Ital­ian-Amer­i­can his­tory

Boston Herald - - OPINION -

In this time of ex­treme po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness it ap­pears that Christo­pher Colum­bus and any­thing as­so­ci­ated with him and his name is to be ex­punged from Amer­i­can his­tory. Sev­eral cities and towns in both this com­mon­wealth and across the coun­try have al­ready re­named this na­tional hol­i­day, be­cause of events that oc­curred over 500 years ago, from Colum­bus Day to In­dige­nous Peo­ples’ Day. Ob­vi­ously Ital­ian-Amer­i­cans do not mat­ter much to the PC po­lice. For­got­ten is the fact that Ital­ian-Amer­i­can men and women com­prised one of the largest, if not the largest, eth­nic group to serve in our armed forces dur­ing World War II. This de­spite the fact that tens of thou­sands of their par­ents, rel­a­tives and friends were be­ing in­terred along with Ja­pa­nese-Amer­i­cans (see “Una Sto­ria Se­greta” by San­dra Gilbert and Lawrence Di Stasi). What is next: Since the world Columbia is a fe­male name of Latin ori­gin mean­ing “land of Colum­bus,” should the District of Columbia be changed? How po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect is Columbia Uni­ver­sity, or the Columbia River. What about Columbia, S.C., and Colum­bus, Ohio, which is al­ready in the process of un­der­go­ing a name change? Lest we for­get Amer­ica got its name from Amerigo Ve­spucci, an Ital­ian car­tog­ra­pher, while one of the largest mass lynch­ings to take place here was of 11 Ital­ians in New Or­leans who had been ac­quit­ted of a trumped-up mur­der charge on March 14, 1891. Ital­ian-Amer­i­cans were not read­ily ac­cepted to th­ese shores, yet they came here to work, to help build Amer­ica, and not look­ing for hand­outs.

— Vin­cent D. Basil, Stone­ham

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