- The Premier Italian American Newspaper Since 1931 -

From the Desk of the Publisher

This past Columbus weekend saw many parades, galas and ceremonies honoring Christopher Columbus and the contributions made by Italian Americans to this country – named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. After all, Columbus Day is a national holiday. Here at the Italian Tribune we spent the weekend honoring Italian Americans for their professional accomplishments on Friday, October 8 and Sunday, October 10 we unveiled the new home for our Columbus monument at the Skylands Stadium, with the ball field named Columbus Field in Augusta, New Jersey. Our Columbus statue is the ONLY one nationally, that was taken down and put up once again. There were hundreds of people who braved less than great weather as they got soaked in a rain-filled day to celebrate our statue’s new home. Again, I must thank all for their support.

With all niceties said and done, I have a few questions and things to say about other events which took place that I feel must be said.

Mr. President, I did not vote for you but I did declare when you were elected that it was incumbent on all Americans to support your efforts to maintain and improve America’s position of leadership and example in the world. It is how our system works. But, Mr. President, you have done everything you could in less than ten months to prove you cannot handle your position. I do not even want to discuss your disaster and loss of lives in Afghanistan; your immigration, economy, energy or your budget policies, to name a few.

I want to discuss your Columbus Day proclamation which is a national holiday and the proclamation you issued for Indigenous Peoples for the same day, which is nothing but a pandering mess. I invite you either to our offices or wherever is convenient, to personally talk about how your administration can play a role in correcting the unfounded total misconception about Christopher Columbus, instead of playing to a radical segment of your political base.

In your proclamation on Indigenous Peoples Day, who by the way, in my opinion, should be recognized, but not on Columbus Day, I for one take this as an affront to my Italian heritage. Mr. President, Italians and Italian Americans made the greatest contribution to Western Civilization, which is the culture or society that is these United States of America, but also, the envy of those seeking freedom throughout the world. It is the heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, political systems, free and honest elections and the ideas of liberty and individualism constructed in the form of a democracy. Now, Mr. President, the explorers, led by Christopher Columbus, who you disparage are responsible for the foundations of our great Republic and it appears you want to hide from reality. You also state that “Native American people are best served when Tribal governments are empowered to lead their communities.” Mr. President, those who support such a policy are too ignorant to see that you have removed them from the melting pot of assimilation in our way of life and culture. Your measure encourages them to remain on the reservations, which were forced on them, not by Columbus, but the American government!  Your proclamation on Indigenous Peoples Day is a joke that has your supporters giggling like children.

As I said earlier, your Columbus Day Proclamation is an insult and a reflection that you are anti-Italian and don’t tell me about your wife’s Italian heritage, for she has had plenty of opportunities to stand and oppose the removal of Christopher Columbus statues but did and said nothing!

Mr. Biden, you issued what is the worst proclamation for Columbus Day and those of Italian heritage than by any of your predecessors. You spent more time recognizing the Indigenous than Columbus and the contributions of Italian Americans. You speak of “the painful history of wrongs and atrocities than many European explorers inflicted on Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities” and you chose to do so in a Columbus Day proclamation! You either have no idea what you are doing or are anti-Italian. Which is it? There is no doubt that you are the worst President in my lifetime.

I have said for many years that Columbus was not the instigator of genocide and slavery and to perpetrate the lie was an insult to other nations, for Mr. Biden, your inane actions as President, which have puzzled our Allies, continued when Spanish government officials voiced their displeasure with how you “saluted” Columbus Day by declaring that Columbus unleashed devastation on native Americans and by your declaration of a shared October 11. The head of one of the largest political parties in the Spanish parliament called you, Mr. Biden, a “lamentable president.” He went on to call growth in the Americas “the most important event in history after the Roman Empire”…Spain brought “civilization and freedom through Christopher Columbus to the Americas.” Mr. Biden, ask yourself why do the island nations on which he landed celebrate Columbus through both monuments and national anthems if he tortured their people? He is to be celebrated for the shared immigrant experience, for he opened the floodgates to a better world.

When one makes the effort to learn about Christopher Columbus they will read “With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. This was a fire that burned within me because of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, with the help of the Lord, Columbus was able to accomplish one of the greatest feats in human history. After this marvelous achievement, throughout his life, he always gave credit to God. Many times he said “Our Lord made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth and He showed me the place where to find it.”

Is it any wonder the Church wanted to propose Columbus for Sainthood? The anticipation and drama associated with Columbus’ first expedition to the Americas can only be compared to man’s first landing on the moon. He named the island on which he landed San Salvador or Holy Savior. Is there doubt that he was truly motivated by the desire to serve God?

Which now brings me to wonder why the Vatican is silent as one of its greatest disciples is falsely accused and history is being re-written. Yet the Vatican finds the time for political opinions, climate control, solar energy and kissing the feet of liberal American politicians regarding abortion issues. The Knights of Columbus were originally endorsed by the Vatican when an Irish priest started the organization. If a position has been taken I am not aware of it. The Knights of Columbus have a movie which can be shown in schools and organizations setting the record straight.

Now let us look at those of Italian heritage in the United States Congress who are either Senators or members of the House of Representatives. Typically, this person only remembers their culture at election time and becomes quite good at this charade. Did you know that there is a bi-cameral and bi-partisan Italian American Congressional Delegation composed of about 200 Members of Congress? It is chaired by New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell. NOT ONCE, while Columbus statues were being toppled and ignorant voices were campaigning to do away with Columbus Day did this do-nothing group utter a word. What good are they if they are no where to be found when they have to stand up and show their ‘coglione?’ Why couldn’t they stop the Columbus bashing years ago when it first started? In my opinion, their voices should have been heard when Mr. Biden issued his Indigenous Peoples Proclamation. So I ask you, what is their purpose and what good are they?

My friends, if you do not fight for your heritage and culture which has made the greatest contribution to this world in which we live, no one else will. You better start asking yourselves about relevance. It is a powerful word of which we should all be mindful, either individually, family-wise or if you are in a club. It is not Sunday gravy or listening to Frank Sinatra that makes us Italian Americans.

And, as an aside for you, Mr. Biden, the only immigrant you dislike and want to close our borders to is Christopher Columbus. And that is why I say you are anti-Italian.


Cari lettori, questi sono i miei pensieri della settimana.

A.J. “Buddy” Fortunato