BATTLE BREWING OVER WHETHER TO REMOVE CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS STATUE

In the wake of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville and an ongoing controversy over Confederate monuments, the city plans to review several city monuments to determine if they are “symbols of hate.” But before the mayor can even appoint a commission to study the issue, there’s a controversy brewing over the Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle. The 76-foot-tall statue was built in 1894, before there even was a Columbus Circle, as we reported a few years ago.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said last week that the statue should be considered for removal.

“There’s very much an ongoing dialogue and debate in the Caribbean, particularly in Puerto Rico where I’m from, about this same conversation that there should be no monument or statue of Christopher Columbus based on what he means or what he signifies … the Native population that was there when he came, oppression, and everything that he brought with him,” she said, according to the Daily News. Italian-American politicians have rallied in support of the statue.

The mayor has declined to take a position until the commission meets. He has floated the idea of placing plaques on controversial statues to explain the differences of opinion.

See pictures of Columbus Circle through the years. The one below is from 1905.

HISTORY, NEWS | 134 comments | permalink
    1. AC says:

      Our American History and how we, as a nation, came into existence is filled with good and bad highlights. And the several people who contributed to this on-going effort (American Indians, explorers, Presidents, etc.) have skeletons, as we all do. Instead of trying to erase our ‘bad’ history, we should try to learn from it. Tell me your past, and I’ll tell you your future. Leaving those statues in place would remind us of the good , , , and bad.

      ps: people starving around the world and homes destroyed in Texas, and we’re concerned about statue removals? We should erect a statue of ourselves to remind us of our stupidity!

      • zeus says:

        AC …you are right on target with your comment.
        Once we start getting rid of our past, we will most likely
        Be around to re live it in some ways again.
        And where does it stop?
        Most, if not all of the founders of our country owned slaves.
        Do we get rid of them as well?
        And how far back to we go?
        Decades? Centuries? All the way back to Abraham?

        • Chris says:

          Washington owned more than 300 slaves so the Washington Monument is next

          • Tom Lee says:

            It would never end – there would be people with issues for every single statue and monument.

          • EricaC says:

            I don’t think these issues are quite as simple as all that.

            First of all, taking statues out of places of honor is not about hiding history, it’s about choosing who and what to honor. Taking statues out of the town square (or circle) doesn’t hide the information, it just stops holding it up as a statement of what the community honors.

            Second, I do think the situation with Columbus is more complex than the situation with Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee had many accomplishments that were not offensive, of course, as many opponents of removing him will point out. But those other accomplishments are not the reason he is honored – he is honored for leading the Confederate military, for fighting to perpetuate slavery, and for treason. That makes no sense. Of course, he was not honored when the war was over. In fact, as we all now know, those statues were erected long after the war ended for the precise purpose of intimidating one group of people and rallying another group of people to acts of violence and discrimination. Those statues should clearly go – to a museum, to private collections, to somewhere that does not give them pride of place in a public space.

            But this whole debate makes it clear that we do need some principled basis for deciding when a statue is or is not legitimately placed on public lands. Clearly, we do not put Hitler in places of honor – just about everyone can agree on that (and I’m not sure I worry too much about offending those who do not). But, as someone inevitably says, “What about George Washington, didn’t he own slaves??”

            So far, the following seem rules I could live by – I’d be curious if others agree:

            – we should not honor someone for acts of violence, discrimination or treason. If the very reason for the statue is an act that is now understood to be fundamentally morally wrong, the statue does not remain. On the other hand, if there is someone who is, as most people are, mixed, but they are honored for something good – like leading the army that led to the independence of our country – they can stay.
            – we should not maintain statues that were erected for the purpose of intimidating groups or individuals within the community. These confederate statues are known to have been installed for this purpose, and that is reason for them to be removed from the place of honor.
            – we should be willing to remove statues if they are being used as rallying points for people to engage in acts of intimidation and violence against other members of the community, even if the first two factors are not relevant, if we cannot find another way to stop it.

            If those are the principles, statues of George Washington would stay. Columbus is more of a mixed bag. He is not celebrated BECAUSE his acts led to the devastation of the peoples that lived on this continent, though of course that devastation proved to be the inexorable result of the influx of European settlers that followed his expeditions. He is celebrated for his exploration, his courage, and for being the one that “discovered” this continent in a way that “stuck” (even though it now seems he was not the first European, much less the first person, to find this continent).

            I don’t believe this statues were erected to intimidate or encourage violence against Native Americans, even though they do reflect a complete disregard for the views of many.

            And I am not aware that they have served as a rallying point, now or in the past, for vigilante groups, white nationalists, or others, though that could be my lack of knowledge.

            As a result, on balance, I think that I would lean towards adding explanatory materials and accompanying memorials to those who suffered as a result of the discovery of this country – to acknowledge his acts, while acknowledging their consequences.

            The crowd that has commented here doesn’t seem likely to be wanting to think this through in this way, but I think a discussion of the principles underlying these decisions could be beneficial, at least among those who still have hopes that we can keep this country and *all* its various components together.

