There are a lot of good threads out there explaining why #ColumbusDay is offensive - but I want to add the perspective of an Italian born and raised in Italy on y celebrating #ChristopherColumbus as connected to Italian heritage (?) makes NEGATIVE SENSE. So, let me explain... 1/?
Christopher Columbus was, indeed, born in the Republic of Genoa - one of the many political entities in which the Italian peninsula was divided before the unification (which won't happen till like... 200+ years after CC's birth. There was no country of Italy at his time!) 2/?
However, the journey that led him to TOTALLY BY CHANCE sail to the American continent was not financed by the Genoese, but by Spain. CC had the goal of finding a shortcut to the East by sailing through the Atlantic, he pitched the idea to dozens of poweful families 3/?
who refused because it was the stupidest idea ever, until Isabel of Castille - who was filthy rich - was like... why not? Let's throw some money at this silly little man and see how it goes. 4/?
He sailed sporting Spanish banners. He is buried in Seville. The only connection with Genoa was his birth. Which shouldn't come as a surprise, since the shift of trade from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic caused the slow decline of Italy as an economic power 5/?
While the countries with Atlantic harbours got rich off the exploitation of the American continent, Italy began a slow but steady decline. So it's particularly ironic that in the US CC is painted as an Italian hero, the dude kinda caused the economic collapse of the place 😂 6/?
Columbus Day is NOT an Italian festivity. We... don't have it here. Berlusconi tried to make it a thing for reasons unkown in 2006 (iirc) but it never really stuck, because we don't care much about CC...? Actually, there's this strange phenomenon taking place nowadays... 7/?
in which Italian alt-right goons would argue about the importance of CC because it has became an alt-right talking point in the US 😬 The absurdity of it: a 100% USian festivity fabricated an 'Italian hero' we didn't have which has now been embraced by Italian far right 8/?
But what about the Italian-American community? Would it make sense to celebrate Columbus Day for them? Well... do you know why the festivity was created in the first place? 9/?
In 1890, when Italian immigrants in the US still didn't have white status, more than a hundred Italian immigrants were arrested as retaliation for the murder of the police chief of New Orleans 10/?
When nine of them were aquitted, an angry mob of WASPs broke into the prison to massacre the Italian prisoners. Eleven of them were lynched, and the perpetrators never prosecuted 11/?
Tensions excalated between Italy and the US in the wake of this, so the president of the United States - Benjamin Harrison - was like damn, I need to appease these people. 12/?
In typical USian fashion, instead of - you know - actually prosecute the lynchers, he decided to 'celebrate the contribution of Italian to US society' by creating, in 1892, Columbus Day. 13/?
Most Italian-Americans, at the time, were desperate to climb the 'race ladder' in the US, so instead of rejecting this ridiculous proposal, pushed for making it a federal holiday. Instead of demanding justice for their children killed by white supremacists... 14/?
...most of them were content in getting absorbed in that very same system. Which is why, to me, it appears so ridiculous that many Italo-Americans proudly celebrate Columbus Day. First, because it has nothing to do with Italian culture, and second, because it's a festivity 15/?
born as a sop, a distraction when justice should have been delivered.
Seriously, with all the cool Italian festivities out there, you want to celebrate one that celebrates a genocidal maniac and was created to hide a lynching? 16/?
It is particularly annoying to see how everyone is speaking about CC as an Italian hero and Columbus Day as an Italian festivity when... they are not. 17/?
So I beg nth-generation Italian-Americans to stop clinging onto this festivity and begin reconnecting with their true heritage, which their ancestors traded for a place on the WhitePeopleTM table. Today we shall celebrate #IndigenousPeoplesDay2021 and, always, #LandBack 18/18
Addendum on this! This one's for the history nerds and those of my followers who remember my posts about the unification of Italy and the movement of the Risorgimento. During the Risorgimento (prior the unification) many Italians sought to create a sense of unity by +
basically celebrating any big name who could be connected to Italy. CC was one of these. You can find a statue of him in Genoa which was built in 1850ish, in the middle of the Risorgimento, for this reason. It's quite fascinating because +
it kinda testifies how the dream of a united Italy never kind of came to be. The people who built that statue, like ones who built the Savonarola statue in Ferrara (WHY WOULD YOU EVEN BUILT THAT OMG), wanted to create a connection from a fragmented past to a unified future +
but most Italians of the time didn't know who those people were. Because Italy was a poor country with low literacy and strong regional identities. Which is why CC - like Savonarola, and the others - never became part of Italian heritage the way Columbus Day make it seems to be +
Hell, to the average Italian, Padre Pio is 100000% times the 'Italian hero' CC would ever be 😂 /end
anyway if you came this far what about RTing this thread? I'm trying to spread awareness on fascism resurgence in Italy which idk why is not making international news

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