New York Governor Defends Columbus Statue, Citing Its Importance To Italian Americans

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ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Governor Andrew Cuomo says he does not think a statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in New York City’s Columbus Circle should be removed.

Passers-by walk near a damaged Christopher Columbus statue, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in a Boston waterfront park near the city’s traditionally Italian North End neighborhood. The statue was found beheaded Wednesday morning, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

“I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of this acts which nobody would support ,” Cuomo said.

He says the statue has come to represent appreciation for the “Italian-American contribution to New York ”.

“For that reason, I support it,” the governor said.

A native America group does not agree, and compares the statue of Columbus to the negative connotations in the Confederate Flag.

Betty Lyons, an Onondaga citizen and president and executive director of the American Indian Law Alliance says, in a statement, that the governor’s “ eloquence in response to the anti-racism movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd” apparently does not extend to the plight of native Americans.

She says those people who “ignore Christopher Columbus’ role in giving the green light to centuries of racism and dehumanizing of Indigenous peoples must be called to task”.