            • AC says:

              Erica, you bring up some valid & interesting points. One thing we should definitely consider, is the Timing. When people erect a statue or monument in honor of someone, it reflects the sentiment of that particular generation in time. When the statue of Columbus was erected, it reflected the will of the people, at that time in history. Same goes for those concerning Lee, Dr. Sims, and others. I definitely believe that existing statues should be ‘grand-fathered’ (not removed) to respect and honor the generation that erected them. However, along your point, we should definitely create a set of principles or guides to ensure we are honoring a rightful and moral individual. Let’s raise the bar on who merits such a tribute. Adding explanatory materials would be educational, and we can never know to much.

            • EricaC says:

              AC, I do think that there should be a higher bar for erecting statues than for keeping them (meaning, it should be harder to remove an existing statue than to bar a new one). But a blanket grandfathering of the existing statues would not be acceptable to me.

              THe issue is not that history needs to be hidden – it is that putting them on public space belonging to everyone gives them the stamp of official approval, by everyone. When the statue is someone deeply offensive to a significant component of the community, how can you ask the community to continue to honor them? For example, why should a person be asked to honor someone who tried to exterminate them?

              Again, it’s an easy case – but if there were an existing statue honoring Hitler on public land, I would have no compunction about removing it. There is no way that we should have an official endorsement or honoring of Hitler. I would not grandfather it, even if at the time it was erected, the community supported it.

              If you agree with that, then there has to be some line – on this side, let it stay; on that one, take it down. We need to talk about what that line is. I don’t think it can simply be that only x% of the population is offended; that sort of approach can perpetuate the evils represented by evil people. It would mean that if only x% of the population is Jewish, gay or Roma and the rest of the community was fine with Nazis (I know they are not), the statute could stay. So, what is the standard?

              My three principles may not be for everyone – but it would be worth seeing whether we can agree on some principles. I agree that grandfathering may have some use in putting a (light) thumb on one side of the scale or the other, but I wouldn’t adopt it as a blanket principle. (Thank you for continuing the conversation.)

            • bruce Bernstein says:

              EricaC deserves an award for raising the level of discussion on the post.

              I basically agree with everything she said.

              As for AC’s point, AC said:

              “When the statue of Columbus was erected, it reflected the will of the people, at that time in history. Same goes for those concerning Lee, Dr. Sims, and others. I definitely believe that existing statues should be ‘grand-fathered’ (not removed) to respect and honor the generation that erected them.”

              For Lee, Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and the other Confederate statues that were mostly erected in the period 1880-1920, they reflected the will of SOME people. As EricaC noted and as many historians have recently explained, these statues were erected to enforce Jim Crow and white supremacist laws in the South, and to roll back Black equality and rights that were coming to the fore during the Reconstruction period. “Will of the people” at the time? Yes, if “the people” did not include African-Americans, who in many Southern states represented close to or over 50% of the population at the time.

              I think based on EricaC’s criteria, the statue of Dr. Sims in Central Part is more problematic, because it wasn’t erected BECAUSE he tortured African American women. However, his methods were so offensive and cruel, even in their day, that it is hard to justify keeping it up.

      • Lois says:

        Well said.

    2. Chris says:

      When otherwise reasonable Democrats get wound up about things like this – arguing about whether to remove a statue of a guy who died 500 years ago – all it does it compel people who would otherwise vote for them to roll their eyes in disgust.

      Sigh.

      • Julia says:

        I’m never voting Democrat after what I’ve seen the past year. It’s truly disgusting, immature, and self-defeating.

        • UWSEd says:

          OK… but to what do you refer?

          WHAT is “disgusting, immature, and self-defeating?”

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Hi Julia. Can you please detail what you find so disgusting? Everyone on here knows I loathe the current Democratic Party, so the views I express are mocked and ridiculed, but I would like to hear from you, a former Democrat voter, what has turned you off specifically.

        • Anon says:

          Same. Both parties are pretty reprehensible and waste my valuable tax dollars but the “identity politic” currently engulfing the left disgust me as an American, as a person who strives for intellectual honesty and as someone who values honesty.

        • independent _voter says:

          Agreed. I will never vote D again.

          I have never chosen “sides” before but the behavior of the Democrats in and out of office has disgusted me.

        • EricaC says:

          Julia, I am not going to deny that some of the protesting has been childish or lacking in taste, but I find it strange that watching the displays of the two parties, you judge the Democrats on the worst of their behavior, but do not apply the same standard to the Republicans. If you look at the worst of the Republican side, it includes nazism, white supremacy, cruelty and supreme indifference to the needs of present and future US citizens. That would be a disincentive to me as well.

          I think you might be better off looking at the core of each side and making a decision based on that. For me, that still leads me to the Democrats at this point, even though some people have behaved badly – but that isn’t because of the fringe element on the Republican side (which is pretty horrific), but a disagreement on policy.

          In other words, if you disagree with the policies, that’s a reason to vote one way or the other – but stupidity by a subset, not so much.

    3. The statue of Christopher Columbus honors the enormous contributions made by Italian immigrants to New York City. It can serve as a rallying point for a community-wide conversation about all forms of bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism and prejudice. If I am elected, I will immediately begin that dialogue.
      We can’t allow this community, this city, to descend into anger and hatred,” Goodman added. “We need to mobilize our clergy, our schools, our neighborhoods on behalf of peace and mutual respect.”

