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#BlackLivesMatter: At h-pem, we join in solidarity against racism, oppression, and injustice of any and all peoples

June 10, 2020

Stories

By h-pem

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#BlackLivesMatter: At h-pem, we join in solidarity against racism, oppression, and injustice of any and all peoples

At h-pem, we join in solidarity against racism, oppression, and injustice of any and all peoples, in the hopes for a more equal and peaceful world.
 

Two weeks ago, the world witnessed the shocking and tragic death of George Floyd, an African American man, at the knee of a white police officer. Since then, conversations about racism, systemic violence, and injustice have dominated our newsfeeds, dinner conversations, and city streetscapes. Our community is no stranger to these topics, with many Armenians releasing statements and calls for solidarity with the black American community.

 
In this distressing time, we recall the actions of Charles Garry, one of the most prominent lawyers of the civil rights era, or, as director Roxanne Makasdjian called him in her 1991 documentary, an Armenian “streetfighter in the courtroom.” The discrimination Garry faced as an Armenian American in early 20th century Fresno shaped him into a lifelong advocate for the downtrodden and oppressed.
 
We also recall the words of the late rapper, Tupac (“2Pac”) Shakur, who recognized that the struggle for justice was one of all “lost tribes.” (Note: the font in our graphic is based on 2Pac’s own handwriting!) Coincidentally, the same terminology (“small tribe of unimportant people”) was used by William Saroyan (another famous Fresno Armenian) in his short story, "The Armenian and the Armenian." History has shown that the journey is long and arduous, but just and necessary. At h-pem, we join in solidarity against racism, oppression, and injustice of any and all peoples, in the hopes for a more equal and peaceful world.
 

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