An Italian-American heritage group is seething over Seattle's decision to change Columbus Day to "Indigenous Peoples Day" because the former allegedly smacks of racism towards Native Americans.
"Here's just another attack on trying to chip away on the basic foundation of how this country was built," Andre' DiMino, president of the Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition, said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
Story continues below video.
Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now
"It's so obvious they're playing up to the indigenous people and Native Americans … Not only is that a slap against the country, but of course this is a big day for Italian Americans so it's a direct attack on Italian Americans."
On Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution to celebrate "Indigenous Peoples Day" every year on the second Monday of October, which is the same day as Columbus Day.
The controversial measure notes Native Americans were in North America years before Columbus.
Council member Kshama Sawant told the Seattle Times the explorer "played such a pivotal role in the worst genocide humankind has ever known …This is about taking a stand against racism and discrimination."
Nonsense, says DiMino.
"It doesn't make any sense. If you go back, it was actually the Native Americans themselves that were involved with slavery and so forth before any Europeans got here," he said.
"Why is it that it's got to be this specific focus on Columbus Day? It's a day we celebrate, a day that opened up the new world.
"They don't want us to face that it was the European arrival here that started to develop this part of the world and they want to completely knock that down."
DiMino, who is the recipient of the prestigious Christopher Columbus Heritage Award, said there is nothing wrong with celebrating the lives of the indigenous people.
The Seattle School Board last week decided to have its schools observe Indigenous Peoples Day on the same day as Columbus Day.
"That's fine, but don't fool us. What you're really trying to do is take away Columbus Day," he said.
"This was how our country was founded and why should this be eliminated from our culture?"
Columbus Day is a federal holiday that celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.