    4. Kate says:

      I am so over this liberal mass hysteria.

    5. UWSHebrew says:

      America is entering an all-out Communist phase, which includes removing or destroying statues. I am not looking forward to the immediate future, as truly anti-American people are calling the shots. New Yorkers have elected two dangerous individuals, our mayor and melissa mark-viverito.

      • GG says:

        Your fear-mongering comments always make me chuckle a little. Really? Do you know what Communism even is?? I wonder. Just kidding, I am certain you have no idea what you are talking about:)

        Also, I have visited Moscow during the Soviet Union as well as Cuba many times. Trust me, Communists, Dictators, Fascists, etc…they absolutely LOVE their statues. They only get taken down when the regimes inevitably fall.

        Now, when they start talking about putting UP a statue of DeBlasio or Viverito, I will be there protesting right next to you.:)

      • UWS-er says:

        How is America entering a communist phase when the entire government is controlled by conservatives?

        • OriginalMark says:

          His fear, like fear in general, leads to irrational conclusions.
          All three branches of government are held by the right – therefore we are clearly going far left!
          Oh, and a unicorn just flew out of my rear end.

        • Tom Lee says:

          Conservatives tend to equal Republicans. What we have now is more like a wanna be dictatorship. From the attacks on blacks or the poor to the pardoning (promoting) of racial profiling on down to the effort to censor the media and colluding with communist governments to influence the election.

        • Mark says:

          make that fascists.

    6. Sherman says:

      There is zero chance this statue will be removed as there will be massive protests against it.

      Most New Yorkers of Italian ancestry are likely outraged by this nonsense.

      • Frank says:

        I’m not Italian and I’m outraged by this. This hysteria needs to stop and Democrats need to either stop associating themselves with these margin walking outliers or suffer an even more humiliating defeat in 2018 when moderates the country over revolt even more. The silent majority is real, I’m afraid.

        Is all they have left the desire to remove statues now? Having no majority on governorships, representatives, senators, the supreme court and the presidency it might be time to rethink the strategy. Because we’re letting one side get quite strong and we aren’t going to like the results.

        And to Melissa Mark-Viverito – you openly supported, fought for and walked with a terrorist who aided in killing New Yorkers in this years Puerto Rican Day parade – a once honorable parade forever tarnished by this legacy. And yet you have the audacity to critique a statue of Columbus?

    7. Tom Lee says:

      This is pure craziness.

      With so many other much more important challenges and issues facing our city (our country) to focus time, money, resources and effort into labeling/removing monuments and statues in public areas seems nothing short of absurd.

      I get it if it was a statue of Hitler or Kim Il Sung or Saddam Hussein or a monument to Osama bin Laden, but this is not that – at all.

      How about we return the Statue of Liberty since the French have done some pretty nasty things in the past. How about we just move out of NYC since it was founded by the Dutch, the most prolific slave traders in history. At least lets erase all references to Stuyvesant. Where does it end?!

      Perhaps DeBlasio and other politicians should focus on removing the homeless and the garbage and potholes from the street rather than statues and monuments.

    8. Robin E. Ressler says:

      In an age before widespread literacy, statues, paintings, and monuments communicated and preserved peoples’history and heritage by their presence in public as well as sacred spaces. In our present age of widespread historical illiteracy in the United States, I say we need more, and diverse, monuments, not fewer.

    9. GG says:

      I can’t remember who said it but “Great men are rarely good men” or something like that. Maybe someone is familiar with the quote but the point is clear.

      Many if not most figures in history have questionable or controversial pasts. I agree, where does it end? We can’t start revising everything now because people’s feelings are hurt or something. That’s not how it works.

      If they remove the statute, do they change the name too, Columbus Circle? What about Columbus Avenue?? What about Columbia University or the District of Columbia, etc.

      This is all just silly. I agree that this energy should be spent on serious issues facing our city. This is a JOKE! Who is actually supporting this? I have yet to hear a good argument from anybody on this, in my opinion.

    10. Nelson says:

      DeBlasio campaigned on getting rid of the Central Park carriage horses. Thankfully, he failed on that. And hopefully, he will fail on this, too. (…And also hopefully we will have a new mayor, soon)

      Political Correctness run amok!

    11. Gina says:

      Tom Lee your right on point.

      The past is the past it’s how we
      Evolve in the future that matters.
      Leave Christhorpher where he is.

    12. LR says:

      AC – RIGHT ON. you said it perfectly.

    13. Cynthia says:

      This is our history, like it or not. Grow up, people.

    14. NotAliberalNorCoservative says:

      DiBluffio should retire, Go home to his liberal wife and friends and give us all a break.

      • Tom Lee says:

        He has no competition – not a single person has come forth to run against him. He will win another term, even if only 15% of NYers vote for him. At some point people are going to have to realize the importance of casting their vote. It is a shame that mayor’s or even the president are elected by a minority.

      • Mark says:

        Please share the Coservative position, so I can better understand where you stand.

    15. Scott says:

      Viverito certainly has a bee in her bonnet about removing statues. Where does this Puerto Rican transplant get off deciding what gets to stay and what must go in NYC? She’s a loud and embarrassing supporter of the terrorist FALN and in a sane world she’d be disqualified from holding any public office.

