Student: Where Would We Be Without Columbus?

by Stephen Beale on October 12, 2009

Students and local Rhode Islanders held a rally on the Main Green today to protest the decision to cancel Columbus Day at Brown. The event was sponsored by the College Republicans, The Brown Spectator, and local talk radio host John DePetro. Below are excerpts by College Republican President Keith DellaGrotta. The full text of his remarks are available after the break.

When Portuguese sailors were exploring the waters of nearby Africa, Columbus set his sights high to sail west across the Atlantic. With true Italian spirit, the spirit of the Roman Empire, the spirit of the Renaissance, Columbus pursued his goals, though he was first refused funds by the king of Portugal, until he received the support of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to begin his voyage. By way of his superb mariner skills, Columbus landed at the New World a total of four times, opening the doors for European exploration of North America.

Brown University professors and snooty Brown students cast Columbus as a barbarian while raising the American Indians on a pedestal to be honored, but I ask them what would America be without Columbus? Would the American Dream, the ideal that inspired my great-grandfather and the ideal that draws me to Brown University now, exist if it were not for Columbus?

Columbus and the Europeans brought technology to America. They brought democracy and capitalism to a patriarchic civilization. And most importantly they brought Christianity to a land of multiple gods and human sacrifice. Brown University and the Far Left like it are ashamed of America and its white, European background, but the values and the principles that Columbus, and the Europeans that followed, brought to America are the reason for her current political and economic success. Is this no reason enough for a holiday?

Without Columbus there would be no British explorers. Without Columbus there would be no Pilgrims and Puritans. Without Columbus there would be no common law. Without Columbus there would be no Great Awakening. There would be no Thirteen Colonies. There would be no Tea Party. There would be no American Revolution.

To read his full remarks click below.

When I decided to attend Brown University, I was at the same time deciding to return to the city of my surname roots – DellaGrotta. While a cook for the Italian army, my great grandfather decided he wanted to try his luck in America and emigrated to Providence, RI at the turn of the twentieth century. His wife followed him a few years later. In Providence, he settled on none other than Federal Hill and established a grocery store there.

As we all know, life was not easy for Italian immigrants in the early 1900s but Great-Grandpa Francesco refused any handouts and he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. Though he and his family initially lived in an apartment with five other families and only one bathroom, he worked long hours at his grocery store and learned English to provide for his wife and three boys, including my grandfather. As a result of my great-grandfather’s support and care, my Grandpa Guerino became the first of the DellaGrottas to attend college.

Two generations later I stand here on the lawn of Brown University because of the labor of my ancestors before me. All this made possible through the dedication of the DellaGrotta family in pursuing the American Dream. The American Dream – the belief that through devoted effort and some talent one can achieve happiness and success – was originally made possible by a group of British dissenters, our Founding Fathers. Why did the American colonists happen to be on this side of the Atlantic? As a direct result of European colonization. And who initiated European colonization of the New World? Another Italian by the name of Christopher Columbus.

My great-grandfather would be ashamed of Providence’s most prestigious university and its slight against Italians. As the ultimate politically correct move, the naïve, arrogant, haughty, foolish Brown faculty last year decided to side with American Indians, less than one percent of Brown’s student body, and change the name of Columbus Day Weekend to Fall Weekend. Out of complete disrespect for America…the fact that Columbus Day has been celebrated since 1792 and has been a national holiday for over thirty years…and out of complete disrespect for the DellaGrotta family and other Americans of Italian descent in the area, Brown University is attempting to rewrite history by refusing to honor Columbus as the intellect he was. We gather here today to show we will not let this happen. Columbus the hero will live on!

When Portuguese sailors were exploring the waters of nearby Africa, Columbus set his sights high to sail west across the Atlantic. With true Italian spirit, the spirit of the Roman Empire, the spirit of the Renaissance, Columbus pursued his goals, though he was first refused funds by the king of Portugal, until he received the support of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to begin his voyage. By way of his superb mariner skills, Columbus landed at the New World a total of four times, opening the doors for European exploration of North America.

Brown University professors and snooty Brown students cast Columbus as a barbarian while raising the American Indians on a pedestal to be honored, but I ask them what would America be without Columbus? Would the American Dream, the ideal that inspired my great-grandfather and the ideal that draws me to Brown University now, exist if it were not for Columbus?

Columbus and the Europeans brought technology to America. They brought democracy and capitalism to a patriarchic civilization. And most importantly they brought Christianity to a land of multiple gods and human sacrifice. Brown University and the Far Left like it are ashamed of America and its white, European background, but the values and the principles that Columbus, and the Europeans that followed, brought to America are the reason for her current political and economic success. Is this no reason enough for a holiday?

Without Columbus there would be no British explorers. Without Columbus there would be no Pilgrims and Puritans. Without Columbus there would be no common law. Without Columbus there would be no Great Awakening. There would be no Thirteen Colonies. There would be no Tea Party. There would be no American Revolution.

United States GDP tops that of the world. The United States donates more foreign aid than any other country. America scores in the top 10 percent worldwide for least corruption. America harbors two of the top three and thirteen of the top twenty universities globally. The personal responsibility, the respect for life, the family values, the care for others, and the freedom promoted by Christianity generate these impressive statistics. The American Dream is a Christian dream, like Jesus’ parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew, and Columbus was the first to utter our Lord, Christ, in America.

Secular universities like Brown seek to diminish the importance of Christianity in the history of the United States. But they will never win that battle. Our Founding Fathers were devout Christians and alluded to it in the Declaration of Independence, that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” America’s Christianity is portrayed on our currency – “In God we Trust,” it is displayed within our courtrooms – The Ten Commandments, it is uttered in our Pledge of Allegiance – “one nation, under God.”

American Indians knew not Christianity and thus lacked the bedrock to construct a great United States of America as we know it today. Columbus, however, was the saving grace. The Brown faculty and Brown American Indians may dislike it and they are trying to conceal it, but Columbus put in motion America’s European colonization and thus her ascension to greatness…and for this we respect him through Columbus Day!

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Student: Why Columbus Day Is Important « OSPRI BLOG
October 13, 2009 at 8:40 am

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Andrew E. Kurtzman October 14, 2009 at 8:46 pm

While an otherwise very fine argument, Mr DellaGrotta is, I believe, entirely out of line to argue that the size of the population in question should affect whether the University acts upon its arguments (politically correct or not):

“Brown faculty last year decided to side with American Indians, less than one percent of Brown’s student body, and change the name of Columbus Day Weekend to Fall Weekend … .”

As president of the Brown University Republicans, Mr DellaGrotta, of all people, should know better than to dismiss a group’s argument because of its modest size.

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