Authorities stood by in Camden last week as vandals beheaded and tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus. Then, over the weekend, sensing trouble brewing, the mayor of West Orange announced he has ordered his city's statue of Columbus be taken down with a "more appropriate message to replace it."

Yeah, how about "we give up," or "we don't care about history," or just "we don't want any trouble here?"

Whatever his background or his motives were when he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, does not change the fact that Columbus was a courageous, intelligent man with great accomplishments, and yes, faults. What he did should be told in full without bias or omission, but not distorted or deleted from our history.

The unbridled and misdirected rage being spread across our country in tearing down monuments and statues does no one any good. Petition to put up more appropriate memorials to other people of great accomplishment as well. Many of these monuments to Columbus were erected at a time when Italian immigrants were looking for acknowledgement and acceptance.

The sad thing is, he wasn't Italian. His parents moved from Spain to Genoa before he was born. When he was born, Genoa was an independent city/state and Italy would not even become a country for another 400 years. He never even spoke the language of Genovese, but a rare Spanish dialect common among Jews from Spain.

All of that aside, what good is done for people today by angrily destroying public property and dishonoring a man you know very little about? Someone in your "education" told you he did bad things to people that may look like you over 500 years ago. This all comes from hating America. So many of our citizens today hate our country and look for ways to tear it down piece by piece.

It's still the greatest place on Earth and that is why so many people try so hard, and some even die, just trying to get here. "One cannot and must not erase the past merely because it doesn't fit the present," Golda Meir said. American writer Jane Yolen was once quoted as saying, "time may heal all wounds, but it doesn't erase the scars." Why are we making more scars?!

Another notable quote, from Czech writer Milan Kundera, who survived Soviet occupation:

The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was... The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.

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