Italians close ranks as Columbus controversy grows

Sep 22, 2017 1438

BY: Bill Ervolino

Manny Alfano of Bloomfield is a man on a two-pronged mission. Through his organization, Italian American One Voice Coalition, or IAOVC, he fights the stereotyping of Italian-Americans and attacks on Christopher Columbus, whose namesake holiday will be observed next month.

"We are judging a 15th century explorer by 21st century standards," said Alfano, who will make his case at the IAOVC annual breakfast at The Gran Centurions in Clark. Alfano and other Italian leaders in the Garden State are urging Italian-Americans to support their local Columbus Day parades this year on Sunday, Oct. 8, and to also take part in the Manhattan parade on Monday, Oct. 9, despite criticism from Native Americans, Latinos and even some Italian-Americans calling for an end to the Columbus holiday altogether and the removal of monuments to him.

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