Italian Pride Celebrations Backfire
Columbus a symbol of Italian Pride, or ugly Italian stereotypes?
It's the time of Columbus Day parades around the country. Seems like celebrating Columbus is supposed to be a symbol of Italian Pride. No doubt the guy is noteworthy, but maybe the pride part needs another look. What are some of the less-fun stereotypes of Italian people? Does celebrating Columbus maybe help people think those bad things about Italian people?
We have a really big example of how incompetent Columbus was. It's that the people who were living here are called Indians. Not Aborigines like in Australia, or First Nations People like in Canadia, and not Lakota, Delaware, Mohawk, Seminole, Mayan, Cherokee, Arawak -- but Indian -- because Columbus thought he was in India. Yeah we make excuses for it, how understandable the error was, but I wonder if it might help people think that Italians who celebrate Columbus, might also be celebrating Italian incompetence. DaVinci Day, or Galileo Day would sure help there. <0> Columbus was a business man. He needed money to pay back his investors and to become rich and powerful himself. Even though he saw people wearing gold and silver jewelry, and even though he cut off people's hands, sliced babies in two, and other things they wouldn't even do at Guantanamo, the "Indian" people wouldn't bring him enough gold and silver, maybe because it was on the mainland and not on Jamaica and the Dominican Republic where Columbus was looking. And he was not brutal only to the natives of America, he was also brutal to the other Europeans he "governed", landing him in Spanish jail for a while.
Faced with insufficient funds, Chris and his brother diversified the business, starting the first trans-Atlantic human trafficking -- slavery.
Which makes him a ruthless, brutal, greedy businessman -- and that's a good symbol for all the compassionate, honest Italian business people here and around the world?
And celebrating the guy who began trans-Atlantic slave trading, well how does that feel to Americans who are descendents of enslaved folks? Is poking a finger into the eyes of African Americans a proud Italian thing to do?
Maybe your ancestors were traumatized or killed by the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini. That pain goes from generation to generation. Who could imagine celebrating Mussolini Day? Well to some Native Americans, Christopher is their Benito, so celebrating the guy is poking a finger in their eyes too. Is that a symbol of Italian pride?
Italian pride might be better represented by someone else, otherwise people might get the idea Italians are proud of incompetence, greed, and brutality.