Kim Kardashian called out Armenian genocide deniers in New York Times ad

Turns out there’s one unexpected way to use celebrity for good, showcased by Kim Kardashian speaking out against denial of the Armenian genocide. On Sept. 17, The New York Times ran a full-page letter, signed by Kardashian, ripping into The Wall Street Journal for running an ad denying the Armenian genocide earlier this year. “Money talks,” Kardashian’s letter begins, “and right now it’s talking crap.” An online-only version of the letter originally appeared on her official app in April.

What exactly did The Wall Street Journal do? The ad in question asked people to “remember and mourn the loss of Turkish and Armenian lives, lost in the destructive conflict which is known as the 1915 tragedy” in the name of “moving forward with transparency, truth and understanding.” However, this equates the suffering of genocide perpetrators with that of their victims. In 1915, over 1.5 million Armenians were executed by the Turkish government in a mass attempt at ethnic cleansing. Yet the Turkish government still refuses to acknowledge this as an instance of genocide — as does the American government, perhaps because Turkey is a U.S. military ally in the Middle East.

Kardashian, who is of Armenian descent, points out in her letter that such an ad is “totally morally irresponsible” and “dangerous.” Another section notes, “If [the Wall Street Journal ad] had been an ad denying the Holocaust, or pushing some 9/11 conspiracy theory, would it have made it to print?” Hopefully the answer is no. So why aren’t genocides and mass deaths elsewhere worthy of respect?

The New York Times letter is the latest in Kardashian’s continued efforts to raise awareness of the Armenian genocide. In 2015, she wrote an essay for Time on her Armenian heritage and the centenary of the genocide, urging readers to remember the victims, calling for Turkey’s and America’s governments to officially recognize the genocide, and warning 21st-century society not to repeat the mistakes of history. “I believe in moving on and looking toward a brighter future, but you can’t move on unless you acknowledge the past,” she wrote.

This time, Kardashian has worked with the Armenian community to get the message out. Her New York Times letter is sponsored by the Armenian Educational Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial aid to students of Armenian descent and Armenian educational institutions. Their public involvement with her letter makes the powerful statement that understanding the Armenian genocide is critical to establishing a safe, peaceful political and social future for the next generation.