"The statue is really not about Columbus; it's about the Italian-American heritage, and I think that deserves to be celebrated", Cuomo told reporters at the West Indian Day Parade. But in the political, social, and racial climate of America today, we're having a lot of conversations about our nation's history, about our leaders, about where we are headed.
It's not about taking anything away from Italian-Americans, said Cliff Matias, cultural director of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, which is hosting a Re-Thinking Columbus Day event Sunday and Monday in NY.
The city's Italian-Americans say Columbus stands as a symbol of their proud heritage, but others maintain Columbus was a murderer who brutalized native Americans.
As previously mentioned, Columbus Day is controversial. What's more, though state lawmakers have tried to create a number of new public holidays over the years, a search of legislation going back to the 1999-2000 legislative session didn't turn up any bills directly related to Columbus Day.
"It sucks that people actually have the audacity to do that and take away from a great town like us", said Destiny Rosado of Middletown. It celebrates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas. "Not the greatest guy in the world, but at the end of the day, I don't personally believe defacing the statue is appropriate".
Local people said they supported the committee's decision. However, "one tumbled off his bike and was held by the witness until Monroe District police officers got there and placed the 30-year-old under arrest, police said".
On Monday, both Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot expressed their feelings on the first permanent celebration of the day.
But others criticize Columbus for the atrocities inflicted on Native Americans when he came to North America - vandalizing an Astoria Columbus statue with "Don't Honor Genocide." We should be talking about what our history books are missing.
The movement to ban or replace Columbus Day has been growing on university campuses in recent decades. I have no problem with a day recognizing Native American people.
Columbus' first voyage to the Americas is also celebrated in Spain, Italy and many Latin American nations.
The vote had been almost unanimous on the Democratic Party-dominated city council, with the only real dissent coming from an Italian-American member of the council.