The Glendale-based Unified Young Armenians April 24th poster, seen on its Facebook page, portrays a toddler named Ani wearing a black T-shirt, posing as a serious demonstrator, with the following caption, “I am a soldier of justice.”
It encourages parents to post similar photos of their toddlers wearing the organization’s black uniform on the page.
On one hand, I find the campaign to be disturbingly similar to outreach campaigns by extremist groups in the Middle East, such as Hamas, where pictures of uniform-wearing children are frequently used in propaganda posters.
On the other hand, genocide-activism, which usually involves disturbing pictures of mass graves, maimed children and all kinds of graphic imagery, as well as angry chantings and other inappropriate speech and sound effects, is not appropriate for underage children whatsoever.
I believe taking children to events like this would only leave a deep and unspeakable scar on their psyche. They can't process this kind of information. They will have plenty of time in high school and college to learn about these things.
As a veteran April 24th commemorator and campaigner, from Iran to Armenia to Glendale to Boston, I hope the Unified Young Armenians would reconsider their outreach campaign, and discourage or even prohibit participation of underage children in their rally on April 24th.