Preserve, celebrate, perpetuate Italian heritage

Our organization, the Italian Educational and Cultural Center for the Arts, is located in a historic building named “Casa Colombo.” Should we feel discomfort for running our cultural and social programs in Casa Colombo just because it bears the name of Columbus? If we reflect on the present controversies pro the removal of Christopher Columbus’ name and festivity solely on the exploitations of the Indigenous people by CC’s sailors, we can argue that other explorers did the same or worse, therefore the nature of these brutal actions should be considered in the historical context of the time.

Notwithstanding, we have a great respect for the Indigenous people and we do believe they need their own celebration day.

However, let’s leave this endless argumentation to the historians hoping that politicians do not exploit them for personal political gains.

Casa Colombo is the place where the Italian heritage started in Jersey City, an extended area in Downtown called the Italian Village. Casa Colombo was built by Italian immigrants for the main purpose of creating a place Italian immigrants could call “home,” a hub where they could meet with their families, freely speak their mother tongue, teach the Italian language or dialects, celebrate their traditions, and most of all bond together with nostalgia for their homeland.

In essence, Casa Colombo was created to keep alive the Italian heritage.

Columbus Day was proclaimed in 1892 by President Benjamin Harrison in part to placate the animosity of the Italian immigrants for the lynching of 11 Italians in New Orleans in 1891.

In his proclamation speech, President Harrison said the following: “… recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America … and describing Columbus as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment.”

Progress and enlightenment are the words that can best describe the identity of Italian Americans today in all spheres of the American life.

Italian Americans have thrived in the pursuit of their dreams, reaching many remarkable achievements, therefore obtaining progress for themselves and at the same time contributing to the enlightenment of the American life. This was possible because while the Italian immigrants sought integration into the American mainstream, they also strived to keep alive traditions and values of the places they were forced to abandon because they represented their heritage.

Therefore, for us Casa Colombo and CC represent the Italian heritage that needs to be preserved, celebrated and perpetuated, and the name of Christopher Columbus should be considered as living symbol of that heritage.

Authorities in Cumberland County are investigating a homicide after a man wounded in a shooting a week ago died of his injuries Thursday.

Millville Police responded to Carlton House Apartments on Cedar Street on June 24 for a report of a shooting victim and found Dominick Hull, 28, of Bridgeton, with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.

He was transported to Cooper University Hospital, Camden, in critical condition and died of his injuries early Thursday morning.

No charges have been announced and a motive for the shooting has not been revealed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Millville Police Detective Joseph Fogg at 856-825-7010 or Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Harvey Calixto at 856-207-2999.

Information may also be shared anonymously via the prosecutor’s office websiteA United States Postal Service worker who claimed she was injured on the job five years ago has collected more than $150,000 by lying on her workers compensation forms, federal authorities said.

Monique Gee, 38, of Hillside repeatedly indicated in disability paperwork that she didn’t earn any outside income even though investigators learned she’d earned “substantial” income operating a food truck in Jersey City, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gee said he sprained her right knee on June 1, 2016 while working as a mail carrier in Middletown.

Soon after filing for workers compensation, Gee established the business, prosecutors allege. She obtained a license to run it from Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services and even advertised the food truck on social media.

In addition, an undercover officer called Gee in February to talk about placing orders with her, charging papers say. Gee sent the investigator an invoice which was later paid to her.

Gee is paid an annual salary of $46,310 by the USPS, according to government records, faces up to five years in federal prison.

Gee’s attorney — public defender Saverio Vigginao — and the USPS couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *