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Italian-American group might sue to force city to put Columbus statute back where it was beheaded

The Italian American Alliance is pissed at Mayor Walsh's announcement that the Christopher Columbus statue that was decapitated in June will not be returned to its pedestal in Christopher Columbus Park, but instead be sent to the senior-citizen apartment building the neighborhood Knights of Columbus is building:

WE ARE DISAPPOINTED AT THE OVERALL PROCESS AND ARE CONSIDERING LEGAL OPTIONS.

While some cautioned us not to trust Walsh, we did. It now appears that our trust was a mistake. However, there’s no other way of saying it. The Mayor did not keep his word.

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Comments

I think the Mayor's solution is very good. It celebrates Italian immigrants, which I thought was the point. Why are these people so hung up on Columbus?!

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Voting closed 67

It celebrates Italian immigrants, which I thought was the point.

NARRATOR: It wasn't.

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Can we make this into a The More You Know... segment for after-school TV? Maybe have Tony Danza as presenter.

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as a big Arrested Development fan, i heard it Ron Howard’s voice

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Columbus is a symbol of Italian accomplishments. I know that Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Volta, Fermi, and Berra all contributed more to our culture. Italian Americans were the subject of vicious prejudice for generations. Columbus Day is a celebration of all that is great about their culture. They are not glorifying oppression. Why can't that be left alone. Just don't tell them about the sailing exploits of St. Brendan:)

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...Italians had to come to America to find out that Columbus was even a thing.

Seems a strange hill to die on when a better option is being offered: a true celebration of the contributions of real Italian immigrants.

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Thanks. I hope you have relatives within a 45 to 60 minute flight from Fiumicino in your direct lineal heritage to justify your pontification on these matters.

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I do have Italian heritage, both sides. And he's right.

The Italian American org is wrong on this -- and it's being run by right-wing grouchy goons who spend more time demonizing Howard Zinn than they do anything else.

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that was the weak, john

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I did grow up in an Italian-American community, where every family but mine was Italian-American, so yeah, I do know. Ease up on the trigger there, little buckaroo, you're gonna shot yourself in the foot (again).

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Now I understand your mentality in your comments.

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Leave yourself alone, John, you're gonna blow a gasket being the Sole Rightful Spokesperson of Everything.

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At the risk of becoming a broken record, I once again post this informative article on how embedded Columbus was in American mythology from our earliest days:

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/the-invention-of-christopher-c...

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As an Italian-American, I never understood this rationale -- on a bunch of levels.

Columbus mapped a route to North America for... Spain.

...because Italy was a disaster in his time. Hell, "Italy" as Italian-Americans would describe it was more than 350 YEARS away from even existing when he made his journey.

If we (the Italian-American community) wanted to celebrate "ourselves," any of those you listed above minus the Renaissance guys would be more apt, and closer to what we actually think is "Italian"

If we wanted to commemorate the prejudice our (great) grandparents faced, a statue of Columbus--a figure whose discovery unequivocally led to what would become actual genocide of different groups of people--is not the way.

Further to that, Italian-Americans are now in almost every way in positions of privilege in society when you compare things to the early 1900s. To try to focus the spotlight on ourselves for reasons of remembering prejudice seems a bit unnecessary at this point, and honestly misses the big picture in the context of a really diverse city and neighborhood which is arguably by design exclusionary to "outside" groups.

Sorry if this is overwrought, but I just can't understand the "Columbus is our St. Patrick" angle. Why can't we simply celebrate ourselves and our community for its great qualities without creating an idol? And certainly if you gotta pick an individual to idolize, there are so many outstanding "modern" Italians to pick from.

But even more to the point: if you want to celebrate Italian-Americans, and you really need to find an individual to idolize... maybe you should pick an Italian-American. Not a Genoan whose signature accomplishment was both on behalf of a different group of people and also led to atrocity.

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"Hell, 'Italy' as Italian-Americans would describe it was more than 350 YEARS away from even existing when he made his journey."

