‘What the Hell Just Happened?’: Armenians, Civic Nationalism, and Rewriting the Activist Handbook
A protester with an Armenian tricolor flag draped across his shoulders stands at an April 17 demonstration against Serge Sarkisian’s premiership (Photo: Avetisyan91)
Among my generation of Armenian-Americans, the “Armenian” part usually stands out. Fierce patriotism, love of the nation, love of our culture and music, and love of our history all usually take their rightful place in our identity. The “American” part does its duty as well. It adds something that some might perceive to be a Western cliché, though the hallmarks are always present: The love for democracy, the rule of law, institutional patriotism, and the Constitution of the United States of America. In my beloved Glendale, Armenian-American activism has made for a unique, inseparable blend of local affairs and Armenian issues effecting change. Ask anyone in California’s 28th Congressional District if you don’t believe me.
In the U.S., we hold our personal rights and freedoms in the same breadth as holy scripture. We learn about our system of governmental checks and balances by the time we are in elementary school, and some of us further study how that interplay regulates our “imperfect union,” in order to build “a more perfect union.” The common denominator in our system of governance is the citizen—the most powerful entity in any functioning political system.
Over the past few weeks, Armenians in Armenia and around the world have been witnessing the “What the hell just happened?” stage in our history. And yes, while there may be better ways to describe it in proper form, I will save that for the policy analysts or the creative writers, and go on with my jargon.
Stale attitudes began to fade. Skepticism began to turn into optimism. The most inspiring part of it all were the creative acts of civil disobedience. I think even deep down inside me, there was this understanding that it’s going to be the same old story: Debates among friends, wringing our hands, and moving on with the day. Except, that didn’t happen…
Read more: https://armenianweek...-just-happened/
Edited by onjig, 03 June 2018 - 08:55 AM.