The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

White Nationalist School Principal Fired in the Bronx

By Ryan Lenz on August 2, 2011 - 2:34 pm, Posted in White Nationalism

The principal of a Roman Catholic school in New York City has been fired for his associations with prominent white nationalist organizations, most notably American Renaissance, a group that promotes pseudo-scientific studies purporting to show the inferiority of blacks.

Officials at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School began looking into Frank Borzellieri’s suitability for the position after the Daily News in New York revealed that he had written books predicting America’s expanding black and Hispanic populations would create a “New Dark Age.” He was also a frequent contributor to the American Renaissance magazine, whose editor once wrote that “[w]hen blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”

“Any form of discrimination or bigotry is inconsistent with Catholic teaching, and will not be tolerated in our schools,” archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said. But earlier, school officials had defended Borzellieri’s position. The Rev. Eric Rapaglia, pastor at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, said he didn’t think Borzellieri’s views would affect his position as a school administrator. “Do I agree with all of it? No. But I think much of it is valuable and logical and reasonable.” He added, “A lot of his ideas would actually benefit minorities.”

Borzellieri has a long history of involvement with the white nationalist cause, including a catalog of incendiary writings and statements in American Renaissance magazine, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. An April 2009 article, for example, quoted him railing against multicultural policies. “We are tired of racial quotas, of reverse discrimination, of not getting jobs even though we scored higher on a test,” he was quoted saying. “We came to America, assimilated, and learned English. We are tired of every ethnic interest group demanding its own curriculum and street signs and government forms in different languages. It was never done for any of us. Why should we do it now? We are tired of being made to feel guilty for past grievances of so-called oppressed minorities.”

Borzellieri is the author of several books, including Lynched: A Conservative’s Life on a New York City School Board and Don’t Take It Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies. In 1993, while seated on the school board in Queens, Borzellieri issued a press release criticizing a curriculum obsessed with praising the home countries of immigrants. “If I move to Pakistan, will they teach my kids about the wonders of Ridgewood, Queens?” he asked.

The firing comes amid a growing sense of community outrage. A church service over the weekend turned tumultuous after the news spread, with one parishioner disrupting Mass to call for Borzellieri’s ouster. “I wanted them to feel my sense of outrage that he was brought into the community to teach,” said Juan Varela, 54, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

  • Sam Molloy

    No, Marta Kaye, there’s a picture of Jesus in a church here and He’s fair with blue eyes. (I’m trusting His sense of humor here…)

  • BRL

    Sad very sad!

    Not long ago Italians were minorities and treated very, very badly. Read the Ellis Island history and you would see how if you were from southern Italy and dark skin your chances for staying in this country were very slim.

    Not until the 80’s the negative and derogatory Italian-Americans comments were in very bad test.

    Most Eastern Europeans were often denied entry also. Read USA emigration history, please…….

    This man must have a tremendous chip on his shoulder.
    I wounder how his ancestors were treated and in turn he is doing the same.

    Sad, very sad. All readers please check out The Southern Poverty Law Center site this is an anti-hate organization in Alabama of all places! .

    Since President Obama took office the the USA have 1000 hate groups in this country. The White Supremacist groups are among them.

    BRL, Human Rights Activist
    “Know your Rights America”

  • david xavier

    Despite of Mr. Borzellieri’s views , presumably garnered while spending 20 odd years as an educator in diverse communities ( as a response to what he experienced perhaps? To make sense of the gulf of behaviour and achievement between different communities?) his role as a principal and an educator in the catholic school system were exemplary. What’s more he had not pursued these views in written form for years and perhaps ‘mellowed’ ( as someone above put it). All his written works were in the public domain …so I can only conclude that, someone delved into the past for a hit job to be done on him for having expressed the the WRONG thoughts sometime in the past….not for any professional failure. Why ..personnal grievence perhaps?

    And lets face it , he is a religious ‘Catholic’ educator so while he can try and predict some demographic induced decline or theorize some racial explanation of the demostrated statistical chasm between racial and ethnic groups…all in a generalised abstract … he has shown, from his record that he can separate such views in the ‘ here and now’ and seek the best outcome for all his students no matter what their race or ethnicity for they are all the lords children.

    Yes he has views ( racial realism?), that some disagree with , but these views do not interfere with his duties as a professional educator and pastoral carer. Hence , he is being punished for a thought crime….not unlike the blacklists of 50’s Hollywood. Mr. Borzellieri is a victim of ‘McCarthyism’ for the ‘greater good’, for daring to break the holist of the progressive commandments…”thou shalt not question the good of diversity”

  • marta kaye

    If all do research our world was made up of more dark- tan or tinted not the chalky white as the white supremist Fundamentalist may think. Rather God is dark or light how can one tell by a voice from above? Many men of different times wrote what they thought God said, regardless of what state of mind they were in. Jesus was of tinted skin, rather of the Hebrew , Egyptian, Arab, do we really know? It was the supposed Christians Crusaders that rode upon the land of the Arabs and Jews and slaughtered them.

  • seafish6491

    I think the pastor should be fired — Roman Catholics (I’m one) are similar to the general population of what one believes about others not of their particular nationality or ethnicity. BUT a priest expressing his views in contrast to what is moral and ethical and justice-oriented is a shame.

  • Dr. James Catello

    Extensive research on the background of “educators” is clear. I’ve taught in schools where entire staffs of teachers would enthusiastically agree with Mr. Borzellieri’s views. His remarks, and the church’s endorsement, are not shocking to me at all. Schools are the last place where one becomes enlightened. What a pity.

