Columbus Day 2023

New York City Council’s Italian Caucus is fighting back against the attacks by the hateful Woke Crowd on Columbus Day which millions of people across the city, state and nation are celebrating today, the second Monday of October, a state and federal legal holiday.  These uninformed should “drop the hate and seek the truth.”

The Caucus on Friday reported the city agencies, acting with no public notice and in conflict with state and federal law, are dropping the Columbus celebration holiday.  The city will now call the new holiday “Italian Heritage and Indigenous People Day.”

“This is an insult not just to New Yorkers of Italian descent who fought for so many years to gain recognition of Columbus Day,” the bipartisan Caucus wrote, “but to anyone with an understanding of its undeniable importance to our nation… Despite debates and disagreements, Christopher Columbus’ expeditions represent a significant turning point in global history, ushering in centuries of intercontinental exchange.” Importantly, his heroic courage and daring ignited a  continuous migration to the new world that for more than five centuries has offered opportunity and hope to hundreds of millions of migrants.

We applaud Council Members David Carr, Joann Ariola, Joseph Borelli, Vickie Paladino and Robert Holden for their leadership and for their clear statement that “This Monday is Columbus Day. We should recognize it as such.” The Caucus recognizes that when you offend one culture, ethnicity, religion you offend all.   

Councilman Justin Brannan, a member of the Caucus who signed onto the Caucus statement, later said in an interview that he would be open to swapping out Columbus for Italian-American Heritage. But the Councilman need only visit three neighborhood, immigrant-filled, parade celebrations–in the Bronx, Queens and his home borough of Brooklyn—to truly appreciate the powerful and unifying appeal of the pioneering navigator.  New residents to the neighborhoods hailing from around the globe participate as marchers celebrating their pride, and they watch and cheer as spectators.

Councilman Brannan also suggested that the parade should not be used  “to venerate only one person and particularly not to venerate violence toward indigenous people.” But the reality is more complicated, as the work of Dr. Mary Grabar, author of “Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America,” has shown.

Dr. Grabar’s research peels back Zinn’s radical-left vision of American history in “People’s History of the United States” to uncover illegitimate sources, plagiarism and misrepresentations of Columbus’ own words from the explorer’s own  diaries.  Zinn casts Columbus as a greedy, gold-craving megalomaniac. But as Professor Grabar probed and researched more deeply, her suspicions turned to shock.  Contrary to Zinn’s claims, the institution of slavery pre-existed centuries before Columbus. Native tribes practiced child sacrifice and cannibalism, which Columbus sought to stop.

Zinn accused Columbus of genocide, the intention killing of many people from a particular nation or ethnic group to destroy that nation or group. But the truth is that the vast majority of tragic deaths of both Native Americans and Europeans was not intentional. Instead, deadly diseases ravaged newly exposed populations. Smallpox from Europe infected indigenous cultures, while infectious diseases from indigenous cultures spread among the Spanish and then throughout Europe.

Prof. Grabar writes that the academy rarely challenged Zinn’s lies and deceptions despite its fatal flaws. Moreover, college students trained under Zinn’s spreading influence brought his indictment of Columbus to the high schools and beyond, making Zinn’s wreckage a best seller.

The millions of Americans who celebrate Columbus on the streets and in their hearts must always remember–people of goodwill will respond when presented with the truth. Share this message widely with your friends and neighbors.

Happy Columbus Day!


Angelo Vivolo
Columbus Heritage Coalition