    16. V A says:

      My ancestors come from Italy around 1900 and I do not relate to Christopher Columbus as Italian at all. He sailed for Spain. Maybe the purpose of making him the pin up boy for Italians was to lure my family to America to build the cobblestone roads for all I know but I do plan on looking more deeply into the history.. Particularly since Italy, as we now know it. Was formed in 1861, hundreds of years after ‘Colombus sailed the ocean blue.’

    17. Karen Bruno says:

      Take up this cause and liberals will lose en masse in 2018! Proceed with caution.

    18. Don't Cast the First Stone says:

      Rabbi Yitz Greenberg said, in another context, that he didn’t care what group you belong to, as long as you’re ashamed of it.

    19. Tomtom says:

      What’s next…. Take down the Washington monument and anything Jefferson related. There are so many bigger problems than this

    20. Ira says:

      I think we should be more concerned by current racism and anti-semitism as evidenced by the campaign of Thomas Pierre-Lopez for City Council. His campaign literature which he has mailed to Upper West Siders (I received 2) is reminiscent of 1930’s Nazi propaganda…
      http://observer.com/2017/04/anti-semitic-thomas-lopez-pierre-jewish-landlords-mark-levine-domestic-abuse/
      http://thomaslopezpierre.com/

    21. Jean says:

      Let’s just kick EVERYONE out of America since NONE of us were “native” to here except the native Americans.
      The Europeans TOOK the land from the indigenous peoples. Bring back all people related to the indigenous people. Maybe we should all commit suicide?
      It’s all about anarchy.
      There. I’ve vented.

    22. ScooterStan says:

      Well, congrats to Mayor BdB for his reasonable suggestion to:
      1) KEEP the famous statue, but
      2) ADD a plaque explaining why SOME people oppose the statue.

      As for Council Speaker Mark-Viverito:

      Madame Speaker, ask your constituents in East Harlem:
      WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING ISSUES IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU:
      1) Job-creating economic development;
      2) Un-responsive landlords who refuse to maintain their buildings properly;
      3) after-school programs to occupy the neighborhood kids and keep them out of trouble;
      4) building a sense of community pride in El Barrio; or……

      5) wasting everyone’s time to satisfy a group of uber-librul crackpots who want to demonstrate their power by punishing a man dead for over 500 years for something he did that was unfortunately perfectly acceptable behavior in his time.

    23. Regina says:

      We in the 21st Century need to consider the realities of the 15th Century when Columbus made his voyage/discovery. Let’s please educate ourselves and not try to renovate history. The sensibilities and objectives of 15th Century discoverers were simply different and being nice wasn’t a priority. Ambition rarely has a soft side. Columbus is celebrated for an impossible journey 500 years in the past, not his political ambition. This debate is a distraction. Let’s focus on getting our current politicians to work against bigotry and inequality. That is the true business of the 21st Century.

    24. Nancy Wadler says:

      I agree with every single comment made.
      This is our history – like it or not.
      How is this different from Holocaust deniers?

      I suggest that everyone reread Orwell’s “1984”.
      Once, it was the future.
      When I started it, I thought it was the past.
      Now, sadly, I know it is the present.
      All the nonesense about eradicating our history was foreseen by Orwell in 1948.
      SCARY

    25. Ralph says:

      Columbus has always been a symbol of Native genocide and enslavement for the descendants of those that he and other settlers violated, whether Italians Americans recognize it or not. One question that is unresolved is this: Can the positive contributions of Italian Americans be publicly honored without also honoring the worse actions on this continent’s history? I can surely imagine many other ways of honoring Italian Americans than picking the father of trans-Atlantic slavery.
      I also don’t think that anybody seeking the removal of this statue seeks to erase history. On the contrary, what is sought is a more complete recognition of history, not cherry-picking to justify one’s own narrow views. There are more appropriate ways to memorialize past trauma than honoring the perpetrator of such trauma e.g. Shoah victims are not memorialized with statues of Hitler. The very idea of doing so is obscene.

      Fun facts: Columbus always thought he was in Asia (see Amerigo Vespucci), Columbus never touched what is now North America, and likely he was not the first European in the Americas.

    26. LK says:

      Wasn’t Melissa Mark-Viverito on the same float with the terrorist during Puerto Rican Day Parade? And now she wants to remove the statue to Columbus?

    27. Chris says:

      All Statues need to come down including Liberty

    28. r.gross says:

      What I wish we could remove is the section of peoples’ brains that place so much importance on symbolic inanimate objects.

    29. Shalom Stavsky says:

      I agree with all the other commenters on this page. This is part of our history, and it was a non-issue until the day before yesterday.

    30. mss says:

      you can not take today’s values and superimpose them on past societies. our values today have evolved from previous ones

    31. David says:

      I predict test if our current mayor is re-elected, the statue will not be removed.

      In reference to UWSHebrew’s comment, the Columbus statue should be replaced by the troika of Karl Marx, Rasputin, and Putin, and the area will be re-named “Red Circle”.

