NEW YORK CITY — Left-wing Mayor Bill de Blasio is struggling to shake the controversy surrounding statues of Christopher Columbus and was not invited to the upcoming Columbus Day Parade in the Bronx because of his agnostic stance on the Italian American hero.
The New York Post reports that Tony Signorile, who runs the parade in the Bronx, has chosen not to invite de Blasio, calling him a “fake Italian.”
“Why would I have a mayor march who acts like Pontius Pilate. He washes his hands and puts up an 18-member committee to look at each statute,” said Signorile said.
After violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, de Blasio jumped on the left-wing trend of calling for the removal of historic monuments and said he would conduct a 90-day review of all “symbols of hate” on city property.
He later refused to say that Christopher Columbus’s statue in the world-famous Columbus Circle would not be removed as part of the left’s iconoclasm. Fellow Democrat and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stoked this fear when she suggested that Columbus could be purged.
“We have to look at it thoroughly. He is a controversial figure and I know that some may take offense to that but for many of us that come from the Caribbean islands, we see him as a controversial figure,” she said at the time.
“I’m not going to get into the name game here,” the mayor said when asked in August about Columbus, according to the New York Post. “We have to look at everything here.”
Amid growing controversy from those who think Columbus is a step too far, de Blasio went somewhat quiet on his crusade and later distanced himself from efforts to target Columbus in particular — saying he would march in the Columbus Day parade as a “proud Italian American.”
De Blasio attended the Bronx parade in 2012, 2013 (before becoming mayor), and 2015 as mayor.
Signorile is among a number of Italian American leaders snubbing the mayor’s Italian Heritage reception at Gracie Mansion on Thursday, according to the Post.
“The mayor should have thought this through and not gone along with the rest of the liberals,” Signorile said.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.