Skip to main content

Why Can't Columbus Day Just Be A Food Holiday?

Today is Columbus Day. I never gave the day much thought really, except it's a Federal Holiday and in the past few years it's been a paid holiday I get to take. A few years ago a friend of mine posted to Facebook about Christopher Columbus, in doing so she enlightened me about what a shit the guy was.

I was in my forties by the time I figured out what a giant douchebag Christopher Columbus was. Seems like a lot of people are just figuring it out because now, all of a sudden, people are defacing statues of him. There's a lot of questioning of patriarchy in 2017. To me, I have to say, Columbus symbolized America, the inception of this place I call home, more than he symbolized patriarchy. And, let's admit that pretty much every European explorer in the 1700s was a prostitute of patriarchal colonialism. So why can't we be realists about the past? Why can't we just celebrate America and how Italians have made America great? With food?

My mother was Italian American. Her parents had emigrated with her family en mass and she was born here in the US, in West Virginia. Italian was her first language.  The entire family was poor. They labored in coal mines. They were openly discriminated against by other "white" people all around them. I know this because my mother told me about it.

In the US my mom had the opportunity to succeed in a way that she would never have been able to in Italy. She was the first college educated person in her family, including men. She went on to get a dual masters degree. She worked hard, had a good career and a nice home. When I came along in the 70s I didn't even know what discrimination was. I had to learn what it was. Both my parents said it was a very bad thing, because first it's OK to discriminate against one type of person, and the next thing it's OK to discriminate against you because you're Italian. I still hold this lesson in my heart. Italian Americans have some terrible stereotypes. While I enjoyed The Sopranos immensely I want to be associated with that stereotype as much as my African American friends want to be associated with The Wire.

Some people have called for a renaming of Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. Sigh. Great. Everyone else gets their own day except us. If every Irishy person in the world can get religiously drunk on March 17th, then why is it so hard to celebrate Columbus day with Chianti and some pizza? I think most Italian Americans want people to see the positive. We can all complain about how much of a shit Chris Columbus was while appreciating the food, the fashion and culture of Italy, which has contributed a lot to the United States. And for the record, we should have an all new holiday for indigenous people. They deserve more than a recycled day.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

UX Design Process aka Web Product Design Process

So... I'm on Pinterest updating a 'board' for my portfolio and I discover that other people have pinned my Experience Design Process graphic from my website. Apparently this graphic comes right up in Google Searches if you search on on Experience Design Process. Since the image on my site is small I'm re-posting the graphic here! Can anybody guess what this image was originally create for?


I don't know what I was thinking about these colors!

So what is going on here?
In the middle of the graphic is a series of linear main steps to take in order to design an interactive digital product. The process starts with identifying a project's goals and ends with meeting those goals. In order to meet those goals you need to do some careful work... Surrounding the steps are a set of tasks (or methodologies) to perform in order to complete each step of the process. Over-arching the entire process are guidelines like "vetting" and "informed iteration" (show…

My Awesomely Surreal Experience at Facebook’s F8 c.a. 2007

It was about this time 11 years ago that Facebook opened up to the world. It was Spring in San Francisco and I was working a little stint at prosper.com. The CTO and Product Manager were a couple of well connected Stanford guys, and one day we were driving down to Palo Alto to go to Facebook’s headquarters. I didn’t really get what was going on. Although some of my other colleagues were encouraging me to check out Facebook for it’s interface and interaction design, I had never gotten on the site. I didn’t possess a dot EDU email address, I was too old for that for RISD. So there I was cruising down to Palo Alto with two guys to go meet with Dave Morin not really knowing what the heck was going on.

We breeze into Facebook’s office, greeted by Dave right away. It was a really cool office and people we met were young, and this was not the kind of start-up I was used to. Prosper's CTO had been my boss at a previous job. Facebook was effortlessly cool compared to that company my old bo…

I wonder why I ever put up with the crap I put up with in San Francisco?

Ten years ago last March was the date when I began life-in-exile from San Francisco. To the amazement of everyone I ever met in the Bay Area I made the decision to leave the nicest city in the US to go live in what some consider to be one of the worst cities in the US, Baltimore. It wasn’t a hard decision though, I was absolutely fed up with being a renter in San Francisco, meanwhile Baltimore had a thousands of affordable homes just sitting there. Despite having some tremendous work opportunities in San Francisco (I had a great career in tech) it all added up to nothing as far as I was concerned if I couldn’t own my own home. A Path to HappinessFrom day one I felt good about Baltimore. Yes it got a little cramped at my sister’s house while I looked for a home, but it still felt good. Suddenly I could do all these things I couldn’t do in San Francisco, like barbecue, and gardening. It was quieter, more laid back, everything became a lot easier. I was a lot less stressed out. The trade …