I just heard from some friends that the Seattle city council finally changed Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. It's about time. I also heard that some racist Italian-Americans were there trying to claim that Columbus Day is a celebration of Italian heritage. That's some bullshit. It's a celebration of whiteness, not the Italian diaspora. Columbus was one of the first white men, and he was a genocidal murderer, setting a general example for the white race to follow.
The fact that Columbus is also Italian is not something us Italians should take pride in; in fact, it's part of the nightmare of history that will weigh on our brains until the revolution. Claiming our Italian heritage is only meaningful if we recognize we're part of an Italian diaspora living on colonized native land, in a system built by colonial settlers. Those settlers assimilated most of our ancestors into their white race in order to co-opt the militant labor struggles our people used to engage in when we were once non-white economic refugees. Our ancestors sold out and chose the white settler side of the American color line, the side invented by our bosses. This choice left us part of a white race that I hope one day we will exit from, once white supremacy, imperialism, and colonialism are ended forever.
If we want to be part of a meaningful Italian diaspora, we have to reverse that process of white-washing, and join in solidarity with indigenous people whose lands we are living in. Instead of celebrating Columbus Day we should celebrate Indigenous People's Day, and maybe then it'll be meaningful to celebrate Sacco and Vanzetti day as well.