Fox guest: “Bad things” happened with Columbus' arrival in the Americas, but he also “brought hope to millions of people”

John Calvelli on Columbus, who committed genocide: He “gave opportunity to millions of people fleeing economic persecution and economic hardship,” so don't “cover up one side of the story”

From the January 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

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BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): These paintings of Christopher Columbus have been hanging at the University of Notre Dame main building for 130 years but now the school is going to cover them up. The university president John Jenkins saying this, quote, “Many have come to see the murals as a [sic] best blind to the consequences of Columbus' voyage for the indigenous peoples who have inhabited this 'new world' and at worst demeaning towards them.” Our next guest says this is the wrong move. Joining us right now is the vice-chair of the National Italian American Foundation, John Calvelli. John, this is not first time Columbus has been under attack. What is the significance about this? 

JOHN CALVELLI (NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION): There's many things that're significant about this. First of all, it's a Catholic institution. At some point we have to remember our history, we shouldn't be covering it up.

KILMEADE: What did he do for Christianity? 

CALVELLI: Well, the fact is that Christopher Columbus brought Christianity to the Americas. But the thing is that history's complex, we cannot walk away from our history, we can't cover up our history. At the end of the day we have to have an honest conversation. Did bad things happen when Columbus arrived here? Absolutely. Were the indigenous communities impacted? Absolutely. But at the same time, can we forget that Columbus' arrival in America brought hope to millions of people around the world? The fact is that Columbus' arrival in America gave opportunity to millions of people fleeing economic persecution and economic hardship. I mean at the end of the day, it's important for us to not forget and cover up one side of the story.


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