    32. Watto says:

      What in the hell is happening in this country? Removing Robert E. Lee and confederate symbols makes some sense since the confederate army actually declared war against the US – pure treason. But Columbus? Don’t we have other things to be concerned about? This city is filled with homeless people – instead of spending who knows what removing Columbus, feed and house these poor souls! The city is dirty – there are rats running around, our roads are horrible…these are the things our mayor and City Council Speaker should be thinking about!!!!!

      • Jeff Berger says:

        Robert E. Lee opposed slavery and freed his slaves before the war.

        Ulysses S. Grant was pro slavery, opposed the Emancipation Proclamation, and wrote Anti-Semetic laws to keep Jews out of the South during Reconstruction.

        • bruce Bernstein says:

          in reply to Jeff Berger’s claims about Grant and Lee, there is a good dose of myth and urban legend in what you wrote, which is a defense of Lee and also an accusation of hypocrisy against Grant. here is a Snopes debunking:

          http://www.snopes.com/confederate-history-slave-ownership/

          if you want to read a brilliant pithy summary of Lee, i suggest this brief excerpt written by the great African-American intellectual WEB Du Bois:

          http://cwmemory.com/2017/05/30/w-e-b-dubois-on-robert-e-lee/

          “People do not go to war for abstract theories of government. They fight for property and privilege and that was what Virginia fought for in the Civil War. And Lee followed Virginia. He followed Virginia not because he particularly loved slavery (although he certainly did not hate it), but because he did not have the moral courage to stand against his family and his clan. Lee hesitated and hung his head in shame because he was asked to lead armies against human progress and Christian decency and did not dare refuse. He surrendered not to Grant, but to Negro Emancipation.”

    33. Julie says:

      It reminds me of the many statuary masterpieces in the Vatican that were defaced in the middle ages by cementing fig leaves over male genitalia. This was done in the name of religion and prevailing cultural norms at the time. How will our descendents feel several hundred years from now when we have defaced our history?

    34. Aj says:

      Can we remove her for marching with and defending a convicted terrorist that murdered people? The same way too… Like a mob.

    35. Aurelie Cavallaro says:

      This is getting out of control. Removing statues does not change history. I, for one, feel we should leave the statues and memorials as is.

    36. Jean A Hellering says:

      I think there is a clear difference between supporting the removal of statues and other honors for leaders who waged war against the United States and removing statues honoring people who accomplished great things but also held abhorrent outdated beliefs and/or did bad things as well. The statues honor the achievements they do not honor every action or belief the person had.

    37. Jeff Berger says:

      Let’s not stop with a statute

      1. Columbus Ave. – got to rename that.
      2. Columbia University – Ditto
      3. FDR Drive – racist, anti-semite, interred Japanese Americans. War Monger
      4. RFK Building – AIde to Sen. McCarthy, illegally wire-tapped MLK and Malcom X
      5. Carnegie Hall: Robber barron
      6. JFK: Mistreated female employees.
      7. New York: the Duke of York was probably a very bad person, white, male, european, rich guy.
      8. The Bronx: The Bronck family were illegal occupiers of native american land
      9. Staten Island -Ditto the Staten family.

      Do you see my point? The Communists in our city government Mayor DeBlasio (volunteered with the Sandinista govt and honeymooned in Cuba), City Council President VIverto (supports Che Gueva and the FALN) seriously need to read the post cold war book “The Commissar Vanishes” by David King which detailed Stalin’s destruction of statutes and removal of people from official history.

    38. 500 years of the Pope’s Doctrine of Discovery for Indigenous Peoples is enough! Take him down! Onondaga Nation Snipe Clan, New York New York

    39. 47yrUWSider says:

      And yet the Biggie Smalls playground is ok because violence and drug dealing are a part of our history? If we are going to sanitize let’s start with the new stuff first.

      • GG says:

        This is a very interesting comment and quite honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

        I must admit to being a big fan of his music and Hip Hop in general but should public parks or streets really be named after such a person? An admitted drug dealer, gang member, probable murderer, misogynist (to say the least) and so on. This is not a role model or someone that should be honored anywhere except maybe The Source Awards.

        I love the music but if I quoted some lyrics here most of you would be horrified, trust me.:)

    40. Joe says:

      Get a grip. How could a handful of sailors on 3 tiny sail ships oppress an island full of people after a lengthy voyage over uncharted seas?

    41. Wendy [depends] says:

      The Italian language I prefer to 10 other foreign languages I’ve been forced to hear in too much of Manhattan, N.Y.C…. Remove Melissa Mark-V’o; Guillermo Linares; Adriano Espaillat; &, the Mob. Anyone see the movie w/Gerard Depardieu [Sr.] in it ? Who misses the Italian section of East Harlem ? inc. the Bakery ? Remember the poem…’..sail on….” ?

    42. Tom says:

      “… ongoing dialogue and debate in the Caribbean, particularly in Puerto Rico where I’m from…”

      Someone needs to remind this idiot who she represents. She needs to read comments like on this board and listen to the people of NEW YORK CITY, and STOP listening to people who she DOESN’T represent. Idiocy.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        She is not an idiot. She is an angry Marxist who is looking to change the landscape of New York with her radical views. She is a great danger to all freedom-loving capitalist-supporting Americans.

