Updated: Jul 26, 2021
By Taniel Koushakjian (@Taniel_Shant)
On July 23, 2015, Kathryn Tuell, of Kingsburg, CA, penned a ridiculous letter to the editor that was published in the Fresno Bee entitled Armenians should relax, enjoy being Americans. Her argument is that Armenian Americans should “relax” when it comes to the premeditated murder of 1.5 million of our ancestors during World War I. To Tuell, Americans voicing their First Amendment right in the face of genocide denial is simply “another whine.” Fortunately, two Americans of Armenian descent responded to her misguided reasoning.
Alex Tavlian, of Fresno, CA sheds light on Tuell’s ignorance. “Genocide is considered man’s greatest inhumanity to man, but ignorance is a man’s greatest inhumanity to himself. Relaxing isn’t the American way, it is the coward’s,” Tavlian writes. Tavlian does well to remind Ms. Tuell that human rights and equal justice under the law are not just Armenian values but American ones as well.
Clarice Krikorian, also of Fresno, CA further illustrates Ms. Tuell’s blind spotted worldview. “Ms. Tuell also implies that only American history is relevant because America is our “homeland.” Is world history no longer important? What would global response be with denial of the Holocaust? After all, it wasn’t on American soil, either,” Krikorian said.
Ms. Tuell is, of course, entitled to her opinion. Nevertheless, it’s disappointing that the Bee would jeopardize their editorial integrity by printing such nonsense in the first place. Armenians have been in America for many generations and have contributed greatly to American life and society in various fields and industries. Armenian American community leaders in Fresno should hold a meeting with the Bee’s editorial board. No American should be slandered for simply exercising his/her rights.