Some Want to Sell You a Bridge; We Want to Build One

The Columbus Heritage Coalition is building bridges to leaders of the Hispanic community who share our goal to protect, preserve and promote the true historical legacy of the great explorer Christopher Columbus.

We commend noted Hispanic-American journalist Miguel Perez, who recently stepped forward with a forceful defense of Columbus Day and its vital meaning to our Latino American and Italian American communities.

Written for the website, Perez agrees with us that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a splendid idea–as a stand-alone holiday celebration. But he notes, “To do it with bitter protests against Columbus, on the day when so many other people are rejoicing and expressing pride in their Spanish and Italian heritage, is divisive and in very poor taste – to say the least.”

Perez adds: “Over the years, it has been mostly Italian American community leaders who have stood up in defense of their beloved ‘Columbo.’ Hispanics, conflicted by anti-Spanish propaganda, have stood on the sidelines. And that has led to the audacity of taking away the holiday of two ethnic groups and replacing it with another’s.”

Perez reminds us that Columbus Day for Italian Americans “is about much more than one Italian navigator who sailed for Spain in the 16th century. It’s about pride in their identity.”

An award-winning reporter, columnist, and popular radio and television talk-show host, Perez is a longtime professor of Journalism at Lehman College of the City University of New York. He has spent his 40-year career covering the issues of America’s burgeoning Latino population and chronicling the evolution of Hispanic heritage.

His column is a spirited defense of the efforts to combat attacks on Columbus, and Columbus Day, the national holiday celebrated by tens of millions of Americans annually. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to read it at this link:

Miguel Perez says it is time for Hispanics to join forces with Italian Americans to honor and defend Christopher Columbus, and we agree.

What’s your opinion? Send me a note here.

Angelo Vivolo
Columbus Heritage Coalition