Brooklyn pol calls for removal of NYC's Christopher Columbus statues

by Wade Massey August 28, 2017, 3:15
Brooklyn pol calls for removal of NYC's Christopher Columbus statues

On Thursday, a coalition of prominent Italian American leaders, including comedian Joe Piscopo, acknowledged at the rally on the steps of City Hall that Columbus was a "flawed" figure, but added that he had been revered by generations of Italian Americans.

While de Blasio demurred when asked during a mayoral debate Wednesday whether the Columbus statue would be spared, spokeswoman Natalie Grybauskas said Friday, "There are no plans to remove the Columbus statue". Somebody else should be up there, but who, I don't know.

Democratic City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito echoed the mayor's stance, saying the memorial celebrates a disputable historical figure.

"I will wait for the commission, as I said Christopher Columbus is a controversial figure to many of us particularly in the Caribbean and I think that that has to be looked at, when you have to look at history we have to look at it thoroughly and clearly", said Mark-Viverito.

The current caricature of Columbus now being peddled by some politicians and activists comes from the likes of Ward Churchill, the disgraced professor infamous for calling NY victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns". "If a radical group bent on sanitizing history doesn't want the statue at Columbus Circle anymore, Staten Island will gladly accept it". The statue of Lee that initially sparked the protests in Charlottesville has yet to be removed, the New York Times reports.

"Twenty-seven million Italian Americans-strong, to this day, we still hold him in a place of honor", he said.

On Monday, Oct. 9, de Blasio is expected to march in the Columbus Day Parade, according to his office, and some of his critics are warning that he could suffer politically if he removes the statue of the explorer.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, the Great Kills National Park on Staten Island might not be as tony a neighborhood as Manhattan's Columbus Circle, but congressman Dan Donovan said it would make a great home for the statue of Christopher Columbus.

Modern biographers, including Stanford University professor emerita Carol Delaney, have shown that Columbus was a decent man who is improperly blamed for everything that went wrong after 1492.

The Italian-born Columbus was one of the first Europeans to reach the Americas, and his expeditions initiated the first lasting trans-Atlantic contacts. "And I promise you on Election Day, we will remember who is attacking Italian Americans".


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