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February 27, 2020 10:01 AM UTC

Sen. Larry Crowder's K-K-Krazy Plagiarism Over Columbus Day

  • by: Colorado Pols
Sen. Larry Crowder (R).

We were forwarded a lengthy Facebook rant from Republican Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa, who is most displeased with legislation moving through the Colorado General Assembly to rename Columbus Day in honor of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini–a now-canonized Italian nun sent by the Pope Leo XIII to assist Italian immigrants to the United States, and the founder of Denver’s Queen of Heaven Orphanage.

Sen. Crowder’s opinion of renaming Columbus Day after Mother Cabrini is…not mainstream.

Racism alive and well;

The 1920’s in Colorado was a period of hatred, prejudice and racism. As hard times deepened, more middle and lower class workers became unemployed. Money was tight, jobs were few, agriculture was failing, and scapegoats were needed. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) became a powerful force in Colorado politics at this time. The KKK came out of Georgia during the 1912-1918 era, and it gained considerable strength during the “Red Scare” of 1919. Colorado was a good breeding ground for the KKK because of a fairly large ethnic population and several industrial cities. Pueblo was a major contributor of KKK members who spouted patriotism, “Americanism,” racism and bigotry. Their targets were minorities like Blacks (there were few in Colorado at this time), Spanish-Americans, Italians, southern Europeans, Jews, Catholics and Orientals. Trinidad, Walsenburg, Aguilar and other coal towns were prime candidates for Klan activities. Southeastern Colorado may have seen a few cross burnings, some threats against minorities, and other incidents, but there were no deaths or injuries due to KKK activities. Italian newspapers in Trinidad, such as La Voratore Italiano and the Corriere de Trinidad successfully defended their communities against the KKK. Because there was a large Spanish-American population in the San Luis Valley, the KKK did not do well. Canon City saw a fair amount of KKK activity, but there were not very many minorities living there. Local Catholics and Jews took the brunt of KKK hatred. [15] So powerful was the KKK in Denver and the Front Range, that in 1924 these areas elected Clarence J. Morley governor. This Klan-backed executive was a Klan sympathizer, as were most members of the House of Representatives in Colorado’s legislature. All kinds of bills were introduced, from banning wine for use in Catholic church services to the abolition of parochial schools. Colorado’s Senate was the only body that kept these efforts from becoming law. The sole accomplishment of the Morley administration was abolition of the office of Horseshoe Inspector. Morley was removed from office in the 1926 election, and the Klan’s political influence quickly diminished.

Presently, we in colorado face legislative bill HB20-1031, which abolishes Columbus Day. I look at this as racism. Not only does this affect those of Italian descent but also of Hispanic descent. The Knights of Columbus, which are of Catholic descent, are directly affected by this as they also follow the traditions of Columbus Day. The Sons of Italy are another group. All of these groups have contributed greatly to Colorado and their foothold into our society should not be diminished by a small racist group. For over a hundred years this has been happening and should not be tolerated.

Senator Larry Crowder

The first, though perhaps not the biggest problem is that Sen. Crowder appears to have plagiarized most of this copy from A Land of Contrast: A History of Southeast Colorado by Frederic J. Athearn for the Bureau of Land Management. Comparing this post to page 156 of A Land of Contrast, Crowder appears to have made a few tiny edits to what is otherwise a straight copy/paste job with zero attribution. That’ll get you kicked out of college, and it’s remarkably similar to the plagiarism scandal that ended Scott McInnis’ bid for governor in 2010.

So there’s that. Then there’s the idea that people who would prefer to honor someone of Italian heritage who is not a polarizing figure because to the death of 90% of the indigenous population of the Americas as the result of the thing he is being honored for are as bad as the KKK. This is, to put it mildly, onion-like layers of messed up.

For either or both reasons, Sen. Crowder just created a head-on-desk moment for the Republican brand.


16 thoughts on “Sen. Larry Crowder’s K-K-Krazy Plagiarism Over Columbus Day

  1. When Columbus was alive, there WAS no "Italian heritage."  Born in the Republic of Genoa.  Spoke Ligurian as his native language.  Began working on ships early in his life.  Married a noblewoman from the Iberian peninsula and lived in Lisbon.  Known to have a mistress in Castile.  Sponsored for his voyage to the New World by the Crown of Castile, from the Iberian peninsula. 

    About 350 years after his historic voyage, the peninsula's multiple governments  began to unite in a process leading to "Italy" in the 1870s. 

    Having one holiday dedicated to a woman seems timely.

      1. I did have to cheat a bit … I couldn't remember the name of the language and had to double-check the timeline of the Risorgimento.

        Groups focusing on a heritage found only in their minds are interesting to me …

  2. Too bad that Colorado Pols is buying into the political correctness that Columbus is to blame for all the ills of native peoples in the Americas.

    More historic facts: the Vikings arrived in North America around 1000 C.E. and John Cabot about 1497 C.E. Would they not have brought the same diseases that other explorers may have brought?

