Indigenous Peoples Day? Italians say stick with Columbus

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Participants during the Columbus Day Parade on Monday Oct. 10 2016 in Manhattan

It is one of hundreds of memorials to the explorer.

Still, Columbus Day is celebrated in many parts of the United States and is observed by the federal government.

The NYPD declined to comment on threats to the statue, but cited recent efforts to deface the Columbus monument.

At Husmann Elementary School, I learned that Christopher Columbus founded this great land we call America and is a hero to our people.

"The reason this broad re-evaluation is happening right now is because for most of the past 150 years-while a revolution was occurring in the way most Americans perceive race-there was also an absolute refusal to seriously reconsider how we remember these historical figures", he said.

"On behalf of the Italian community, we want to celebrate with you".

"Obviously they feel insulted - and to be honest, they should be, because he has not taken a stand on defending the Christopher Columbus statue", the Staten Island Assemblywoman said. Last month in NY vandals doused the hands of a Christopher Columbus statue in blood-red paint and scrawled the words "hate will not be tolerated". And in Baltimore, the purported first-ever monument to the explorer, erected in 1792, was attacked with a sledgehammer in August.

Myself an Italian-American, I've always found it odd that so many other Italians look to Columbus as the standard bearer of Italian pride. While not all businesses are closed, some of them are. If they're going to celebrate Columbus, we need to celebrate the fact that we survived Columbus'. After gaining independence, the young republic was searching for symbols that set its identity apart from Europe's.

On Monday, three films will be shown in the Bovee University Center Rotunda with the intention of sparking discussion about Indigenous Peoples Day.

"Those who now question Columbus conveniently ignore the fact that slavery, cannibalism, warfare and even human sacrifice all existed in the Americas before he even sailed", he wrote. Indigenous people had been living there for centuries by the time Columbus arrived in 1492. He stated that Christopher Columbus was a courageous man of faith and helped jump-start the explorations that led to the founding of the United States.

Once we do this, Columbus Day can be a truly inclusive holiday. Many people attend this parade, but the majority are Italian-Americans. At least two rallies are planned as the parade marches on Fifth Avenue.

"It's unfortunate what's taking place now to take away the name of Columbus", he said.

Obama asked the U.S.to "acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers".

Statues are about more than just the person they depict.

Native Americans, in particular, began to push back against the Columbus mythology.

But Columbus' reputation is losing ground in multicultural America. A major celebration planned to mark the 500th anniversary of the New World landing never generated the interest that planners had hoped for, Fowler said.

The Bronx Columbus Day Parade Committee did not invite Mayor Bill de Blasio to the event, saying he did not take a strong enough position to protect the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle.

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