It has been a pretty quiet week for the Great Navigator here in Metro New York. Usually, the Indians are restless just before Columbus Day, clamoring for Indigenous Peoples Day. Anarchists and anti-Euro types are usually busy dabbling in academic alchemy converting history into gossip. Compared to previous years the quiet is downright spooky.
It may have a lot to do with an otherwise engaged media – the boys and girls in the newsrooms are distracted with Brett Kavanaugh scuttlebutt. Who’s got time for old-news genocide when a Supreme Court battle of the sexes is playing out in real time? It may also be that rehashing 1492 has worn the public out.
That’s not to say Columbus-haters are out of steam. They continue to haunt school districts, city halls, and state houses looking for minority sympathizers to oust Euro-American heroes and exalt the downtrodden. They make headway simply because the Euro-American leadership is being replaced by a growing minority population. And it doesn’t matter if Columbus Day is observed or not, locally; it’s still on the federal books.
In Santa Barbara, CA, Native Americans are lobbying to replace Columbus Day even though it’s not a holiday there. They figure gaining local recognition for Indigenous Peoples Day will eventually lead to a state holiday. Hispanics did so with César Chávez Day, a state holiday that honors the farm worker activist every March. Columbus is merely the stepping stone for Native Americans.
One good thing that came out of the Columbus controversy: the Judeans (i.e., ethnic Jews) have paused in publicly claiming him. They prefer not to be associated with accusations of genocide. It’s sort of bitter sweet because if Columbus were Jewish, Native Americans would risk being labelled anti-Semitic. Now, there’s a fight worth seeing!
This week, our Senior Analyst Rosario Iaconis had an op-ed published in a local paper denouncing Columbia (as in Columbus) University, and specifically the Italian Academy at La Casa Italiana, for ignoring Columbus and treating Italian Americans like dirt. In the ten years our Institute has struggled to restore Italian American rights (our forebears built La Casa in 1927 and ran it for 63 years) it has become a J-Street (i.e., liberal Jewish) fiefdom promoting Holocaust and Palestinian issues. Not a single Italian American has been appointed to the staff or Board, even accidentally, in those ten years. So, you can forget about celebrating the heroic Columbus there.
Elsewhere, we wait with bated breath to see if the Columbus Citizens Foundation restores its Santa Maria Float in the Fifth Avenue parade on Monday. The Genovese navigator has been an after-thought in the line of march and TV commentary since the Indians went looking for his scalp a few years ago. Parade organizers fear for both their image and financial consequences. I made a face-to-face plea to the Foundation’s president this year to restore Columbus with the float and commentary. We’ll see.
Among the events scheduled around here for Italian Heritage Month there will be smaller parades in various towns and villages and only three educational activities focusing on Columbus: a lecture in Queens, NY by my colleague Lou Gallo of the Sons and Daughters of Italy; another lecture in Tuckahoe, NY by a Prof. Francesco Lindia; and an elementary school competition designed by our former Aurora teacher Josephine Maietta on Long Island. None of the various university centers – where you would expect our academics to defend him – will be acknowledging the man who unified the globe.
Our Italic Institute has produced four brochures explaining Columbus Day and restoring the facts surrounding the man and his actions. Our associate Dona DeSanctis Bracone of Maryland has published similar work in essay form. All these works have been disseminated over the years by mail and internet for use by our community. The truth of Columbus is there, but academia and the mainstream media prefer revisionism to original truth.
Perhaps our impeccable facts will take the wind out of their sails. –JLM