For some reason your quote made me think of the way old time Boston Italian-Americans even PRONOUNCED the word "Italy". I am an Italian-American over 50 and all of my older family members both nuclear and extended, and there were a LOT of them, always pronounced it as "It-Lee". Almost with a glottal stop in the middle. All other older Italian-Americans I knew when I was young did also. This had nothing to do with accent by the way. Many of them were born here and didn't have Italian accents. It almost struck me as some strange sort of signal of "authenticity" or something. But it was definitely a thing. Shades of the old "Fie-Leens" vs. "Fuh-Leens" debate. :-)

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“Why can’t we just ignore the torture, mass murder, rape, and the selling young children into sexual slavery?” is a question that should answer itself. Not so for DapperO here, apparently.

Maybe I’m just a crazy “woke”, but if I wanted to celebrate my people’s triumph over vicious, multigenerational oppression I would choose a hero who did not inflict vicious multigenerational oppression on others.

Making Columbus a symbol of overcoming prejudice is like the Boston NAACP venerating the real Dapper O’Neil every year or making Donald Trump spokesman in a national campaign against sexual assault.

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if they want to honor an Italian explorer with actual ties to the US, they should put up a statue for Americo Vespucio.

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The Italian American community wants an explorer to honor, and Vespucio doesn't have the baggage Columbus has, in addition to having actually seen this continent. Sounds like a decent substitute.

Now, what Italians in places like Argentina might do is another story altogether.

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Vespucci, who was not so much an explorer as a guy who hooked up with explorers and went along for the ride, didn't get any closer to the modern USA than Columbus did. Somewhat less so. Most of his voyages were along the coast of Brazil.

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For what it's worth, he is the namesake of our country and continent. That should be worth something, shouldn't it?

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Enough of out of town a holes trying to change Boston.

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Putting him back in the ocean so he can discover the floor.

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I am an older Italian-American who never quite understood the Columbus mystique. He is embraced by Italian-Americans as an icon of Italian accomplishment, yet history tells us he was rejected by his own country and sailed under the Spanish flag. As such, many Latinos also embrace Columbus, and in my East Boston neighborhood I have even seen some Latinos wearing Columbus t shirts. (Who knew that was a thing?). There is even research that shows that Columbus may not even have been a poor sailor from Genoa but an educated Greek, perhaps of royal lineage. There is so much mythology swirling around him that he seems basically a symbolic figurehead to me, not unlike St. Patrick. Although I strongly disagree with all the recent vandalization and removal of statues, including that of Columbus, the Italian immigrant statue seems like a decent idea.

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There are no bars in Claddagh.

There were never snakes in Ireland.

You couldn't work at Guinness until the 60's if you were Catholic and Guinness is an English owned company.

And Bono was never attacked by the Orange Order growing up even though apparently word never got to Jon Bon Jovi until this week that that wasn't a thing.

Yet somehow people celebrate the mystique.

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On what basis does this organization have legal standing to file such a lawsuit? Do they have some ownership interest in the statue, or an easement on the property of the park?

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Marty speaks with forked tongue. File suit, if only to bust his balls. Let the City Law Department file an answer and motion to dismiss.

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Like the ten North End citizens who (successfully) sued over a restaurant at the end of Long Wharf.

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...announcement that the Christopher Columbus statue that was decapitated in June will not be returned to its pedestal in Christopher Columbus Park, but instead be sent to the senior-citizen apartment building the neighborhood Knights of Columbus is building:

So... announce to a community that the public monument that one group has an interest in, that was destroyed, that the city will not restore/replace as previously promised, is being given to a semi-related group with the message "Here - you can hang up the wrecked one if you want. Inside. Away from the rest of us."

Classy.

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You're a dying breed.

Let's note that not all Italian Americans are Columbus-fetishizers.

https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/06/17/italian-americans-say-goodbye-columbus

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i can’t believe nobody has made a sopranos reference yet

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Much of America has stopped celebrating Columbus Day, but the explorer remains revered in Italy

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/columbus-day-italy/2020/10/1... medium=em
ail&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_evening

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