June 19, 2020
Even though I am proudly 50 percent Italian-American, I have felt uncomfortable with celebrating Columbus Day for a long time. In recent years, I have refused to take the day off. And many states have changed the focus of the day so that it celebrates Indigenous People (though my vote would be for “Reconciliation Day”). As a member of the school board in my little town, I lobbied to have the three-day Columbus Day Weekend school break renamed Foliage Weekend.
So I am not at all opposed to the decision that Columbus, Ohio mayor Andrew Ginther made to have the statute of Columbus — a gift to the city from the people of Columbus’s home town of Genoa, Italy in 1955 — removed from outside City Hall.
By replacing the statue, Mayor Ginther says, “we are removing one more barrier to meaningful and lasting change to end systemic racism.”
Wouldn’t it make sense to change the city’s name, while you’re at it?