Removal of the Columbus statues has left a hole in the heart of our Italian American community

Jul 25, 2020 956

BY: Sergio Giangrande, President of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans

Did Chicago sleep better Thursday night after the Christopher Columbus statues were taken down? One group of Chicagoans did not. In fact, one very close-knit community has been hurt — badly. The Italian American community, which, along with Chicago, had a symbol of its resilience removed. More correctly, dismantled and hauled away.

Upon coming to Chicago, Italian Americans clung to our communities and our Catholic faith; and yes, to the symbol of our immigrant achievements, particularly in Chicago. Christopher Columbus has represented all of that to us. He was a pioneer who helped lead our families here. And he became, in the time of the first Italian immigrants, a representation of the culture and things Italians have contributed to our great nation.

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