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.