    The Age of Exploration began with the fall of Constantinople, and the final end of the Roman Empire, in 1453 C.E. Muslims were blocking the historic trade routes to the east. Somebody; not just John Cabot; would eventually have headed west instead of doing the Vasco da Gama gig that took him around Africa to India in 1497 C.E.

    Also, re-naming a holiday for a canonized Catholic saint would appear to violate Article II, Section 4, of the Colorado Constitution by giving preference to one religion over others.

      1. “Christmas” has other connotations, like Solstice, Saturnalia, give all sorts of money to retailers, among other items. There is also Kwanzaa, plus Jewish, Muslim, and various other religious holidays scattered around the end of the year. While the far right wing religious types don’t like it, “Christmas” now means many different things. Why do you think the religious right always talks about a “war” on Christmas?

        Myself, I celebrate Solstice rather than Christmas. 

        1. The fact that lots of loser dieties try to ride alongside Christmas doesn't change the fact that as a legal holiday it is exclusively religious and Christian.  Do you even know what Christ means?

          Christ's mass?

          It ain't no band name.



          1. You sure Christ actually existed? If it’s truly “Christian,” how come Orthodox Christians don’t celebrate it on December 25?

            Like it or not, VG, Christmas is now much more of a commercial holiday than a religious holiday, despite the pious spoutings from the hard core right wing.

            1. It has nothing to do with what I like.  Your claim that Jesus is not a religious figure is beyond dumb.  You just don't want to admit how foolish you were to say you could not have a catholic saint honored with a holiday.  Yes, there was a historical Jesus.  No, he was not the Christ, which basically means the messiah.

              If you want to learn about him, try Revolution in Judea by hyam Maccoby.  Denver library has it.

              Dec. 25 was the solstice, not the birth of Jesus.  But so what.  It is celebrated by billions of people as a religious holiday.

              And it is a secular holiday.

              1. VG: yes, you like to try and argue because you don't like somebody else's opinion. The handle 'kwtree' come to mind? Maybe if you worried more about the inability of women to get basic health care from 550 Catholic hospitals nation-wide because of dogma…….. And if you have a living will, would your legal document be recognized in one of those hospitals if you ended up there?

                If you want to learn more, try Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, or maybe Holy Blood, Holy Grail by multiple authors. Those authors had an interesting copyright battle with Dan Brown over the content of his DaVinci Code. Or perhaps the Nag Hammadi Library.  

                1. So, let me understand this.  You argue that Jesus of Nazareth is not a religious figure.

                  You r argument is based on the fact that you don't like Catholics.

                  Ergo, Christmas is not a religious holiday.

                  That is stupid.  Period.  Follow the law of holes and quit digging.    You're normally a rational person, why do you insist on playing the fool?

                  and forget about dan brown, that's fiction.  Hyam Maccabee, a great Jewish scholar, is the best writer on early Christianity I know.

            2. Since Jesus and Christ in used interchangeably, and you question his existance, try reading the New Testament. Or even the Koran. 

              Even in the Koran, Jesus is revered as a prophet. And especially, read Book Nineteen. (The Book of Maryam). It details the virgin birth of Jesus.   

              1. They aren’t interchangeable.  Jesus is a name, actually means Joshua in Hebrew.  Christ is a title, “the Christ” in hebrew.  it translates as messiah.. Jesus existed, he was a rabbi.  He was not a messiah — if he had been he would have thrown the Romans out.

                As for the whole idea of virgin birth?   It works for single celled creature like the amoeba.   People, not so much.   Neither chb or I believe in virgin births, resurrection s, or the designated hitter rule.

                He just won’t admit he was wrong to forget that christmas, a religious holiday, is also a legal one.


              2. Here you go, Blackie, another reference: “Who Wrote the Bible?” by Richard Elliott Friedman. It ain’t the “word of god,” as some Christians like to claim.

                Bear in mind that both the Bible and the Koran may have been created by persons who were illiterate. If other people were transcribing, how much variation got into the stories? There have been many translations and re-writes of the Bible over the centuries. Parts of the Bible originated in other literature. Re the New Testament, the gospel of John was supposedly written decades after the “death” of Christ, assuming he existed. What about the other Gospels that men have left out of the New Testament?

                As for VG’s comment that Christmas is a legal holiday, should it be? As for “playing a fool,” as stated by VG, bear in mind that I have researched this issue for decades, beginning with the mandatory four semesters each of theology and philosophy needed to graduate from a Catholic college.

                But, VG, how did you know that I’m not a big fan of the designated hitter rule? But, I can live with it.


                1. By no means is it foolish to argue whether Christmas should be a holiday.   You however, basically said it wasn’t one, and it is.

                  let it rest.  With my usual diplomacy I’ve upset you.  Yes, you sometimes say foolish things.  But everyone here occasionally does, except for Moddy.  He is trying to qualify for his imbecile badge but just can’t work up to it.

                  you are on balance one of the truly moderate and independent minds on this board.  I have great respect for you.

                  P.S. The only way anybody can live with the designated hitter rule is to rejoice that it’s the unAmerican League’s problem.

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