TAAL Brings Elected Officials, Experts & Community Leaders Together to Discuss Anti-Armenian Racist Flyers in Beverly Hills and Glendale

April 20 2023

‘It’s unfathomable that on the heels of the Armenian Genocide anniversary on April 24, Armenians are terrorized by flyers around schools and churches that call for the extermination of Armenians’ — Vic Gerami, Founder, TAAL

Los Angeles — Truth And Accountability League (TAAL), in partnership with the LA County Commission on Human Relations’ LA vs. Hate, will hold an in-person Town Hall, ‘Stand Hall to Hate,’ on Thursday, May 4, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This free event with RSVP is open to the public and is being held at the Glendale Central Library, 222 East Harvard Street, Glendale, 91205. It will feature an open panel discussion with city officials, experts, and community leaders, including the Executive Director, L.A. County Commission on Human Relations Robin S. Toma, Esq., Glendale Mayor Daniel Brotman, Police Chief Manuel Cid, Chief of Staff Joseph F. Iniguez from the LA County District Attorney’s Office, and State Commissioner Sam Kbushyan. 

Moderated by TAAL’s founder & Chair, Vic Gerami, the goal of the meeting is to bring awareness, educate the public, and discuss solutions to the rising anti-Armenian racism, Armenophobia, and propaganda through questions and discussion with participants.

‘The recent anti-Armenian flyers posted around LA County, home to hundreds of thousands of Armenian-Americans, remind us that we must be vigilant about racism, hate acts, and propaganda. It’s unfathomable that on the heels of the Armenian Genocide anniversary, Armenians are terrorized by flyers around schools and churches that call for the extermination of Armenians,’ said Vic Gerami, founder of TAAL.  

He added, ‘But we mustn’t allow the hate of a few to create division, pin us against each other, and get us stuck in the problem. The Truth And Accountability League is focused on the solution. We want to bring together, not only members of the Armenian community, but everyone to create awareness, educate, and find answers. Our panel of leaders and experts will discuss ways to handle malice that aims to victimize, dehumanize, and diminish us. Hate acts affect everyone, regardless of ethnic background, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. TAAL’s Town Hall is a forum to empower everyone.’ 

The two-hour event is a part of TAAL’s comprehensive and integrated Community Outreach Campaign to address the rise in anti-Armenian hate crimes the last three years, including the anti-Armenian flyers posted in Glendale on March 31 and similar ones in Beverly Hills in January and that called for the massacre of Armenians. 

‘The Armenian American community is such an essential part of our L.A. County community, but the amount of discrimination and negative stereotyping they’ve experienced is too often understated because it is underreported,’ said Robin S. Toma, Executive Director of the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations. ‘I look forward to sharing the data we collect on acts of hate in our county, and most importantly, what we are doing with LA vs Hate to increase reporting and eradicate hate in all our cities and neighborhoods.’ 

‘Stand TAAL to Hate’ is a Town Hall to benefit every group that has experienced racism, been subject to hate crimes, and defamation, along with LA’s Armenian community, which has been a target of such acts more frequently in recent years. With its nearly 40% Armenian community, Glendale is the perfect crossroad for such an event.

Glendale Mayor Daniel Brotman said, ‘I am proud to be the Mayor of Glendale, a city rich with diversity, including one of the largest Armenian diaspora communities in the world. The Jewel City has zero tolerance for racism, hate acts, and defamation. I strongly condemn the recent anti-Armenian flyers and work with Glendale Police and community leaders to find the perpetrator.’

He continued, ‘I’m honored to be a panelist for the Truth And Accountability League’s Town Hall. I applaud Vic Gerami and his team for launching a community outreach campaign to create awareness, educate, and empower not only the residents of Glendale but all of LA County.’

We’ve also witnessed the former president of the LA City Council, Nury Martinez, make a racist statement about a colleague that was caught on tape. The prevalence of the problem led the Burbank Board of Education to revise its anti-racism statement and update the board policy to stand in solidarity with Armenians. 

‘I look forward to participating in the Truth and Accountability League Town Hall in May. Coming together to discuss hate, accountability, and transparency is a powerful act of solidarity and progress. This will be a great opportunity to educate our community on the efforts law enforcement is making to address these challenges, as well as to learn, share, and work together towards a more equitable future,’ said Manuel Cid, Chief of Police, Glendale Police Department.

The audience will have a chance to submit questions in writing before the start of the town hall. RSVP is required and can be sent through Eventbrite: TAALTownHall.Eventbrite.com

‘As district attorney of Los Angeles County, home to more than 200,000 Armenians, I’m immensely proud to represent the largest Armenian population in the United States and the greatest number outside of Armenia itself,’ District Attorney George Gascón said. “Our Armenian community makes tremendous academic, artistic, altruistic, and many other contributions to our region.’ 

He continued, ‘These hate-filled flyers that incite violence are abhorrent and must be condemned. My office takes hate crimes very seriously, filing 86 percent of the hate crime cases referred to us, far above the statewide average of 54 percent. I commend TAAL for becoming an antidote for the poison that is racism and holding this important Town Hall to promote equality and protect human rights.’

