New York Daily News
Hizzoner on Goodbye, Columbus: I didn’t know
They knew nothing! Mayor de Blasio claimed Wednesday that he and city Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter weren’t looped into the Education Department’s decision to scrap Columbus Day as a school holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day.
That decision, which was announced Tuesday, was amended later that day with the city settling on “Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.”
On Wednesday, de Blasio pleaded ignorance and conceded that while the announcement was botched, he supports the end result.
“I think this process wasn’t handled right. I certainly didn’t hear about the change, nor did the chancellor,” he said. “We spoke about it, and we both agree this was not the right way to handle things.”
But the recent outcome appeared to whimper.
“We have to honor that day as a day to recognize the contributions of all Italian-Americans, so of course the day should not have been changed arbitrarily,” he said. “I think saying it’s a day to celebrate Italian-American heritage is absolutely right and appropriate . ... I think also saying — as has been done in many parts of the country — it’s a day to think about history and honor Indigenous people as well — I agree with that. too.”
Gov. Cuomo blasted the decision Wednesday. “Let me give you a shocker . ... I disagree with it . ... Cities have certain authority, and a city can declare a city holiday. When it comes to appreciating and respecting Indigenous people, I agree 100%,” he said.
“Columbus Day is a day where we celebrate the Italian-American contribution to this state. It’s not either/or. We’re not drawing lines and dividing. You don’t have to exclude Italians to celebrate Indigenous people.” arrive with a