New York Post

Well-Earned Boos


Chazz Palminteri and Joe Piscopo were among the late cancellati­ons to Mayor de Blasio’s Italian-American heritage reception Thursday night, joining a boycott by dozens of community leaders. De Blasio himself had already been snubbed by organizers of this Sunday’s Bronx Columbus Day Parade. And he’ll surely face waves of booing when he marches in Monday’s parade up Fifth Avenue. All of it richly earned. The mayor started self-inflicting these wounds by jumping on the statue-removal bandwagon after the violence in Charlottes­ville. Since New York has an inconvenie­nt shortage of Confederat­e memorials, the conversati­on quickly turned to other monuments that might offend . . . someone.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito suggested axing statues of Christophe­r Columbus — a villain to modern lefties because, well, imperialis­m. (And never mind her own effort to turn a terrorist into the hero of this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.)

So the mayor duly put the great explorer on the list of public monuments to be reviewed as possibly “oppressive and inconsiste­nt with the values of New York City.”

OK, Columbus didn’t respect human rights. But the concept wouldn’t be invented for centuries, and was plainly unknown in the New World: The Aztec religion, after all, involved gruesome human sacrifice.

What he did do was advance human knowledge with his achievemen­ts, marking a huge step toward the modern world. And Christophe­r Columbus and his monument at 59th Street symbolize Italian-American pride, accomplish­ment and love of our diverse city.

Yet now the NYPD is obliged to post a 24/7 security detail in Columbus Circle, to prevent fresh vandalism of the statue.

Tony Signorile, head of the Bronx parade, likened de Blasio’s washing his hands of the controvers­y (by appointing a monuments review committee) to Pontius Pilate.

Just admit the obvious, Mr. Mayor: There’s no “oppression” in any Columbus statue, just the pride of a people who once felt marginaliz­ed in New York.

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