During their televised debate from the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Tuesday night, Democrats Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand found plenty of common ground: They both support higher taxes in New Hampshire; they both support new restrictions on gun ownership; they both support allowing illegal immigrants to live, with benefits, in New Hampshire.
And they both want to dump Columbus Day.
During the “lighting round” of the WMUR TV debate, both candidates were asked if they supported a move proposed last year in the New Hampshire state legislature to replace Columbus Day–traditionally a day viewed to celebrate Italian-American culture– with “Indigenous People’s Day.” Neither candidate hesitated a moment before throwing Columbus under the bus….er “boat.”
There are more than 100,000 Italian-Americans in New Hampshire. Do they support getting rid of Columbus Day in the name of political correctness?
“I think it’s crazy,” State Senator Lou D’ Allesandro (D-Manchester) told NHJournal after his party’s gubernatorial debate. “They can have an ‘Indigenous People’s Day’ some other day. We’ve had Columbus Day a long, long time, and we see it as a day honoring Italian-Americans and our culture. Trying to get rid of Columbus Day is an affront to Italian-Americans everywhere,” D’Allesandro said.
A year ago, Durham, N.H. became the first New Hampshire town to get rid of Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous People’s Day. Their statehouse representative, Wayne Burton, (D-Durham) wrote a bill to take the change statewide. It didn’t get out of the NH House.
“I see this as a slap in the face to Italian heritage,” Republican State Rep. Al Baldasaro said at the time. The state of Vermont, however, has already made the change and there is a push south of the border in Massachusetts to do the same. And Massachusetts has a significantly larger Italian-American population than the Granite State.
A Marist poll taken last October found that 57 percent of Americans believed that celebrating Columbus Day is a “good idea,” while only 29 percent oppose the holiday.
Apparently that 29 percent votes in Democratic primaries.