Bronx Catholic School, Populated by Black and Latino Students, Hires Known Racist as Principal

Frank Borzellieri, a conservative writer and educator with a history of publicly racist proclamations and campaigns, was hired as principal of the Bronx’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in 2009.

Prior to his position as principal, Borzellieri taught English at St. Barnabas School in the Bronx, where, among other things, he attempted to create a resolution to teach students the “superiority” of U.S. culture. While serving as a school board member in District 24 in Queens, Borzellieri pushed to ban “anti-american” literature from school libraries, which included a biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2004, Borzellieri published a flame-spitting diatribe on “race realism” and diversity entitled Don’t Take It Personally: Race, Immigration, Crime and Other Heresies, where he asserts that “diversity is a weakness,” and the growing presence of Hispanic and Black populations will invariably lead to a “New Dark Age” in the United States.  He regularly contributes to American Renaissance, a white supremacist monthly magazine that describes itself as “America’s premiere publication of racial-realist thought." Of the many studies and books gracing American Renaissance’s website, a few that stand out are: The Color of Crime, Hispanics: A Statistical Portrait, Anti-White Hate Speech.

But Borzellieri doesn’t just pen flimsy articles for the Renaissance. In 2000, he spoke at the American Renaissance magazine’s Fourth Conference. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Renaissance conferences are “usually a major hit in white nationalist circles and feature as speakers prominent white supremacists, academic racists and other extremists from around the world.”

Despite Borzellieri’s apparent aversion to “diversity,” “integration,” and other such outdated relics of the 20th century, a large majority of the students at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel School are black and Hispanic. Borzellieri himself, the staunch proponent of “fighting the NYC diversity cult” seems to have stumbled upon one of the more diverse schools in NYC. This raises serious concerns to Mount Carmel parents, especially in lieu of the new revelations about his past attempts to implement a U.S culture-centric curriculum.

Bronx-based community members wasted no time publicly campaigning for his removal. On Sunday, at 10 am, just hours after the Daily News story aired, Juan Varela was arrested for disturbing Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, addressing the congregation, and calling for the elimination of Borzellieri as their school’s principal.  

According to a police source, Varela told churchgoers: ”This church hired a racist. This church does not like Hispanics and Blacks.” Varela told the New York Daily News that he wanted the community to feel his “sense of outrage” that Borzellieri was “brought into the community to teach.”

Many parents of minority students at Mount Carmel are equally indignant.  “He shouldn’t be teaching here. He could look at kids differently because they’re black. It’s not fair,” said one parent to the Daily News.

Eric Rapaglia, the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, hired Borziellieri and claimed that “a lot of his ideas would actually benefit minorities.” If community member Juan Varela’s reaction is any indication, however, it doesn’t seem as though the actual students at Mount Carmel –and their parents—would agree.  

AlterNet / By Erica Hellerstein

Posted at August 2, 2011, 4:29am

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