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Letter -- Selma Hovsepian

April 24, 2001

It is unfortunate that in this day and age that bigotry, racism and

prejudices still exist in this city.

When we arrived 25 years ago, there were only a handful of Armenian

families in the city and very few Armenian businesses.

We were few in numbers, but people seemed to accept and respect us.

However, as the numbers grew and more Armenians fled Iran and Lebanon in

the late 1970s and early 1980s and the former Soviet Union in the early

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1990s, resentment, racism and bigotry grew more and more.

As a member of this city, I have seen it grow into a productive and

diverse business community. I had thought that with growth and diversity,

cultural and historical learning would be achieved. But instead, we have

distrust and narrow-mindedness.

When two years ago the City Council lowered its flag in memory of the

victims of the Armenian Genocide, I felt reverence and pleased for the

City Council that has been gallant enough to take such an honorable step.

Council members had taken the politically incorrect step and put

politics aside for humanity. Instead of praised, they have been

persecuted. What I have seen has not surprised me.

I agree with the editorial ("Bigotry drives flag debate," April 17)

that the City Council should not amend its earlier decision and should

lower the flag to fight bigotry. However, a viable solution is needed for

this unfortunate situation.

Thomas Dixon has given the City Council an excellent solution: a

memorial flag to commemorate the genocide and, perhaps, bestow an

understanding among its citizens.

SELMA HOVSEPIAN

Glendale

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