The colonization of the Armenian identity: a thread
Prior to the Armenian Genocide, Armenia was comprised of the following regions: Western Armenia, Nakhichevan, Artsakh, and Eastern Armenia (modern day Armenia). In the immediate aftermath of the Genocide, the Treaty of Sevres was created. This would give Armenia back its lands.
In retaliation, Turkey waged the War of Turkish Independence. To placate the new Kemalist government, which was led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and comprised of former members of The Young Turks, the Treaty of Lausanne was ratified, effectively creating Armenia as we know it.
Shortly after, Armenia (which had diplomatic ties to Russia dating back to the 1850s) was annexed to the Soviet Union as a territory and remained so until its dissolution, which is one of the reasons it came to be considered as an Eastern European nation.
This essentially wiped out our history in the modern day Middle East, which had spanned thousands of years dating back to Urartu.
But during the Genocide, a large influx of Armenian refugees were also seeking asylum in the United States. At the time, Armenians were viewed as “yellow” or “Asiatic” and thus exempt from owning property, obtaining citizenship and having basic rights in the US.
Armenian refugees sued the US Government for the ability to be considered citizens and own property and won the lawsuit. Part of this was essentially surrendering our entire identity and assimilating into what the US constituted as “white,” leading to our further erasure.
So despite being an indigenous people of the modern-day Middle East, in order to survive our history and our identity was taken away and rewritten from a colonialist perspective at the hands of Russia and the US. We were coded as white.
Despite this classification as “white”, we have never fully been viewed as white and have never genuinely benefited from the perception of whiteness in the United States. See: taking 106 years to get our genocide recognized.

If we were white, we would’ve gotten justice sooner.
Armenians were among the many Middle Eastern communities in the US to be subjected to “random searches” by TSA in the aftermath of 9/11 and subjected to hate crimes and discrimination that we have never seen dissipate, and that discrimination continues to this day.
When you call an Armenian white, you actively engage in the further colonization of ethnic SWANA minorities in the Western world. We are, by origin, ethnically indigenous to the Middle East/West Asia. Decolonize your mindset and understand that we are not white and never were.
This is of course an oversimplification of a complex history of oppression and assimilation that dates back centuries. I encourage you, whoever you are, to read more about the plight of the Armenian people and the sacrifices we have made to ensure our survival.
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