Former New Jersey 101.5 personality Ray Rossi, who along with Craig Carton were known as "The Jersey Guys," is as Italian-American as they come. Rossi, who's very much Italian, on Columbus Day posted the story of his grandmother Carmella on his Facebook page.

Like I've said so many times before, Columbus Day in New Jersey is not about the man but a celebration of the Italian people, and that's why the statues should be left alone.

Rossi returned to his Jersey radio roots by coming on my show Monday, Oct. 12 to talk about his thoughts on Christopher Columbus.

"I feel Italian-Americans are getting short shrift in this whole thing," Rossi said when he came on the show last night. "Look at Columbus as more of a symbol than anything else, a symbol of what Italian-Americans have brought to this country, in terms of our culture, in terms of hard-working, hardscrabble people."

"That's what my grandmother was to me," Rossi continued. "She was a very humble person. She came from very humble roots. She, in parted a lot of her wisdom onto me, I learned how to speak Italian from her."

There are/were so many of those Italian grandmothers in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to live with mine for a while when I was 15 growing up in Union City. I learned how to cook just by watching her and about our family history from her stories about "the other side." Like all cultures, there are so much more to Italian-Americans than the stereotypes.

"We think of Italian-Americans to a certain degree as mob portrayals and what not. That's not who Italian-Americans are. That's a very small segment of the Italian-American experience," Rossi said.

He put it best: "Italian-Americans are people like my grandmother. A good many Italians came to this country and contributed business and a hard-working ethic."

That ethic and these great people from the greatest generation should never be canceled, especially by those who preach tolerance and inclusion.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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