Tags: columbus day | italian | americans | indigenous peoples day

Italian-Americans Defend Columbus Day

Image: Italian-Americans Defend Columbus Day
A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has new momentum but the gesture to recognize victims of European colonialism has also prompted howls of outrage from some Italian Americans, who say eliminating their festival of ethnic pride is culturally insensitive, too. (Seth Wenig/AP)

By    |   Monday, 09 October 2017 03:31 PM

Italian-Americans Monday stood up to charges of racism and defended Columbus Day from liberal attacks across the United States, as local governments covered statues of the Italian explorer, vandals defaced other Columbus monuments and city councils declared "Indigenous Peoples' Day."

"Columbus Day is a day that we've chosen to celebrate who we are," Basil Russo, president of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America, told the Associated Press in New York where 35,000 people marched in a Columbus Day parade.

Russo said Italian-Americans have as much right to celebrate their heritage as groups like American Indians have to protest Columbus Day.

"And we're entitled to do that, just as they are entitled to celebrate who they are," he said.

Critics have denounced Columbus Day for years, but recent racial tension has intensified the debate over Christopher Columbus and the Spanish colonization that followed his four voyages to the New World beginning in 1492.

Chicago police Monday discovered a statue of Columbus with the words "mass murderer" and "decolonize" spray-painted in red.

Los Angeles covered up a Columbus statue in Grand Park and placed a chain-link fence around it. The city council in August voted to rename the holiday "Indigenous Peoples' Day."

The Nashville, Tennessee, Metro Council took the same action last week.

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Critics have denounced Columbus Day for years, but recent racial tension has intensified the debate over Christopher Columbus and the Spanish colonization that followed his four voyages to the New World beginning in 1492.
columbus day, italian, americans, indigenous peoples day
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2017-31-09
Monday, 09 October 2017 03:31 PM
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