A Letter to My People (or, “Come on……”)

Dear Fellow Italian-Americans,

Please stop. As someone with the actual namesake of the explorer, Colombo, I understand the desire to praise this ancestral figure as something of a hero. After all, I would much rather have a last name shared with a great explorer and discoverer, and not with a mass murderer.

Which is exactly what Christopher Columbus….Colombo…is. A mass murderer. He conquered, enslaved and wiped out entire populations of people. And still, many states celebrate him as if he brought peace to the Middle East (or got lost and brought peace to the wrong place a few centuries ahead of time). But this isn’t a letter to state governments or the US American people. It’s to my own. Because this really needs to stop.

Now, as it turns out, many cities have recognized the atrocity of celebrating this dickweed. And I say dickweed, because like a weed, his dickery spread fast and killed almost everything. Anyway, Seattle, for instance, is celebrating the indigenous people of their city instead of the guy who killed a bunch of them. Halfway through the article, I ran into this:

“Italian-Americans are deeply offended,” Lisa Marchese, a lawyer affiliated with the Order Sons of Italy in America, told The Seattle Times.”By this resolution, you say to all Italian-Americans that the city of Seattle no longer deems your heritage or your community worthy of recognition.”

Seriously? Is that really the argument you want to make? And what, are the indigenous people of Seattle not worthy of recognition? Or how about the fact that there’s still, signed by the president every year, an entire month to celebrate Italian culture and heritage? A month! And besides that, there are other Italians who are much more worthy of praise. How about Serpico? The Italian-American who exposed corruption in the NYPD and put his life on the line (literally) for justice? And he’s just one guy. There are so many other better people to recognize, and we should be. The time of falsifying Columbus as a hero needs to end.

  • He killed millions.
  • He discovered nothing
  • He wasn’t even the first foreign visitor to America
  • Oh, yeah, he killed millions.

And we really have no right to that day. Other explorers deserve it a lot more than he does. And while no explorers are without flaws, almost all of them are better than Columbus.

Columbus should be the figure of our past that we try to ignore and hope people will forget about. Because, and I say this without hyperbole, to celebrate Christopher Colombo is the same as celebrating Adolf Hitler. Except that Colombo killed more people.

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