I was amused by the typical rhetorical gymnastics and hyperbole in Christine Flowers’ Aug. 28 column ("Columbus statue ruling is a win for all"). She uses the divisive style of the right that Donald Trump personifies. By virtue of her lofty position as a columnist, Flowers decides who are real and “normal” Philadelphians — those she agrees with — and she belittles Philadelphians she dislikes.
People of Italian heritage who don’t like honoring Christopher Columbus certainly don't "hate themselves." That’s ridiculous. It is like the absurd argument that white people who stand with BLM protests hate themselves for being born white.
Let’s set aside idolization and look at the cold truth. Columbus is a very flawed hero. He is the epitome of “fake history.” While a master ship pilot and bold explorer (applause for that), he was a terrible geographer — 13,000 miles from where he meant to be and insisted that he was after four voyages across the sea, long after others proved him wrong. He was like Trump who continued to holler that he won the popular vote by a landslide in 2016 and again in 2020, facts be damned.
If Italians want to honor someone for discovering America (500 years after Leif Eriksson did), they should take down the monuments honoring a man who enslaved and killed “Indians” while he started colonizing this land, and instead erect statues of Americus Vespucci. He was also Italian; and at least he figured out where he was (and he didn't commit genocide). That's why it's called the United States of America, by the way, and not Columbia. He called the previously unnamed continent “the fourth part of the world.” In 1507, German mapmaker Martin Waldseemüller put “America” on it.