I read with some skepticism of Zareh Sinanyan’s change of heart in the matter of the disparaging YouTube comments he had made a few years ago (Zareh Sinanyan admits racist remarks, expresses regret,” Ron Kaye, April 21).
I am glad he finally came clean, but it is hard to forget his cowardly and juvenile behavior during the election — not admitting yet not denying, turning around to his supporters during a City Council meeting and telling them, about Laura Friedman, that “she is lying.”
I also am an Armenian. My grandparents barely escaped with their lives from Ainteb and Adana during the Genocide. My grandfather lost most of his family in 1915 and had to rescue his sister from virtual slavery in 1928. I feel Sinanyan’s pain and anger against those who perpetrated such a horrible crime — especially this week, on the 98th anniversary of the Genocide. But did he have to also make those comments about an entire religion, and about gays and women? I myself am gay as well as Armenian. Does that stop me from being Sinanyan’s compatriot and fellow citizen of Glendale?
I am willing to take him at his word when he says that the words of a Glendale High School freshman convinced him to take responsibility for his past actions and words. Now it is time for Councilmember Sinanyan to follow up with actions. Since he says he is not a homophobe, he must stand up for the rights of gay Armenians who are still being discriminated against in our community. He must help end bullying of gays and Muslims in our Glendale schools. He must help end domestic violence against Armenian women, that secret shame of our community.
I, and my fellow Glendale-ites, are watching Sinanyan. We ask that he does not shame us.