"We feel it is a sad day in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland.
The current elected officials have failed not only the Italian Americans of Baltimore City but all residents of Baltimore City.
Since June 25th, we have repeatedly officially reached out to all the members of city council, the mayor, the city solicitor, and the police commissioner. Not one return email or phone call has been answered. Not even replied to.
“Has the city leadership decided Italian Americans are no longer valued or wanted here in Baltimore”? and therefore with the blessing of City leaders and inaction by the police, criminals can continue to destroy our culture, deface our neighborhoods, and through their unwillingness to defend Italian American rights and show support to our community, encourage other ethnic and racial groups to discriminate against us and target us for violence with impunity.”
Why in a time of crisis with the pandemic and obvious violent crime in the city, how can the name of a holiday even be on the agenda.
Our elected civil servants need to fight the battles that are real."
Letter to our Constituents:
The motivation behind this movement is simple: “to get rid of the name Columbus”, period. This idea began in the 1960’s, when an activist group called the American Indian Movement (AIM) formed in order to fight the existing inequality and mistreatment of Native Americans in the U.S., a fair effort. However, the group was later infiltrated in the 1970’s by radical activists that were more interested in advancing political agendas rather than caring about the Native communities. Their focus was now calling out the “evil root of capitalism” (what they claimed was the cause of the Native American plight) and pointed at Christopher Columbus as the ultimate symbol of that system. And this concept is expanded by the activists when they claim that ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ as an alternative to ‘Columbus Day’ began in 1977 with the United Nations’ conference on discrimination against Indigenous populations. Replacing the holiday was never discussed at this conference- the only remark stated was: “to observe October 12, the day of so-called "discovery" of America, as an international day of solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas”. Jimmy Durham, AIM activist (who pretends to be of Indigenous descent), capitalized on this comment and wrote a preface to the conference report suggesting contempt against capitalism should be expressed during the yearly commemorations of ‘Columbus Day’. Then came Howard Zinn’s ‘A People's History of the United States’, which in this 1980 publication he wrote: “I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawak, the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves...[etc.]” But he did this by quoting separate ideas and joining them together with ellipses to create a different context. He also used no footnotes nor references in his book. Regardless, his book found a home within AIM, Zinn activists and schoolbook publishers. The last piece of this puzzle came together in 1990 when a conference was held in Quito, Ecuador, by the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas (CONAIE)- an Indigenous left-wing political party in South America. Many Indigenous groups and U.S. citizen-activists listened to their “manifesto” which among other objectives professed, “the 12th of October [is to] be declared a day of mourning and destruction of our cultures rather than a ‘Día de la Raza’ or ‘Discovery’ [Day]”, and “all organizations in the Americas should plan coordinated actions to reclaim significant dates such as ‘Columbus Day’.” The final issue to take with this movement is that ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ was already created by the United Nations itself to be observed on August 9th annually! As per their resolution adopted in 1995, one of the purposes of the day is: "...the achievement of international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.” Any other attempt to create an “Indigenous Peoples Day” IS NOT fulfilling these goals! So, why are our government representatives pushing bills that do not honor the will of the native confederations and tribes that asked for this resolution to begin with? This is the main question you should ask of your legislature.
Copyright © 2019 Italian American Civic Club of Maryland - All Rights Reserved.