Defends Columbus Day Celebration
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Listen to what Joe has to say in the interview below….
In the meantime we agree with the following:
The second Monday of October should continue to be celebrated as Columbus Day. We strongly object to and oppose any efforts to abolish or diminish this holiday by repeal, dilution or replacement. Such actions are unfair to Columbus himself and to those who celebrate his holiday.
The legacy and accomplishments of Christopher Columbus deserve to be celebrated. He was a man ahead of his time and a fearless explorer and brilliant navigator whose daring discovery changed the course of history.
Columbus has frequently been falsely blamed for the actions of those who came after him and is the victim of horrific slanders concerning his conduct. Long-time Stanford University Professor Carol Delaney has done extensive research debunking many of the negative myths about Columbus. In fact, she paints a positive portrait of a man who had generally benign relations with the Native Americans and has been unfairly blamed for everything that ever went wrong in the New World after his arrival.
Advocating the addition of a new holiday is one thing, but it is something else altogether to lobby for the diminishment or elimination of an already well-established holiday that is celebrated by Americans year after year.
Because Columbus Day has special meaning — including to many Italian Americans and Catholics — efforts to repeal, diminish or replace Columbus Day are unfair and hurtful to those communities, regardless of what substitutions are offered.
While Italian-American groups have embraced the Columbus Day holiday for many decades as an opportunity to express their civic pride as Americans of Italian descent, the meaning of the federal holiday is, and has always been much broader in its scope.
It should be noted that there already is a recognized American Indian Heritage Day in the United States as approved by Congress and is recognizes as such in the State of Maryland. It is the Friday after Thanksgiving. The entire month of November is Native American Heritage Month.
The House of Representatives originally passed H.J. Res. 62 on November 13, 2007. The bill was passed with technical adjustments by unanimous consent in the United States Senate on September 22, 2008. Then, on September 26, 2008, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, this time including the adjustments from the Senate. The legislation was signed into public law by the President on October 8, 2008.
Some individual states have also taken legislative action to recognize this day. Maryland established this day in 2008 under the name American Indian Heritage Day.
Christopher Columbus did not usher in the transatlantic slave trade. In fact, there is little evidence he was even a participant. Slavery existed prior to Columbus and after Columbus in both the old world and new.
In his official proclamation of the holiday, President Obama declared: “The spirit of exploration that Columbus embodied was sustained by all who would follow him westward, driving a desire to continue expanding our understanding of the world.”
The President made a point of adding that “As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers.” And he added: “We have made great progress together in recent years, and we will keep striving to maintain strong nation-tonation relationships, strengthen tribal sovereignty, and help all our communities thrive.”
The president concluded by describing the spirit in which all Americans should mark Columbus Day: “More than five centuries ago, one journey changed the trajectory of our world — and today we recognize the spirit that Christopher Columbus’s legacy inspired. As we reflect on the adventurers throughout history who charted new courses and sought new heights, let us remember the communities who suffered, and let us pay tribute to our heritage and embrace the multiculturalism that defines the American experience.” Columbus Day is an opportunity for all Americans to celebrate both the “spirit of exploration” that Columbus embodied and which has become a hallmark of America, and celebrate as well the hard-won success that we have had over the past 500 years in the often difficult process of becoming one people.
Watch & Listen to Joe Piscopo defend the
Columbus Day celebration in the video below