As Revelers Celebrate Columbus Day, a Defense of the Explorer from Genoa

Photo: Getty Images AsiaPac

It is the question that more and more Americans seem to be asking each year as the second Monday of October rolls around: is today Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day? People who support the explorer credited with discovering the New World in 1492 feel the people who want to cancel the holiday are pushing negative stereotypes to do so. Andre Dimino, president of the Italian American One Voice Coalition, appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to discourage the practice of forcing Columbus to fit into today’s standards.

“It’s really an attack on Western culture,” Dimino told Berman and Larry Mendte, sitting in for Riedel. “This was no Garden of Eden, when Columbus got to this part of the world. They say he invented slavery; there was plenty of slavery here. There was (sic) atrocities, there was (sic) child mutilations, there was cannibalism, so this was no Garden of Eden, but we’re not going to hold indigenous peoples to today’s standards, and they shouldn’t do that about Columbus… of course, as we’ve said, after Columbus, they’re going to start going after Washington and Jefferson and others, as you’ve seen.”

Dimino then extolled the reasons why Italian Americans should be proud of the intrepid explorer from Genoa. “What he did was he changed the world. He united the continents. Really, many people have said that was the seminal thing that occurred in the history of our world… also, you’ve got to remember that, besides trying to find a route to the Indies he also was trying to spread Christianity around the world. So, you know, he had two missions there, and he accomplished it… we’ve got to remember that we all wouldn’t be around here, this world wouldn’t be the same, if it wasn’t for what Columbus did.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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