"I say the Armenians that have moved here are the evildoers, they are
intent on destroying Glendale. They will never be Americans, even if they
have become citizens, as they want only to drag us down into a war with
Turkey," Carrico said.
That was only one small part of the diatribe.
"I ask again, what were they doing in Constantinople? What were they
doing acting so badly that they had to be killed off?" Carrico asked. "If
they acted in such a way as they have been doing in Glendale, you can
surmise why. That answers the question."
You could have cut the silence in the council chambers with a knife,
and it's not hard to understand why. In addition to Mayor Manoukian and
Councilman Bob Yousefian, several members of Manoukian's family were in
attendance to celebrate his assuming the mayor's duties. They were
thunderstruck, as no doubt were countless more people watching the
meeting on television.
We make a point of not editorially singling out individuals in the
community for criticism unless their actions have a broad impact,
positive or negative. That means most of the people in town, even most
who direct comments at the City Council, fly under our radar. Iva Carrico
will not. Not today.
Her comments, and those of other people who share her apparent
beliefs, are inexcusable. No one ethnic group, in Glendale or anywhere,
has a monopoly on good behavior or a God-given right to be here. We're
all in this together, and are recognized equally under the Constitution.
Believing anything different is biased and foolhardy.
And expressing those beliefs the way Carrico did, and in front of the
family of the man assuming the duties of Glendale's most prominent
elected office, goes beyond insensitive. It's downright mean.
The behavior itself is puzzling. Carrico is a former community
activist who received several awards for public service in the 1990s,
including being recognized as the News-Press Woman of Achievement in
1992. How that record of community-minded service turns into what we saw
Tuesday night defies imagination. Whatever the reason, it has evolved
into behavior that simply is not acceptable.
City officials handled the speaker's tirade with more grace than it
deserved. City Atty. Scott Howard, clearly offended, interrupted Carrico
to tell Mayor Manoukian that "referencing a particular group as evildoers
in the generic sense without relating to a specific issue that comes
before the City Council is way off the mark, and does not have to be
tolerated by this council."
And if courage is, indeed, grace under pressure, Manoukian was the
bravest man at City Hall Tuesday. Rather than order Carrico out of the
room, which he could have done once it was determined she was out of
order but wouldn't stop talking, he listened long beyond when most people
would have had enough. He finally bid Carrico adieu by saying, "Thank
you, Mrs. Carrico, for those words of wisdom."
He could have added, "And don't bother coming back," and no one would