GUEST BLOG – Aris Janigian – A Brief History of My White Privilege

“Dirty black Armenian” or “low class Jew” — or worse, “Fresno Indian” — is what they called us back then.
— Read on

I’m re-posting this essay by Aris Janigian because I loved it. Not only is it beautifully written and richly detailed, but it hits home for me because my wife is Armenian. (And our children, obviously, are half-Armenian.)

For me, seeing Armenian culture up close these last 30 years has been an intense, daily lesson on this basic fact: horrendous atrocities against a race don’t just go away. Effects of trauma keep manifesting, over and over. Maybe that’ll be my own next essay – the effects of genocide which I can see even today in my wife, my in-laws, and my kids, even though the genocide happened 100 years ago.

This idea of trauma getting passed down onto successive generations is relevant right now. Slavery was outlawed 157 years ago, but it was followed up with a ferocious reign of terror against black people. The effects of both slavery itself and the ensuing regime of segregation, intimidation, torture, terror, and killing — those effects will keep manifesting for a long time, in my opinion, if we don’t get serious about: acknowledging in detail what was done to black Americans; apologizing for it; and slowly starting to try to make matters right.

Anyway, I’ll step off the soapbox and let you read the Janigian essay.


About Kit Troyer

Kit Troyer lives in Los Angeles. He worked previously as a newspaper reporter and a criminal defense attorney. For the last 15 years, he has been a stay-at-home dad. But that gig is running out. Kids will soon be moving out and moving on.
This entry was posted in THE ARMENIAN IN-LAWS, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BULLSHIT. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to GUEST BLOG – Aris Janigian – A Brief History of My White Privilege

  1. Aleen says:

    Thanks for sharing Aris’s stunning piece with us Kit. Utterly devastating and enlightening.

  2. Sonia Keshishian says:

    I had read this hokis . Love Aris who is a close friend to my neighbor from years back David Kherdian poet and Newberry award recipient. He is married to Nonny Hogrogian Caldecott winner . He is almost 90 now . I am sure you know him .

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