Mayor Bill de Blasio's been getting a lot of flack from Italian-Americans for allegedly failing to stand up for Columbus Day and the namesake statue in Columbus Circle—he's been dubbed a "fake Italian" thanks to his mandated review of "symbols of hate" in the city, which opened up debate on the aforementioned statue thanks to the numerous atrocities Columbus committed against indigenous populations when he arrived in the Americas. Though de Blasio has tried to assure Columbus supporters that the 125-year-old statue will remain up for the foreseeable future, he apparently hadn't quelled their concerns enough to keep people from booing him at yesterday's Columbus Day parade. But don't worry, Columbus fans—Governor Andrew Cuomo's got your back!

Never one to miss out on a power grab, Cuomo declared this weekend that the Columbus statue will be removed over his politically dead body. "As long as I am governor of the great State of New York, there will be a statue of Christopher Columbus standing tall and proud in the city of New York," he announced at the Columbus Citizens Foundation gala on Saturday, claiming folks asking for the statue's removal are attacking "our Italian-American heritage and the fundamental principles that make America, America."

Still, yesterday Cuomo said there should be some acknowledgement of the indigenous people who were slaughtered and brutalized by Columbus and his men. "It's not an either/or - it's both," he told reporters at the parade. "Of course we should honor the indigenous people. They were abused by many leaders...The number 1 abuser of the indigenous people in this country was our federal government."

Of course, there would potentially be no federal government to abuse Native Americans had European explorers not violently paved the way, but no matter—Cuomo reiterated that Columbus Day is about Italian-Americans, not the long-gone explorer. "I march in all parades because I honor the immigrant experience all across the board, making the mosaic of New York. But being from Italian American ancestry, today is special for me," he said.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan chimed in on the Columbus debate yesterday, declaring that to remove the Columbus statue would be akin to attempting to remove the past. "See, I’m a historian. I don’t like book burning. I don’t like tearing down statues," he said at the parade. "They inform our memory, and our memories constantly need formation. And there is good in the past, there is evil in the past. We need to be reminded of both of them, and statues do that. Keep ’em up."

And Italian-American actor Chazz Palminteri lent his two cents to the Columbus Day argument as well, announcing on WABC radio that de Blasio needs to "strap on a set of balls" and defend the statue. "I won’t shake his hand. I can’t. I respect the office. I’m sorry mayor you’ve got to say something. Strap on a set of balls," he said. "Adolf Hitler loved Henry Ford. Should we take the name off the cars?"

Both de Blasio and Cuomo asserted yesterday that the city will not change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day, despite the move made by cities like Austin, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles to do so. De Blasio also said yesterday that the Columbus statue isn't coming down anytime soon.

"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."