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American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
Colorado AIM home page

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Denver Post ignores Italian Americans in TCD

This email was sent to the Denver Post, in response to their coverage of y esterday's protest. As the email notes, the Denver Post failed to interview any Italian Americans in TCD, most of whom belong to the PITCH organization. They also declined to print their original letter to the editor.

Subject: Columbus Day as anti-Italian

You apparently interviewed some people of Italian descent for your article
on Sun. Oct 10, 2004, stating that they feel the Columbus Day protest is
anti-Italian. We, those signed below, sent this letter to your paper weeks
ago stating our position AS people of Italian descent, that the protest is
only anti-COLUMBUS. Someone could have published both sides, but that
wouldn't have fueled the anti-Indian sentiment to which your paper is so
devoted..and it obviously makes better copy.

Just for the record, there are many more whom we approached, that were
afraid to sign this because of Sons of Italy members, but who told us they
supported this view. Not that it will do any good, but I have attached the
letter again.
Debbie Thornton

Statement In Support of a Respectful Celebration of Italian Heritage
We, as progressive Italians, support a holiday to celebrate our Italian-American culture and heritage, and to honor the vast contributions of people of Italian descent to both America and the world at large.

However, we absolutely condemn the celebration of Columbus as an Italian cultural icon. Columbus' exploitation, enslavement, and mass murder in the Caribbean far outweigh any of his nautical achievements. As an agent of Spain, Columbus was just the first in a line of conquistadors who began systematic enslavement of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. He is not widely celebrated in Italy, Spain or in any of the nations in the current area of his colonies.

The celebration of Columbus in the United States is based upon an outdated notion of "discovery" that completely ignores the history of brutal colonization endured by native people as well as archaeological evidence that the people who lived in this hemisphere for many centuries prior to his arrival, had advanced democratic societies.

As progressive Italians we feel it is important that we speak out against racism and oppression. No other celebration of cultural heritage in this country is as divisive as the celebration of Columbus Day. We believe we should honor people who truly deserve to be recognized for their achievements like Italian-Americans Fiorello La Guardia, Anne Bancroft, Salvador Luria and Henry Mancini and Italian renaissance artists, philosophers and inventors such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.

Any celebration of Italian culture and heritage should be a day to bring people together, not split them apart. We feel that any well-deserved celebration of Italian heritage should be a respectful celebration of which all cultures can be proud.

Sincerely,

Debbie (Tate/Teti) Thornton Laconiglio@comcast.net
Rosa Mazone rosamazone@worldnet.att.net
Francine Mazone trisisson@msn.com
Jason Galasso Jasongalasso@comcast.net
Tamie Galasso tgalasso@comcast.net
Elizabeth Lewis (Alberico) lizlewis@prepaidlegal.com
Seanee Mazone smcgrraw@msn.com
Josh Mazone Edgewater CO
Marsha Nemo Westminster, CO
Kathy Alsdorf (Zanatto) Kalsdorf@aol.com
Dawn Yacovetta Young Littleton, CO
Franco Marini FrancoLMarini@yahoo.com
Kris Saurini ksaurini@comcast.net
John Lombardi Colo
Deidre Johnston (Mazone) Deidre220@hotmail.com
Kathie Sabatini Nederland, CO
Toni Scalera Hudson, CO
Kristen Scordo Ringdahl kristenringdahl@netzero.net
Lucianna Scordo lucianna@comcast.net
Sr. Mary Ann Figlino, CSJ Denver, CO
Olivia C. Loria Colo
Leila Montour (Retalia) alzahra@earthlink.net
Ron Rossi Arvada, CO
Stephanie G. Rossi srossi@jeffco.k12.co.us

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