CA State Commissioner Sam Kbushyan, an Armenian-American, believes in tackling the problem head-on. He’s been a long-time community organizer and member of Mayor Karen Bass’ Transition Team.

‘It’s been shocking to see anti-Armenian flyers advocating Genocide against Armenians in Glendale and across LA County. We must all condemn this bigotry in the strongest terms. While our families and loved ones in Armenia and Artsakh are under assault by Azerbaijan, LA County’s Armenian community is being terrorized by hate, defamation, and propaganda,’ said State Commissioner Sam Kbushyan.

He added, ‘Vic Gerami and his team at the Truth And Accountability League have taken a proactive step in organizing a Town Hall in Glendale to create a safe place for the community to address this ongoing matter. I look forward to being on the panel and serving the greater LA community.’

Elected officials who would like to attend and have special requests and members of the media interested in interviews should contact Vic Gerami at 310.880.8563 (or) [email protected]. For additional information, visit TAAL’s website, TruthAndAccountabilityLeague.org.

Please click here for photos and see the attached invitation. 

About TAAL

TAAL is a 501©3 non-profit advocacy organization founded in 2020 due to a significant increase in anti-Armenian racism, defamation, hate crimes, and Armenophobia. We monitor and confront bias, disinformation, propaganda, and slander of the Armenian people and culture at the media level, including social media, academics, intelligentsia, and public policy.

Our Mission

To protect human rights, promote equality, combat racism where it appears and exists, stop the defamation and threats of violence against people of Armenian ethnicity, educate the community about racism, bias, and discrimination, achieve worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and end the crime of Genocide for all people across the world.

About the LA County Commission on Human Relations

The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations is dedicated to promoting positive human relations in our richly diverse, multicultural county. The Commission works to develop programs that proactively address racism, homophobia, religious prejudice, linguistic bias, anti-immigrant sentiment, and other divisive attitudes that can lead to intercultural tension, hate crimes, and related violence. Partnering with law enforcement, schools, cities, community-based organizations, youth, academics, policy makers, businesses, and other leaders, the Commission brings key players together to resolve immediate intercultural conflicts and to work toward the longer term aim of eradicating bias and prejudice.

LA County’s Human Relations Commission has a legacy that dates back more than 75 years to shortly after the so-called “Zoot Suit Riots” displayed serious, long-standing human relations concerns. This incident, during which large numbers of mostly White young men in the military clashed with local young men of color for three days in the streets of LA, served as a wake-up call to county residents. In January, 1944, the County Board of Supervisors established a Committee for Interracial Progress. Two years later it was renamed the Committee for Human Relations. Following national recognition for its effective work to improve intergroup relations, the Committee became an official agency of County government in 1958 and was renamed the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. The Commission is among the oldest and largest of its kind in the U.S.

Each County Supervisor appoints three Commissioners who serve multi-year terms. The 15-member Commission meets each month. A staff of professional and support personnel in the County’s Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services executes the Commission’s programmatic work. The Commission’s signature projects include the annual Hate Crime Report and the annual John Anson Ford Human Relations Awards which recognize exemplary practices and exceptional leadership in human relations work.

About Vic Gerami

Vic Gerami is an award-winning journalist and the editor + publisher of The Blunt Post. Gerami is also the host and co-producer of the national headline news + politics program, THE BLUNT POST with VIC on KPFK 90.7 FM (Pacifica Network). 

Most recently, Gerami wrote, directed, and produce the journalistic documentary feature film, ‘Motherland,’ about Azerbaijan’s, Turkey’s unprovoked genocidal attack on Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in 2020 and the massacre of 5,000+ people, and the two nations’ ongoing campaign of hate, violence, and disinformation against the indigenous Armenians. Here is a sneak peek at the film’s 5-minute sizzle.

Today reaching national and international audiences, Gerami first built a foundation of knowledge and skills by learning the media industry during his years at Frontiers Magazine, followed by positions at LA Weekly and Voice Media Group

Gerami’s radio program, TBPV, covers national, regional, and local headline news, politics, and current events, and Gerami offers analysis and commentary. He also interviews a high-profile member of Congress or other high-profile public figures on each show. His recent guests include Congressman Adam Schiff, Senator Bob Menendez, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Governor Howard Dean, Congresswoman Katie Porter, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congressman Mike Levin, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Judy Chu, LA District Attorney George Gascon, among many others. You can listen to all the interviews here. 

Gerami is also a contributor to some of the most prominent publications in the nation, including Windy City Times, Bay Area Reporter, Armenian Mirror-Spectator, The Advocate, The Immigrant Magazine, GoWeHo, Destination Luxury, OUT Traveler, The Fight, and among others.

The Wall Street Journal featured Gerami as a “leading gay activist” in its landmark 2008 coverage of opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that for years denied same-sex couples in California the freedom to marry. In addition to his years of volunteer work as a leading advocate for marriage equality, Gerami served as a Planning Committee member for the historic Resist March in 2017. 

In 2015, Gerami was referenced in the landmark Supreme Court civil rights case, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.