An Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez protégé running for Congress supports removing the Christopher Columbus statue from Columbus Circle — which may be a big problem for the district she wants to represent.…
AOC protégé Brittany Ramos DeBarros’ faces backlash after supporting the removal of Columbus statue
May 1, 2022 5:27pm
Political ad for Brittany Ramos DeBarros running to represent NY 11 in congress
An Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez protégé running for Congress supports removing the Christopher Columbus statue from Columbus Circle — which may be a big problem for the district she wants to represent.
Brittany Ramos DeBarros
is seeking to rep New York’s 11th Congressional District, which encompasses all of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn
— and is home to one of the largest Italian-American communities in the country.
“It’s not in my district, so it wouldn’t be a top priority for me in Congress. but I support removing [the Columbus monument in Columbus Circle] and I think it would be ideal to replace it with some kind of tribute to the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island or the Lenape people specifically,” DeBarros wrote in an endorsement questionnaire from the Jim Owles Liberal
LGBT Democratic Club.
The club asked the question, among others, of political candidates seeking its endorsement.
As with AOC, DeBarros, a military veteran, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Brittany Ramos DeBarross is running in New York’s 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn and is home to a large Italian community.Facebook/Brittany DeBarros
DeBarros’s chief Democratic primary challenger is former Rep. Max Rose
, who is seeking to reclaim his old seat after losing to Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis
in the 2020 general election.
“I don’t support removing the Columbus statue,” Rose told The Post on Sunday. “It’s crazy that we’re even talking about this.
“Let’s talk about getting inflation down and union membership up instead of talking about statues,” he added.
DeBarros says she supports removing the Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle even though it’s not in her potential district. Getty Images/iStockphoto
The statue is one thing apparently Rose and even Malliotakis can agree on.
The incumbent also said DeBarros is out of step with constituents.
“The fact that Brittany Ramos DeBarros wants to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle is another example of woke politics run wild,” Malliotakis said.
Ocasio-Cortez also told the Democratic club that it’s time to cancel Columbus, the famous Italian explorer of the Americas who is also despised for brutalizing indigenous people.
DeBarros says she would like to see the Christopher Columbus statue replaced with a tribute to the Lenape people. Getty Images/iStockphoto
“It is a decision that should be made by the community and I believe there is significant support for removing the statue from Columbus Circle,” wrote AOC, who represents parts of The Bronx and Queens, in the questionnaire.
But the head of a prominent local coalition of Italian-American groups slammed DeBarros for disregarding her Italian-American constituents, who revere Columbus as a symbol of Italian pride and culture.
“She’s offending the Italian-Americans in her district. Listen to your constituents!” said Angelo Vivolo, president of the Columbus Heritage Coalition and former chairman of the Columbus Citizens Foundation that runs the annual Columbus Day Parade, to The Post.
DeBarros is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Facebook/Brittany DeBarros
Vivolo last week rapped state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi
(D-Bronx), a fellow Italian-American running for Congress, for wanting to cancel Columbus. Biaggi said there are other Italian heroes who are better representatives to celebrate than Columbus.
Others politicians who told the Jim Owles club they supported or were open to the removal of the Columbus monument include: Reps. Grace Meng and Hakeem Jeffries; city Public Advocate and gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams, his running mate for lieutenant governor Ana Maria Archila; state Sens. Jessica Ramos, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, Brad Hoylman and Jose Serrano, and Assembly members Harvey Epstein, Maritza Davia, Zohran Mamdani, Kenny Burgos and Emily Gallagher.
But Queens Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman said she is opposed to erasing Columbus from the public square.
Angelo Vivolo, president of the Columbus Heritage Coalition, said DeBarros is offending Italians. Facebook//britt4congress
“I know my opinion is probably in the minority, but these statues of oppressors need to remain and have accurate titles put next to them of the atrocities they committed to indigenous peoples. I don’t feel we should erase history — we should learn the correct history and put other statues alongside those of the oppressors,” Hyndman said.
Gov. Kathy Hochul
danced around the question in her answer to the club, headed by Allen Roskoff
“While Governor Hochul believes New York’s rich Italian community should be recognized, it is important to also celebrate Indigenous peoples and their place in history while recognizing the scars left by their unjust treatment,” her campaign said in the questionnaire.
DeBarros is a military veteran. Facebook/Brittany DeBarros
“In 2021, for the first time in state history, Governor Hochul signed a proclamation recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and she will continue taking action to build foundations of trust across communities.”
Rep. Tom Suozzi
, who is challenging Hochul in the Democratic primary, and his running mate for lieutenant governor, former Brooklyn Councilwoman Diana Reyna, said they oppose removing the Columbus statue.
Either way, the debate could be moot.
The Columbus monument has been designated a
historical landmark by the state and federal government.
But controversies still rage around other statues and namings.
As The Post recently reported, the growing cancel-culture club even supports striking former three-term Mayor Ed Koch’s
name from the 59th Street/Queensboro bridge connecting Manhattan and Queens, alleging he did not do enough to combat the AIDS crisis in the city when in power.