        • GG says:

          Do you really think so poorly of “freedom-loving capitalist-supporting Americans”?

          Are those principles and institutions so weak that they are threatened by one awful lady in the Bronx?

          Ummm…I don’t think so.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            GG — that is what was said about Hitler in the 1920’s with his “little band of followers and his failed Beer Hall Putsch”. You have to call out dangerous people at the start to “nip it in the bud”, and both our mayor (who will be running for President), and MMV are people who have Marxist, anti-American views. MMV in particular openly supported a man who helped kill New Yorkers in the 1970’s!

            • EricaC says:

              It is remarkable that you feel that we need to call out DiBlasio (who is a bad mayor in many ways, but has yet to equate white supremacists with people protesting white supremacists), but do not feel that we need to call out Trump.

            • GG says:

              I don’t disagree that one person or a small group can do immeasurable damage but I just think you are being overly dramatic with this particular lady. Yes, she is awful, hypocritical and un-American but is she really HITLER?? come on, man.

              I am a first generation Eastern European Jew whose entire family was affected greatly, to say the least, by the Holocaust. Please, don’t even get me started on the details, you can use your imaginations.

              I guaranteed you THIS situation is not THAT…OK?? Trust me on this. Everything isn’t WWII waiting to happen and every politician you don’t agree with or fear is NOT Hitler, OK?

              With all due respect, that is some real drama queen stuff. Let’s try to take it all down a notch. By making these comparisons you disrespect the memory and history of all Jews and everyone else who suffered at the hands of the Third Reich. You might want to go read some Eli Wiesel or rewatch Schindler’s List just to refresh your memory.

    43. Gretchen Berger says:

      Revisionist history rearing its head? Well, if they take old Chris down, just hope it’s not renamed Trump Circle, with the eponymous hotel to the circle’s west. This would be like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    44. Carlos says:

      Like most UWSers, I am a lifelong liberal Democrat and Trump despiser. The takeaway from Charlottesville should have been that there was a large gathering of Nazis and other hate groups and this was not rejected by our president. And many other politicians did not stand up to him.

      Instead of focusing on his despicable behavior and using this to unite the vast majority of Americans who agree that Nazi=bad, a bunch of extremist bleeding heart liberals have reframed the narrative to taking down statues that have been around forever. Can we maintain our focus on getting rid of Trump and all who enable him and worry about statues later? It is precisely this type of attitude be the far left extreme that made many Americans vote not for Trump but against Hillary and get us where we are today.

      Use your brains, people!

      • GG says:

        Yes, yes and YES!!! Couldn’t agree more.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Sorry Carlos, but the extreme left has taken over your party and you will not win another Presidential election for a long time because of it. As an enthusiastic Trump voter and supporter, I was disgusted by Trumps comments after the death of the woman by the Nazi in the car and I am ready for President Pence.

        • GG says:

          It’s always funny to me how Conservatives and Republicans suddenly change their minds when the issue hits home to THEM. It really says a lot about their selfishness and obtuseness.

          For example, Dick Cheney came around to be pro-LGBT once his daughter came out as a lesbian. Same thing for Rep. Iliana Ros-Lehtinan (R) from Miami….her kid is trans-gendered now and guess what…she is super pro LGBT now. Hmmmmm. Both opposed gay marriage and other LGBT issues adamantly.

          So, UWSHebrew supported Trump when he disparaged and offended every other race, nationality, religion, gender, ethnicity, even the physically handicapped but when he didn’t disavow these Neo-Nazis, now THAT went too far…for a guy with Hebrew in his name. What a surprise. /s

          You are just now figuring out what has been ridiculously obvious to anyone with a pulse and functioning brain stem. And now you are ready for President Pence?? God help us. He is even scarier to me than Trump cause he might actually get something done instead of just embarrassing himself (and the country) on a daily basis.

          Trump is, and always has been, A JOKE!! A game show host/reality TV star as President? Great idea, Republicans. The Trumps are an even tackier family than the Kardashians.

          • Jay says:

            Being a hypocrite is universal when it comes to politics. A pox on both their houses as far as I’m concerned.

            • GG says:

              Good point, Jay.

              And I totally agree with you. Democrats are no better and equally self-serving and hypocritical.

              I was just focused on the Right for the moment, and it is a really target rich environment. All these “family values” guys with their 3rd wives, mistresses getting abortions, and gay hook-ups, prostitutes, and even child molestation…I’m looking at you Dennis Hastert. (take a look at his google results:))

              Dems usually just get caught for corruption, conflicts of interest, tax evasion and other FEC and SEC type stuff. It’s the blatant MORAL hypocrisy that really gets me, not the greed that seems to be pretty much universal across the board.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            “offended every other race, nationality, religion, gender, ethnicity” — you’re in hysterics. He called illegals crossing the Mexican border criminals and rapists, which many are. But you see illegals as “undocumented immigrants”, which is insane. I loathe Obama for inviting BLM to the White House multiple times, and now I loathe Trump for his accepting comments of the Nazis. Just because in this instance it affects me more personally perhaps than the hate BLM would have towards me as a “white” (Nazis would say I am not white), Jew who supports Israel, this does not mean only NOW I am ready to “change my views”. But nice try.

