The fervor over removing statues has officially, and predictably, gone beyond Confederate soldiers.
New York City and its ultra liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio, are considering removing a statue of Christopher Columbus that has stood in the city since the late 1800s.
And protesters on both sides of the issue took to the streets to argue their points.
On Friday, protesters gathered around the statue, in Columbus Circle, with signs that read “Columbus didn’t discover America he invaded it,” “Columbus statues: A tribute to racism and genocide,” among others.
The statue is among many described as “symbols of hate” being studied de Blasio’s commission.
The rally came after a Thursday rally by people demanding the statue stay where it is, CBS 2 reported.
“It’s Columbus today and who knows who will be on this secret list tomorrow,” Joe Borelli, the councilman for New York’s Staten Island borough, said.
“Italians are everywhere in this state,” State Sen. Diane Savino added. “That statue in Columbus Circle does not represent the explorer, it represents the experience of the Italian immigrant population.”
Assemblyman Ron Castorina agreed.
“Twenty-seven million Italian Americans-strong, to this day, we still hold him in a place of honor,” he said. “We will continue to do so and we will continue to fight to make sure that Columbus Circle remains Columbus Circle.”
Former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Joe Piscopo also spoke at the rally and bashed political correct nonsense.
“The one iconic symbol for Italian-Americans was Christopher Columbus. He’s flawed, we’re all flawed — hey, I’m flawed. Does that mean I’m not gonna get a rest stop named after me on the Jersey Turnpike?” Piscopo said. “Stop the political correctness. The political correctness is killing us.”
And if none of that got de Blasio’s attention, this warning ought to.
Chairman of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations, Joe Guagliardo, reminded the progressive mayor of how much influence Italian-Americans have in New York City.
“I represent over 60 organizations, over a million members, and I can promise you this, at the parade this year we will remember who our friends are, and I promise you on Election Day we will remember who is attacking Italian Americans,” he said.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, who first mentioned the idea of removing the Columbus statue, defended the idea to CBS 2.
“I’m an Italian American, Italian Americans have a long time been taught to be proud of Columbus, there’s a lot to not be proud of as well,” Viverito, who is half Italian and half Puerto Rican said.
“Because of my concern about the controversy behind the figure of Christopher Columbus,” she has never marched in the Columbus Day Parade, she said. “That’s a personal decision.”
Mark-Viverito’s spokesman also told the network that Grant’s Tomb ought to be on the list for possible removal because some people say he was anti-Semitic.
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