Italian-American appeals for Columbus holiday name change

Philadelphia (AP) — Members of the Philadelphia City Council and a group of Italian-Americans are suing the mayor’s administration in federal court over a decision to rename the city’s Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Day.

The proceedings filed on Tuesday deserve both groups to be admitted, but Mayor Jim Kenney said, “Instead, we cannot take action to discriminate against Italian-Americans to uplift another ethnic group.” Insist. report..

Plaintiffs, including Councilor Mark Skira, say that Kenny’s recent executive order to rename the October holiday should be placed in a protected class against his Italian-American members they say. It claims to fit the pattern of discrimination by the mayor.

It also cites efforts to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus from southern Philadelphia. Removal of the statue of former mayor and police chief Frank Reso last year From outside the city hall building near the city hall after being the subject of a protest.

After the Rizzo statue was removed Garrison gathered at Columbus statue The statue of Marconi Plaza and the protesters have also arrived. Before the city covered the statue with wood, the group clashed for several days and announced plans to remove it.

Many Italian Americans Accepted 15th century explorers — Once welcomed as an American discoverer — as a cultural hero But not all agree. Cities across the United States have recently scrutinized Columbus’ heritage, accelerated by protests against racial injustice, which began its final sprint following the death of George Floyd.

In ordering the holidays to be renamed, Kenny declared Christopher Columbus’s story “very complicated,” and explorers “slave the indigenous people to perform violence and, in some cases, the expected service. I punished the individual who did not. ” ,murder. “;

Philadelphia is not the first city to remove the Columbus name from its October vacation and recognize Native Americans. Instead, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, and Texas are one of the switching municipalities.

Returning to Philadelphia, plaintiffs also allege discrimination in the designation of priority areas for the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. It states that the city is targeting areas and groups with low vaccination rates.

Calling the proceedings “apparently worthless political tactics” on Tuesday, Kenny said it was valuable as he was trying to deal with a catastrophic pandemic and build a safer and more equitable city for all. Wastes resources. “

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