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Letter: Columbus Day protestor showed hypocrisy

To the Editor:

As a member of the Undergraduate Council of Students last year, I was present as Jerry Wolf Duff Sellers '09 came before that body to advocate changing the University's recognition of Columbus Day, on the basis that it memorializes racial injustice and perpetuates harmful historical inaccuracies. For Duff Sellers, however, putting an end to unfair or inaccurate characterizations apparently stops with Columbus Day. I was outraged to read that Duff Sellers was perfectly content to protest the holiday last Monday beside the statue of a caricatured Italian chef, with a sign reading "Columbus spilled BABIES (sic) BLOOD like I spill tomato sauce" ("Rally against ‘Fall Weekend' takes on U.'s name change," Oct. 13).

As an Italian-American and a member of the Brown community, I was offended by this display of insensitivity and arrogance. But what angered me even more was the unmitigated hypocrisy it demonstrates. You can argue what you please regarding Columbus Day and its recognition at Brown; there are valid and respectable opinions on both sides of this issue. What I do not respect, however, is Duff Sellers's willingness to vehemently argue that the holiday must end because of the harm it does to certain racial or ethnic groups, only to turn around and promote caricatures and stereotypes of another such group.

Jerry Cedrone '11

Oct. 15


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