  • Frosty7530

    This incident re the firing of a Catholic Elementary School Principal in NY for his alleged Right-Wing Extremist/Racist i very strange. It does make sense for the Archdiocese to fire this man who disturbs the community he is supposed to serve. Of course parents of African-American & other minorities would be upset & fearful of the allegations surround ing him.

    What I want to know is WHY he was interested in becoming a Catholic Schiool Principal in an African-American school. The priest who hired him, only gave an empty explanation that his private beliefs did not affect his ability as a school principal & that much of his conservative thinking was reasonable & helpful to the school. I want to know if Principal was liked by any of the students/parents/faculty. How was this man helpful to people he supposedly disdained? What we have here is TERRIBLE reporting! I really feel in the dark as to what was going on with the Priest who hired him. We have no statements from the Principal that explain his position. Why did he want to teach kids he felt were intellectually inferior? We all know that there are serious problems in our inner city schools across the country

    . We have not yet found the best ways to educate these disadvantaged students. I have known friends who tell me they want their kids in a good conservative parochial school, where they feel their kids will have a better chance of learning, in a disciplined environment. In spite of the horrid cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, parents still find Catholic schools the best option for their children.

    I am not taking sides here. I am more curious than ever as to how this incident came into being. I do feel it was very unfair not to present the Principal’s point of view. For
    all we know, this man may have dropped his affiliations with extremist views, and may have wanted to atone for his past bigotry. Young idealistic students of Left & Right frequently mellow-out as they mature. Not all conservatives are ranting/raving facists, and some of them have been very good teachers. Just as there are good Liberal teachers.

  • Lor

    A teacher at the local Jewish school believes Jews are God’s chosen people, above all others, certainly that view has no place in America either. For that matter, I believe Born Again Christian think the same thing. People have a right to be wrong… except in a state where fanatic rule.

  • WC

    Congratulations, anti-freedom thought police, you won another round! now, tell me, given that he got excellent marks for being a dedicated administrator and there was never a single accusation of bigotry, discrimination or incompetence against him while on the job, tell me how his firing for writing forbidden thoughts going will improve the lives of the students at the school were he worked, a majority of whom were in fact non-white?

  • Kaolin

    I am so glad he has been fired. ~ Kaolin, author of “Talking
    About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives”

  • Anthony

    In vague support of the school officials who orignally defended his position: I have to say that Borzellieri’s reference to “reverse discrimination” refers to affirmative action. That IN ITSELF, along with other SIMILAR ideas – is/are not racist. There are many good – non racists – who believe that such policies are wrong, and that implimenting any policy that favors one race over another is discriminitory – and only serves to perpetuate racist ideas. I was taught in the military decades ago that the policy was concidered discriminitory, and that there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination.” The military then made it clear to me that positions in the military are based soley on individual skills, ability, knowlege, and ability to learn. My experience with that is having had many supervisors both of color and white, and other ethnicites that were more skilled, had greater leadership abilities, etc., than I .Having said that, Borzellieri’s other affiliations are certainly questionbale. As far as his books, I have never read them, and I would have to do so to make any judgement about what this guy really thinks.

  • michael goldwater

    Our Constitution is colorblind, why can’t our goals of equality be the same. I was lucky enough to have been born in this great land, let ALL of us make it better. This is our legacy.

  • MST

    Good point, skinnyminny. I’m just wondering why this guy would even want to work with a bunch of “inferior” blacks and Latinos. Surely there are some all-white schools that would welcome him.

    Also, from his name, it sounds like he is Italian-American. Not too long ago nativists did not want any of “his kind” immigrating to America, either. Sad.

  • skinnyminny

    Personally, this was a good thing that he was fired. There’s no way his policies would have been beneficial, i.e. minority kids are (disciplined) suspended/expelled at a much higher rate than that of white kids. I do not believe the kids would have received a much higher/better education – meaning the textbooks (if any) would have been below grade level, which would probably cause some to drop out because of lack of challenges – then this principal would have said that ‘blacks can’t learn, blacks are illiterate…’ Keeping this principal there would probably give this man more writing material, and cause his readers/followers to believe everything he says about minorities, regardless if it is true or not.

  • Mitch Beales

    So the folks who brought us pedophile priests are now supporting racist schoolmasters. I’m sure much of the contact the kiddies had with “men of the cloth” was “valuable and logical and reasonable” as well.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    If this guy contacts the ACLU, I’m sure someone will take his case. The ACLU defended the Nazis who marched through Skokie, as well as the Westboro Baptist Church. You can call them a lot of things but they are consistent.

  • Bron

    The word “effect” in this article should be “affect”. Just saying!

    Disappointing that the school initially supported this guy. Makes their eventual removal of him seem like bending to pressure rather than rightly removing him.

  • Shadow Wolf

    The pastor who defended the fired White supremaicst principle quoted: “Do I agree with all of it? No, but I think much of it is valuable and logical and reasonable. A lot of his ideas would actually benefit minorites.”

    “Benefit”? How?

    Unless of course, if their ploy is to instill pro-White interests subjects and world view, that could be beneficial to them.
    Yet, how do the non-Whites “benefit” from a school official, whose racist views clash with anything that is beneficial to the non-White? This includes the possibility of applying psuedo-racist subjects and even eliminating all facts regarding non-White subject matters etc. And then the (gasp!) spreading anti-Semitisms later?

    In any case, I think the firing of that White supremacist principle was justified. Morally, it was also the right thing to do. I think the Church deserves some credit for that decision.

  • RRoberts

    Shouldn’t the ACLU stand up for this guy?