Pennsylvania Armenians decry Oz’s failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide

“It’s not just genocide denial, it’s the reason why he’s doing it,” said Lorig Baronian, volunteer for the Armenian National Committee of Pennsylvania.


Aram Hamparian, Armenian National Committee of America executive director, speaks at a protest against Mehmet's Oz alleged failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide. [Justin Kaladjian]

For Lorig Baronian, the Armenian Genocide is a century-old piece of history that still affects her life today.


The descendant of survivors of the genocide, Baronian grew up hearing about the atrocities her ancestors experienced: her great-grandparents meeting in an orphanage after seeing their entire families killed in front of them; her great-grandmother giving birth to her daughter on a ship while fleeing the genocide; her ancestors fleeing to Palestine, Romania, Lebanon, and eventually the United States for safety.


The trauma of the Armenian Genocide carries on through each generation, and for over a century, the Armenian diaspora has been fighting to get the world to recognize the atrocity of the genocide. Now, they’re trying to get Mehmet Oz, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, to acknowledge it.


“Genocide denial has no place in the U.S. This should be against our morality and ethics as a nation,” said Baronian, who is a volunteer for the Armenian National Committee of Pennsylvania. “Finally, after 100-plus years, we had both chambers of U.S. Congress and President Biden affirm the reality of this atrocity. And now we have a candidate running for U.S. Senate who can’t even utter the words.”


Members of the Armenian National Committee of America held a demonstration Wednesday protesting Oz for not plainly acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.