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Flyer claims 'Columbus Day Parade Canceled' due to 'mass murder of Native American people.' It's a hoax.

'We're gonna find out who it is and why'

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

A flyer claiming "Columbus Day Parade Canceled" due to the "mass murder of Native American people" was passed out in Pittsburgh's "Little Italy" community of Bloomfield prior to Saturday's festivities — but an organizer of the parade said it was a hoax.

"It's kind of bold. We're gonna find out who it is and why," Guy Costa told WPXI-TV, adding the parade was still on. "Everyone has their reasons and, again, there are always pros and cons about everything. But as long as Columbus Day is a national holiday, we'll continue practicing the parade."

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

What did the flyer say?

"We would like to publicly apologize as it has been brought to our attention that this is an offensive holiday," the flier read, in part. "Columbus' arrival to America caused the mass murder of Native American people."

The flyer also said, "As a community we can talk more about Columbus being a violent person and how we can make our relationship better with Native American people."

Purporting to be signed by the Pittsburgh Columbus Day Parade and Little Italy Days, the dead giveaway was the third group — the Community Members of Bloomfifeld [sic], which was misspelled, KDKA-TV reported.

“We the Italian-American community," Costa added to KDKA. "We use Christopher Columbus Day as a way to celebrate our traditions, our Italian-American heritage, so that's the way we look at it."

What happened at the parade?

Shortly after the parade began, protesters with a banner reading "THIS IS STOLEN LAND" jumped in front of the parade route, KDKA-TV reported in a follow-up piece.

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

“By honoring Columbus, we're not telling the true story of him setting in motion the transatlantic slave trade and a massive genocide of native people," Kalen Tierney with the anti-racism group What's Up Pittsburgh told the station.

Costa noted to KDKA that the parade committee considered changing the parade name but decided to keep it.

“They feel that if you eliminate Christopher Columbus Day, you're taking something away from the Italian-American community," he also told the station.

Tierney told KDKA a less controversial figure could be celebrated.

“Why not honor an Italian who has not a complicated legacy but one who is a brilliant person who has an uncomplicated legacy, like Leonardo Da Vinci?" she asked the station.

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

Costa noted to KDKA that peaceful protest over the name is fine.

“Folks have the right to protest or have their feelings about Columbus," he added to the station. "I always say it depends on what book you read. One will tell you how great he was and there's controversy about the others."

One last thing…
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