Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Never Forget, Never Reject

Rudolfo Pinedo, Guest Writer

This past Wednesday I spent the day commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with marchers from all over southern California.

Being of Hispanic decent; I personally asked myself: “Rudy Pinedo, you’re a Mexican. What’s a guy like me going to a rally that has no ties or any significance to my culture?” Well, that’s the beauty of a march with such an impactful because; it has the ability to bring people from all backgrounds and walks of life to stand along with one another in singularity to raise awareness to issues that truly impact our world.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the ‘Forgotten Genocide’, “The Armenian Genocide was administered by the Turkish government against the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. It was carried out during W.W.I between 1915 and 1918 and renewed again between 1920 and 1923. The Armenian people were subjected to deportation, exploitation, abduction, torture, massacre, and starvation,” as said by the armenian-genocide.org.

The aftermath of this sorrowful genocide resulted in Armenia losing half of its land to Turkey and the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians. Even if you have no family tie to Armenian heritage, the significance of this atrocious criminal act to kill in the masses can resonate with anybody who cares about the wellbeing of others no matter the background they come from. Whether you have a friend, neighbor, or loved one, we can all empathize with the fact that the killing and exploitation of 1.5 million innocent people cannot continue to stay silent and forgotten.

So how can we go about and being a positive change about this genocide that occurred more than 100 years ago? It’s simple. Acknowledgement.  The boys and girls attending schools in the Country of Turkey won’t learn about the massacre because the Turkish government has erased the genocide from its history books. They are teaching the next generation nothing about what occurred those many years ago. Like these children, despite the billions of people who live on this planet, there are still many who aren’t even aware that this genocide happened.

This is why acknowledgment is so powerful. Once we are aware, we can search for the truth and once the truth is revealed it can shine a positive light to take action. In order to prevent any future genocides, we need to first acknowledge the genocides of the past. Since we are the next generation of change, the more of us that are aware, the better chance we have in advocating  the world in a positive way to make ensure that no community will ever have to suffer the way the Armenians did in the past or for any community that has suffered the effects of genocide.

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
Never Forget, Never Reject