Biden’s Covid-19 Prioritization: A Slippery Slope That Ignores Many

As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris transition into the White House, they have made rebuilding from the destruction of Covid-19 one of their key issues. On January 10, 2021, the presidential transition team tweeted a video of Joe Biden talking about their plans to rebuild from Covid-19.

“Our focus will be on small businesses on main street that aren’t wealthy and well-connected that are facing real economic hardships through no fault of their own,” said Biden in the tweeted video. “Our priority will be Black, Latino, Asian and Native American owned small businesses, women owned businesses, and finally having equal access to resources needed to reopen and rebuild.”

During his speech, Joe Biden left out a bevy of cultures that constitute the diversity in America. What is to be of businesses who are owned by people who do not identify as white or as any of the groups that Joe Biden mentioned in his speech? One of the cultures he left out was that of the Armenians’. 

The Armenian people are no strangers to American politics. Armenians like George Deukmejian, the former Republican Governor of California, and Kenneth L. Khachigian, who was the Executive Speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan and a Senior Aide to President Nixon have graced American politics since the years that Armenians began to immigrate to America, with hope for a better future in the land of opportunity.

In 301 AD, Armenia was the first country to recognize Christianity as their national religion. But the rich history of the Armenian people was not always pleasant. In 387 AD, the Armenian Kingdom was divided under Byzantine and Persian rule. Long after, in the 16th Century, the Armenian people fell under Ottoman rule during the Ottoman-Safavid war. In the 19th Century, Eastern Armenia was taken over by the Russian Empire. Although the Armenians contributed soldiers, merchants and intellectuals to their rulers, they were never treated as equals. Under Ottoman rule, Armenians were constantly the subject of “ethnic cleansing.” In 1915, the Armenian Genocide – which is the most well-known of these massacres – was carried out, and 1.5 million Armenians were murdered because of their Christian faith. Women were raped, children were forcefully assimilated, and men were labored to their death. The scars left in the Armenian culture from centuries of needless massacres, wars and violent conquests bleed into the 21st century – which continue to cause transgenerational effects on the mental health of the Armenian people, including anxiety and PTSD, which are very common in Armenian communities here in America.

After gaining a short-lived independence in 1918, the Armenians were forced to join the Soviet Union in 1920, where they fought on the front lines against Nazi forces on the Eastern Front during the Second World War – losing more soldiers per capita than any other Soviet nation, including Russia.

When the Soviet Union fell apart, the Republic of Armenia was born in 1991. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected to serve as its first President. But troubles continued. A bloody war caused by a geographical dispute with neighboring Azerbaijan lasted 6 years. The war officially ended in 1994, but minor skirmishes continued. Most recently, on September 27, 2020, the geographical dispute was sparked again after Azerbaijan broke the ceasefire agreement, taking thousands of lives from people who just want to live peacefully. This time around, the Azerbaijani army was aided by Syrian mercenaries, ISIS fighters and Turkish firepower.

As you can see, the Armenian people are hardly  a “privileged” people. We do not demand special treatment by America – or any other country for that matter. We continue to work hard and utilize all the opportunities that America provides all Americans on their quest to fulfill their American dream. When we do protest, it is simply for recognition and not for direct action, intervention or special treatment. Thousands of Armenians protested outside the Turkish Consulate in Beverly Hills on October 11, 2020, to get worldwide recognition for Turkey’s involvement in the recent war against the Armenian people. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Twitter account reported that the crowd size was estimated to be close to 100,000 people, with ZERO violent incidents to report. They even praised the attendees for peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.

Why does Joe Biden leave Armenians out of his list of businesses that he will prioritize for Covid-19 relief? Small businesses owned by Armenians, ubiquitous in Southern California, play a dynamic role in fueling the California economy. They have been as equally impacted by Covid-19 as any other business owned by any other nationality. Are the Armenian people not affected by Covid? Are we not considered to be “oppressed” enough? What factors constitute one’s placement on the scale of oppression in order to get special treatment? In fact, this issue is not unique to Armenians. Hundreds of different groups of Americans that make America a diverse nation while fueling her economy are left out of Joe Biden’s proposed Covid-19 prioritization per the video in the tweet. That is just plain wrong, and profoundly un-American

By no means do I wish that Joe Biden lists the Armenian people as a priority or give Armenians any special treatment over our neighbors who identify as different groups. But prioritizing one group of people over another is a dangerous slippery slope. Armenians are not unique in this case; many groups of people have had their share of setbacks and are never mentioned in legislation proposed by progressive groups. In America, the land of equality, choosing to prioritize one group of people while ignoring the unique struggles of others is fallacious, wrong and morally indefensible. We may come from different cultures, but we are all Americans.

David Ter-Petrosyan is a university student studying Economics. He is a delegate to the California Republican Party and a founding member of the Armenian Republican Association (wwwArmenianRA.com). 

Comments

  1. Nothing new here. The front for the CP Party is just maintaining their racial divide tactics they have used daily since the days of the slavery. Their definition of equality varies greatly from what has made America great. On the other hand keep in mind one of the most racist POTUS is one of the puppet masters pulling their strings.

  2. Wait…so they are going to dump a bunch of money into casinos? What about white-owned businesses? How is this fair?

    Why are those two in the white house? OH THAT’S RIGHT. IT’S A BANANA REPUBLIC NOW and our votes don’t matter.

    Hold the line, patriots. We won’t make it easy for them.

  3. As far as his list goes do you want him up there for the next 2 hour listing every small minority group in the country. He should not have said he is aiming at any group other than all small businesses.

    • Bill Saracino says

      Think that is the author’s point – – the relief should be targeted at everybody…or if specific criteria are involved ethnicity and gender have no place in those.

  4. ExCaliExpat says

    Relax everybody… Fauci will declare herd immunity and Covid being under conyrol no later than 30 days after the fraudulently installed Biden-Harris administration is forcibly installed ….

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