NEA President Thinks We’re Not Very Bright
It appears that NEA chose this date in order to diminish the accomplishments and the impact Columbus’ voyages had on the world. We need to address this issue strongly, intelligently and above all please be polite!
Please note that Hispanic Heritage month is from September 15 to October 15 and Native American month is November … So why celebrate the 2nd Monday of October as El Dia de la Raza and Indigenous People’s Day?
Enough is Enough! Act Now!
ONE VOICE is asking that Italian Americans contact Ms. Eskelsen Garcia, President of the NEA after reading her E-Mail
Send your comments to President Eskelsen Garcia
“Remember Be Strong and above all POLITE!” Manny Alfano
Every Italian American organization should have their members E-Mail/Phone the NEA … DON’T LED UP
NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia’s E-Mail:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding NEA’s New Business Item on El Dia de la Raza and Indigenous People’s Day.
Our 2016 Representative Assembly passed a New Business Item calling for NEA to “encourage members to urge their school districts” to observe this day on the second Monday of October.
While that is also the day on which Columbus Day is observed, the proposal made no mention of removing that designation. In fact, during the debate over the NBI, the maker specifically said that it was not the intent of the motion to discontinue the celebration of Columbus Day. As a result of the NBI, we committed to identifying instructional materials and celebration ideas for our members and stories about our member’s activities related to El Dia de la Raza and Indigenous People’s Day to be posted on existing NEA digital properties.
NEA has not taken a position to abolish Columbus Day. I believe we can and must find ways to respect and honor all of the people who have played important roles in building our diverse and beautiful country.
UNICO National’s President’s Response
UNICO NATIONAL The Largest Italian American Service Organization in the United States “Service Above Self”
Dear Ms. Eskelsen-Garcia:
As President of UNICO National, I must tell you that your email response is not convincing! To think that you have sufficiently responded to our concerns with a plausible explanation is, quite candidly, laughable.
You are feigning non-complicity in detracting from Columbus Day with this NEA initiative, in your words, “the proposal made no mention of removing that designation. In fact, during the debate over the NBI, the maker specifically said that it was not the intent of the motion to discontinue the celebration of Columbus Day.” Any person, of even modest cognizance, can ascertain that these explanations are condescending and completely unbelievable.
Your funding of a major proposal to have THE SECOND MONDAY OF OCTOBER – Columbus Day – celebrated as a Latin American cultural holiday, is a DIRECT and BLATANT campaign to detract and destroy this FEDERAL AMERICAN HOLIDAY. It has been DIRECTLY under attack by certain groups, yours is an INDIRECT way of supporting these groups that want history rewritten, and this great explorer’s accomplishments besmirched.
You will be sorely mistaken if you believe that your response will satisfy the millions of Americans, and Italian Americans who hold Columbus Day in high regard. We have numerous other national and regional groups of Italian Americans and non-Italian Americans who have joined with us and I know there are many more of like mind and fervor.
In my previous letter to you, I respectfully asked for a meeting to discuss this with you. You have refused my respectful approach. Now, I must advise you that your email response is just not acceptable.
Therefore, we will continue to pursue this matter in conjunction with numerous other national organizations in every manner available through our many resources and contacts.
ONE VOICE Coalition Organizations
Anti-Bias Committee of UNICO National, Belleville UNICO, Bloomfield UNICO, Brick UNICO, Bridgeport UNICO, Center for Italian and Italian American Culture, Clark UNICO, Chicago W Suburban Chapter of UNICO, Coccia Foundation, Federation of Italian American Societies on NJ, Garfield UNICO, Greater Ramsey UNICO Italian American Club FSGN, Italian American Heritage Club of Hunterdon County, Italian American Police Society of NJ,La Festa Italiana of Lackawanna County, PA, Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge OSIA, Lt. Det. Joseph Petrosino Association in America, Misericordia Society National Italian American Legal Defense Fund, NJ IIAHC (NJ Italian American Heritage Commission), NJ OSIA Grand Lodge, Ocean County Columbus Parade Committee, Plainfield Chapter of UNICO, Stamford UNICO, Taylor Street Archives, UNICO National, Waterbury UNICO, Woodcliff Lake UNICO
Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition is an IRS Registered 501(c) 3 Tax Exempt Corporation