Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo marched in the soggy New York City Columbus Day parade on Monday, celebrating their Italian heritage and appeasing Italian-American New Yorkers, while also acknowledging critics who say the holiday commemorates a violent colonial legacy. Neither politician endorsed a proposal to change the holiday to Indigenous Peoples' Day, and both criticized the national push to swiftly remove statues and monuments with racist baggage.

"It's not an either or—it's both," Cuomo told reporters before the parade. "Of course we should honor the indigenous people. They were abused by many leaders."

Cuomo went on to compare the plight of indigenous peoples in America to that of Italian Americans.

"So celebrate the indigenous people, but that is also the story of Columbus Day," he said. "Because once you establish the celebration of the indigenous people, now the non-indigenous people—we're all immigrants. And Italians came. And Irish came and Jewish people came and Polish people came, and Puerto Rican people and God bless America. That's the New York story."

For months, some Italian New Yorkers, including several politicians, have criticized Mayor de Blasio's decision to review so-called "symbols of hate" across the city. They accuse the mayor of failing to defend the statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle for political reasons.

"I'm very proud of my heritage, that's all I care about. I don't care about the critics," de Blasio told reporters on Monday. The mayor also called his commission "a way we move forward" and "the right thing to do."

However, de Blasio also assured the public that no monuments or statues will be removed in the near future.

"I want to emphasize, nothing is going to change in a short time," he said. "I think some of the critics, possibly for their own purposes, have tried to gin this up. No one's moving any statues, no one's changing anything in the short term."

(Ben Fractenberg / DNAInfo)

"I've said there are a lot of different solutions, including something as simple as putting additional historical markers out to tell other elements of the history," de Blasio added. "That should be a conversation people are not afraid of."

Asked about de Blasio's commission on Monday, Cuomo said, "I reject the negativity of a lot of the current day political tactics across the country."

Angelo Vivolo, head of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, praised Cuomo while jabbing at de Blasio.

"Andrew Cuomo, our great governor, has been a tremendous supporter of our community, his Italian heritage and culture, someone who stands up for us," he told the Daily News. "And we can't thank him enough for being a true patriot and doing what he believes in his heart is correct, unlike some other people who are marching in today's parade."

Meanwhile, anti-colonial activists, including NYC Stands with Standing Rock, Decolonize This Place, and the Black Youth Project 100, have taken a hard line, calling on Mayor de Blasio to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. (They have also called on City Hall to remove a statue of Teddy Roosevelt outside of the American Museum of Natural History, which depicts the former president alongside "figures that appear to be Native and African stereotypes.")

"Many U.S. cities have chosen to do what is just and renamed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day. Why is New York not among them?" the groups said in a statement. "New York City sits on the territory of the Lenape, and over one hundred thousand Indigenous people live on this territory today—more than any other city in the United States! Let’s honor the rich legacy and achievements of Native Americans and discard the unsavory celebration of imperial conquest."

Reporting by Ben Fractenberg.