Joseph Guagliardo is the President of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations and founder and Presidnet of The National Council of Columbia Associations Inc, 1959 (NCCA), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, nonpartisan educational and social foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage working through fraternal organizations. This message was posted on his FaceBook page
NYC Council speaker [referring to Melissa Mark-Viverito], fired a shot at us on the 21st and by the 23. We were on the steps of city hall calling them out on it.
While we responded immediately it will take the strength of every organization to do what it can do to keep the heat and the momentum started at City Hall.
We have truly drawn the line.
There are pitfalls
We ( Organizations) cannot become a political or other groups or politicians agenda.
All groups must take the high road and make our agenda the agenda.
When speaking publicly about the issues:
Do Not argue a 550 year old history.
What was common place then is not common place now, what was legal then is not legal now.
Italians never received apologies from any of the countries that invaded her.
Columbus was vetted by 4 governments that controlled this continent / country.
Spain, France, England and of course the Unites States. In 1776 came the Government that would clean up what other countries did, including freeing slaves.
What is our goal
Keep the statues and anything memorializing Columbus as he was an inspiration of the Italian American community and late 1800 early 1900 when Italians came and met with prejudice, Columbus became our inspiration, part of our culture part of our tradition.
Wherever groups are trying to preserve Columbus. Come out in force year round. Because an elected official has an Italian name. Doesn’t mean that they are friends or sympathetic. It means they pander. Support politicians that support us.
And finally. We embrace the indigenous people. And believe they have been treated wrongly by the governments that invaded, we respect their culture and celebration and will always want to open a dialog with the community.
But, they don’t need to celebrate at the expense of the Italian American community