          • OriginalMark says:

            Well, in the Conservative mind, caring about others is a sign of being a snowflake.

    45. Dorian says:

      Can’t wait to see the new Mount Rushmore. Eh,Gad.

    46. UWS Craig says:

      I believe we should keep the statue of Columbus where it is, but we should put next to it an even taller statue of an American hero all New Yorkers support, Barack Obama.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        American hero…who divided this country along racial lines and gave 1 billion to Iran…maybe in the Twilight Zone…

        • Zulu says:

          He did not divide the country along racial lines, it’s been divided as such for many generations already. All he did was point to the line that entitled white folks choose not to see.

          White folks didn’t like it because they’ve been so used to ignoring the line that when it was brought to light they either felt uncomfortable or got angry.

          The folks that got angry reacted this way because they’ve felt entitled to their beliefs for so long that they believed it to be the truth. They are convinced their beliefs are right even if they infringe upon the rights of others.

          I do get it though. It’s like the person that’s used to getting a perk or benefit for so long that after some time they feel it’s their inalienable right. So much so, that when the perk goes away or its removed then they feel they’ve been wronged. It’s a natural human condition I suppose.

          Moving forward as a nation we should move past this feeling and belief and place ourselves in the shoes of a collective that has been disenfranchised and deserves the same opportunities as everybody else.

          Considering your handle, one would expect more sympathy from you towards this issue. But the truth is that I fully expect derisiveness in your response to my comment.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            You and millions like you have been brainwashed that you are being victimized on a daily basis in every aspect of your life, because you are not white. It is not the truth and it is sad that you have been led down this road. Any attentive person can see that Obama, Michelle and the media at large fostered a false narrative of race hate. There are dead police officers in New York and Texas because of it. I am hoping that some sense of normalcy can be reclaimed from the heartbreaking photos of white people rescuing black people and black people rescuing white people in Texas, which shows that for the most part, this “racial divide” is mostly false. I have been all over the world, and I can tell you, Europe is racist as hell towards anyone not white and christian, and America IS NOT.

          • OriginalMark says:

            Umm, Zulu, Fox News says he divided the country along racial lines.
            There isn’t evidence for that, but if it’s on Fox News, it must be true.

          • GG says:

            Don’t waste your time.

            The “Hebrew” of which you speak is no mench. Unfortunately, he chooses to use his supposed religion in his name. He doesn’t represent us or true Jewish values.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              You can call me “no mench” all you like GG, my username on here is to show people that I am unlike the majority of Jews on the UWS: Not a liberal, or a democrat bootlicker, nor an apologist for the anti-white, anti-semitic elements within the Democrat party. Anti-Marxist, anti-Communist, anti-globalist, anti-sharia law. BLM is a terrorist organization whose rhetoric led to the death of innocent police officers. No open borders.

          • dannyboy says:

            Zulu, you are correct about UWSHebrew. His comment to me showed me all that I needed to know about him:

            “UWSHebrew says:
            January 24, 2017 at 9:04 pm
            Nice try dannyboy…you failed at Judaism.”

            • UWSHebrew says:

              the entire exchange from that day —

              UWSHebrew says:
              January 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm

              People, regardless of race or gender, who commit horrific acts of violence such as this person who stabbed someone, are animals who do not belong in society. He is an animal who needs to be locked in a cage.

              dannyboy says:
              January 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

              “Appeal to God’s mercy reassures us that repentance is always possible and that God always awaits our return.”
              http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-13-attributes-of-mercy/

              UWSHebrew says:
              January 24, 2017 at 9:04 pm

              Nice try dannyboy, but that is between God and man. Nothing to do with us. In Judaism, you cannot commit as many crimes as you like, and be forgiven by a man. Only God forgives. Maybe you can quote Christian scripture, as I’ve seen all the movies where the priest after hearing someone confess their sins, tell them all is forgiven if they say “Hail Mary’s”. So stick to Christianity, as you failed at Judaism

            • EricaC says:

              UWSHebrew, you must have learned a very different explanation for Yom Kippur than I did. But then, your Judaism and mine are clearly fundamentally different, as we’ve seen before.

            • dannyboy says:

              UWSHebrew,

              The entire exchange displays your lack of compassion, lack of mercy, cruelty and religious insults.

              You want humans treated like animals and when an appeal comes to treat your fellow human beings (and neighbors!) with some humanity, you lashed out with your attack on my failure at Judaism and simultaneously you attacked Christian values.

              And you continue!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mark says:

          The police divided this country along racial lines not Obama

    47. Leo says:

      How can someone who advocated avowed and unrepentant terrorist see no problem further than her own agenda

    48. EricaC says:

      If you are interested in a podcast that makes the point I try to make, but more eloquently, you may find this of interest:

      https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/99-invisible/id394775318?mt=2&i=1000391616748

      • bruce Bernstein says:

        you were very eloquent, EricaC. either people didn’t bother to read your post, or they don’t read ANY posts and just rant.

