her diary read by her daughter 11:30-12:18) :  -  -  -

(*10) born in Paris - whose mother graduated from The American College for Girls of Scutari (Turkey) in 1930 thanks to a scholarship granted by an American lady from Boston.

www references (*1 > *8) can been seen alone on one page :