Italian-American leaders defend Christopher Columbus statue after de Blasio pushes monument commission

Aug 25, 2017 2630

BY: Jillian Jorgensen

Italian-American politicians blasted their paesano Mayor de Blasio for considering the removal of statues of Christopher Columbus as part of a commission to ditch symbols of hate. “You’ve chosen to reopen historical arguments that are 400 years old,” Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) said. “And your actions, whether you want to admit it or not, are going to be more divisive to New Yorkers than uniting.”

Borelli and others cited Columbus — who led expeditions on behalf of Spain that began Europe’s contact with the Americas — as a symbol of Italian-American pride. But others point to him as a colonizer of already occupied land whose arrival ultimately led to the the death of huge amounts of native people. “That statue in Columbus Circle does not represent the explorer. It represents the experience of the Italian immigrant community who came here,” State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) said.

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SOURCE: http://www.nydailynews.com

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