October 12, 2009, - 10:54 am
Happy Fall Weekend Day!: Columbus Under Further Attack, Even in . . . Columbus?! Columbus a Jew?; UPDATE: Kids Taught Darker Side of Columbus, Put Him on Trial, Find Guilty
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
If you’re a local, state, or federal employee, you’re probably not reading this . . . at work. But look out, Columbus Day is under continued attack and may soon be abolished. Or perhaps, some day, it’ll be Ramadan Explorer’s Dar Al-Harb Day.
Even the eponymous City of Columbus is saying, “Uh, we don’t want to get involved.” Wishy-washy Mayor Michael B. Coleman doesn’t want to upset minorities by observing the holiday recognizing his city’s namesake.
The tradition of honoring Christopher Columbus for sailing the ocean blue in 1492 is facing rougher seas than the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria.
Philadelphia’s annual Columbus Day parade has been canceled. Brown University this year renamed the holiday “Fall Weekend” following a campaign by a Native American student group opposed to celebrating an explorer who helped enslave some of the people he “discovered.” . . .
Some employers have turned to “holiday swapping.” In Calimesa, Calif., the city council recently voted to swap two holidays — Columbus Day, and a day honoring labor organizer Cesar Chavez — for one floating holiday and day off on New Year’s Eve. . . .
Columbus Day used to be a big deal in Columbus, Ohio. But it has been 11 years since the city had an official parade for its namesake, in part because of the controversy swirling around Columbus. There were fireworks and a beauty contest.
“It was the biggest parade in town,” says Joseph Contino, a local who flies tanker jets for the national guard and is trying to refuel the idea of celebrating the big day with a big parade.
The city isn’t helping, Mr. Contino says. “Their reaction is as if it was the Ku Klux Klan.”
A city official says that’s not right. “The mayor thinks a parade is a great idea and thinks that the Italian community should take the lead on that,” says Dan Williamson, a spokesman for Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
“It would be stupid to pretend there is no controversy around Christopher Columbus,” he adds. But the mayor of Columbus isn’t taking sides.
Hilarious. The Mayor of a City named after Columbus considers it “taking sides” to actually celebrate his own city’s namesake. Pretty soon, he won’t want to “take sides” on Independence Day. Maybe he eats bangers and mash on that day. Who knows?
His supporters acknowledge Columbus took slaves back to Spain and opened the door to conquistadors who killed Native Americans. But much of the criticism is built on “judging a 16th century man by 21st century standards,” says Dona De Sanctis of the Order Sons of Italy in America, a group of half a million Italian-Americans that tries to defend Columbus’ legacy.
At Brown University, the rename-the-holiday activists “stressed this was against Columbus, but not Italian-Americans,” says Reiko Koyama, a junior who led the effort to persuade the school to change the name to “Fall Weekend.” Brown happens to be in Rhode Island, a state with the largest proportion of Italian-Americans in the U.S.
Hmmm . . . Reiko Koyama. Now, that definitely sounds Native American.
Ground zero of the Columbus battle has been Colorado, home to the nation’s first official Columbus holiday about a century ago. Columbus Day parades in Denver have faced acrimonious protests for much of the past decade. Marchers have been on the receiving end of dismembered dolls and fake blood strewn across the parade route. Dozens of protesters have been arrested over the years.
Wow, those people are real mature.
Columbus shouldn’t just be a celebratory figure in the Italian-American community. He’s someone all of us who live in America should celebrate. He helped open the West to us all.
**** UPDATE: To make matters worse, all over America, kids are taught the “darker side of Columbus.” Get this agit-prop for fifth graders from James Kracht, executive associate dean for academic affairs in the Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development:
“The indigenous population was kind of waiting expectantly, almost with smiles on their faces,’’ Kracht said. “ ‘I wonder what this guy is bringing us?’ Well, he’s bringing us smallpox, for one thing, and none of us are going to live very long.’’
Hmmm, if his surname is pronounced “Cracked,” I’d say there’s definitely truth in advertising there.
In McDonald, Pa., 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, fourth-grade students at Fort Cherry Elementary put Columbus on trial this year, charging him with misrepresenting the Spanish crown and thievery. They found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.
Disgusting. Why the heck aren’t they taught the “darker side of Islam”? Oh, and by the way, Columbus may have own slaves then. Guess who still owns them today? Here’s a hint: “The Darker Side of Islam.”
Tags: Christopher Columbus, City of Columbus, Columbus Day, Columbus Mayor, Columbus Ohio, Columbus on Trial, Darker Side of Columbus, Islam, James Kracht, Jew, Jewish, Joseph Contino, kids put Columbus on trial, Michael B. Coleman, Reiko Koyama, slavery, slaves, Texas A&M, trial