On Monday, “The Daily Show” took a special look at the holiday honoring Christopher Columbus, and suggested replacing it with one celebrating an Italian-American who is nothing like the man who began the Native American genocide: Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Columbus Day, celebrated every Oct. 12 since 1934, was established to honor the contributions of Italian-Americans. But the holiday has become increasingly controversial due to raised awareness of Columbus’ role in the Native American genocide as well as the numerous horrific crimes against humanity he not only committed but admitted to. For instance, Columbus handed Carib women over to members of his crew to be raped; openly boasted about how easy it would be to enslave the Carib people; personally enslaved more than a thousand people; forced natives to mine gold or face execution; and perhaps most horrific of all, he literally sold children as young as 9 years old into sexual slavery. In other words, a horrible person.
But of course, as Noah noted Monday, the Italian American experience definitely deserves to be celebrated in America, noting that “there was a time when Italian-Americans were badly oppressed in America, and they held up Christopher Columbus as a role model because he put them at the center of America’s story.”
“But times have changed,” Noah continued, “and more and more people are finding it hard to celebrate Columbus knowing all the bad things that he did.”
But the good news, Noah said, is “Italian-Americans have gone from being persecuted to being some of the country’s most powerful politicians, entertainers, and med school cadavers,” that last one being a dig at former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Which brings us to Fauci. “So, you could replace Columbus with any number of deserving Italians. I mean, just off the top of my head, what if we replaced Columbus with Dr. Anthony Fauci?” Noah said. “He’s an Italian-American hero, he’s beloved and respected by everyone, or at least almost everyone” — at which point a photo of Trump appeared on screen — “and he’s trying to fight disease, instead of spreading it all over the continent.”
But the best part, according to Noah? “Dr. Fauci’s a short guy, so you save on the marble costs.”
Watch the whole clip about Columbus Day above.