Armenian Weekly: ANCA Welcomes Bipartisan Calls on the Library of Congress to Adopt Armenian Genocide Subject Heading

Oct 20, 2020
In The News

US Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) has sent a bipartisan Congressional letter, signed by more than 50 of her US House colleagues, calling on the Library of Congress to revise its outdated Armenian Massacres subject heading to Armenian Genocide, in the wake of last year’s passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.296 / S.Res.150) in the House and Senate, a move strongly backed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). “We thank Congresswoman Titus for her principled and powerful leadership in this initiative and express our appreciation to all those – in the leadership of the Armenian Caucus and also each signatory of this letter – who are working to have books and other resources on the Armenian Genocide properly cataloged by the Library of Congress and the thousands of other libraries that use its subject heading system,” said ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan. “Please continue to make your voice heard by visiting www.anca.org/library. Working together, we will help put the Library of Congress – one of our great national treasures – on the right side of history.” Rep. Titus explained, “The use of the term ‘Armenian Genocide’ by the Library of Congress would help paint an accurate picture of history and rightly honor the victims of this atrocity.” Rep. Titus was joined by 56 US House colleagues in cosigning the letter, including: Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Representatives Julia Brownley (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Gil Cisneros (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Costa (D-CA), TJ Cox (D-CA), Jason Crow (D-CO), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jim Himes (D-CT), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), James McGovern (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Edwin Perlmutter (D-CO), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Michael San Nicolas (D-GU), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Van Taylor (R-TX), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD), Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN). Over 10,000 ANCA Rapid Responders and community advocates across the US called on their Congressional leaders to take action using the online action portal. These letters are part of an ongoing ANCA community action effort to secure the Library of Congress subject heading change on issues regarding the Armenian Genocide. The letter spearheaded by Rep. Titus comes in the face of a June 19, 2020 Library of Congress correspondence informing the ANCA that it would not make this change, even in light of Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide, because it deferred to the White House and State Department. The Titus letter, notes that “while we understand the Library of Congress has said it defers to the President and State Department on terminology, we do not believe that determinations of fact by an agency of the legislative branch should be made for political reasons or under pressure from foreign governments.” The letter makes the case that: “the current subject heading, ‘Armenian Massacres,’ is outdated, having been created before Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide and prior to the 1948 adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” It goes on to argue that “the existing heading is also inconsistent with the broad, near-universal academic consensus recognizing the Armenian Genocide as a clear case of genocide as reflected in numerous resolutions, letters and statements by the International Association of Genocide Scholars.”