Controversy in New York over the withdrawal of Columbus Day from the school calendar

New York, May 5 (EFE) .- New York public schools decided to eliminate the traditional Columbus Day holiday from the school calendar, a movement that has generated a strong controversy in the city and has led to a kind of commitment that will replace the celebration with an Indigenous Peoples Day / Italian Heritage Day.

Columbus Day, a federal holiday in the United States that is celebrated around October 12, has been renamed in recent years in several states and cities as a result of pressure from activists who denounce the alleged ill-treatment of the discoverer and his forces to the Native Americans.

In most cases, the celebration has been replaced by an Indigenous Peoples Day, which is what New York schools had also decided in the first instance, according to the calendar for the next course that they made public this Tuesday.

The decision, however, generated immediate condemnations, especially by leaders of the Italian-American community, in which many see that date as a tribute not only to the navigator of Genoese origin, but to the heritage of immigrants from Italy and their descendants, very numerous in the Big Apple.

Finally, after last minute negotiations, the school calendar will include a holiday on October 11 under the name Indigenous Peoples Day / Italian Heritage Day to replace Columbus Day.

The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, of Italian descent, said on Wednesday that the initial decision had been made without consulting him or the municipal responsible for Education, Meisha Ross Porter.

?? I think this process was not managed well ??, De Blasio assured in a press conference, in which he considered that the day should not have been changed in an ?? arbitrary way ??.

?? We have to honor that day as a day to recognize the contributions of all Italian Americans ??, stressed the councilor, who defended the final commitment given the importance of also recognizing indigenous peoples, as has been done in other locations in the country .

?? The process was not adequate, but the end result will be a day to honor Italian-Americans and indigenous peoples. I think it’s a good way to go ??, he pointed out.

The arrangement, however, was soon attacked by another illustrious Italian-American, State Governor Andrew Cuomo, de Blasio’s party partner but a longstanding political enemy of the mayor.

?? Why do you need to lower the Italian-American contribution to recognize the contribution of indigenous peoples ???, Cuomo asked at a press conference.

The governor called the decision to unite the two commemorations “destructive”. and defended that you can have a Day of the Indigenous Peoples without ?? meddling in Columbus Day ??, which guaranteed that it will continue to be a holiday at the state level.

In recent years and in the face of calls to remove the famous Columbus statue that stands in the central rotunda of Columbus Circle, local politicians had already defended its maintenance as a symbol of the legacy of the Italian-American community, which was the one who gave it to the city ​​in 1892. EFE

mvs/hc/rrt

| K: SOC: SOCIEDAD-SALUD, EDUCACION POL: POLITICA, MUNICIPAL |

| Q: EDU: es-ES: 05000000: Education POL: es-ES: 11008000: Policy: Municipalities / Local authorities |

|P:USA|

05/05/20-07/21

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