        I wonder if all these people ranting about Columbus would support putting up an exhibit on Columbus Circle, explaining what he did to the indigenous people in the Caribbean, and why he is controversial? don’t take down anything, just add. there’s plenty of room. certainly all these very reasonable people will support that.

    49. Ira says:

      We should worry more about current racists and anti-semites such as Thomas Lopez-Pierre who is running an anti-semitic campaign against City Councilman Mark Levine…

    50. dj says:

      Mark-Viverito overreached this time. Columbus will probably stay…for now. But it’s only a matter of time before all the statues and monuments erected to whites come down. Once the majority in the country is nonwhite (a day many on the left look forward to), they’ll be gone. It might not even take that long. With the ‘white-shaming’ that is going on in schools and colleges today, it won’t be long before younger whites (who learn only how terrible white people are) will go along.

      Still, it’s somewhat heartening to see some UWSers speaking up for the statue. How about a public show of support, a gathering at the statue? Oh, that could be fun. I envision Antifa attacking UWSers and calling them Nazis and fascists for supporting Christopher Columbus!

    51. Libs-love-antifa says:

      And if ANY one protests this, you will be labeled a NAZI and white- supremacist, even if you’re non-white. Welcome to the new liberal world order hysteria.

    52. Mary says:

      Just make a new statue of him committing genocide of indiginous people and you can keep it up for the sake of “history”. Then you can feel proud to be an Italian, everybody wins!

    53. Judith says:

      The statue’s removal would be BEYOND ridiculous!!!!! What does that have to do with the North & South OR slavery!

    54. Elizabeth Shackelford says:

      Let’s rewrite history. All of this sounds very Orwellian. Tell Mark-viverito to get off her high horse of self righteousness and concentrate on REAL problems, unless she is using this as a cover for her basic incompetence.

    55. Independent says:

      In the wake of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville

      Calling what occurred in Charlottesville a “white supremacist march” is tendentious.

      I am horrified at how successfully a distorted, false narrative has been perpetuated and at how the President, one of the only mainstream voices to even come close to getting it right, has been vilified by preening opportunists, even many in his own party, for doing so.

      Saturday in Charlotesville by Paul Gottfried

      Excerpt:

      From the film I’ve just seen it seems conclusive that leftist thugs were at least as ready to rumble as were the white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Whether or not the Left initiated the fisticuffs (and there’s a high probability that it did) those who led it were far from naïve humanitarians who were “shocked” by white racists. Moreover, both sides, including the white nationalists, integrated into their demonstrations basically decent people, who were simply reacting against something they found intolerable, such as a PC police state or neo-Nazi symbols. Such people were used by others on both sides who were looking for trouble. And the police did little to prevent it.

      Also, “white supremacist”, in current-year newspeak = anyone not a white submissivist.

      • EricaC says:

        Independent – did you read the postings of the Unite he Right participants? It is a little hard to deny white supremacy after you read those. THey are openly white supremacist and proud of it. And, I suppose, chanting “Jews will not replace us” is anti-Semitic, not racist (except, of course, that the KKK and their ilk consider Jews a separate race), but it certainly isn’t nice.

        If you support or defend the aims of the Unite the Right group – not conservatives generally, but that group specifically, you are supporting much more than not being submissive. Your true colors would be showing.

        I would be curious to know – in what way does racial equality equal submissiveness? What is being asked by those, other than the fringe, that you would consider to threaten your legitimate and equal rights?

      • Mark says:

        I agree with you Independent.
        Even though the marchers were carrying and wearing swastikas and chanting against Jews they were not white supremacists.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Independent — you surprise me. If you cannot acknowledge that the torch light ceremony and the nonsensical chants of “Jews will not replace us” is not a callback to the torch light parades of the brownshirts of 1930’s Germany, then you are lost. Are a few hundred twitter losers from a country with a population of 325 million a threat to said country? Of course not. But it must be called out on nevertheless.

        • Mark says:

          Yeah, but you’ve acknowledged that you are a bootlicker for Trump, who defended those people.

        • GG says:

          There may be hope for you yet.

          And not only were they chanting “Jews will not replace us” but don’t forget that they were also chanting “Blood and Soil” one of the Nazi’s oldies but goodies.

          We can disagree about a lot but I think we can all agree that a crowd of people acting in this fashion is a serious, and potentially dangerous problem.

    56. EGF says:

      If we are going to take the stance of eradicating statues and symbols that stand for terrible things of the past then I suppose the American Flag itself must go. After all, this very country was stolen from its native people by our European ancestors via greed, trickery, extreme violence, and actions that amount to genocide. How are we not offended by that???

      • Jen says:

        Exactly. Instead of toppling the statues, most of us including myself should just leave and only Native Americans should stay, given this logic. Removing statues because they represent a wrong thing but not righting this wrong seems very superficial and doesn’t address the issue. If the entire country was established by wrongdoing which was never resolved, should it stop existing then?

    57. Jeff Berger says:

      By the way, i forgot the Croissant, the UWSers favorite next to the bagel. Notice its crescent shape? It was created by French bakers to celebrate their country’s defeat over the Muslim army at the Battle of Tours. So everytime you eat a croissant, you are celebrating the Christian victory over the Muslims. Will the UWS work to ban the croissant! Totally Islamophobia that Croissant.