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Cowards in the Archdiocese

Frank Borzellieri, who at one time spoke and wrote forthrightly on racial issues, has been fired as principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx. In recent years, Mr. Borzellieri has concentrated on serving his students, and had withdrawn from racial concerns. His record as a teacher and a principal has been exemplary, and he never spoke about racial matters with students or faculty. He was fired simply for holding certain views and having the courage to write about them.

What prompted Mr. Borzellieri’s firing was a hit piece in last Sunday’s New York Daily News. Writer Cornine Lestch called him a “firebrand” with ties to a “white supremacist publication” which was, of course, American Renaissance. She quoted from his books, in which he pointed out that “diversity is a weakness” and that increasing numbers of blacks and Hispanics will bring a New Dark Age to America.

Miss Lestch quoted the Southern Poverty Law Center as saying that Mr. Borzellieri was still “intimately involved” with AR. The SPLC got it wrong, of course. The last time Mr. Borzellieri spoke to an AR event was in 2002, and he has not written for us since a piece five years ago about the soccer World Cup.

Miss Lestch made much in her article of the fact that the school where Mr. Borzellieri worked, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is heavily black and Hispanic. She failed, of course, to mention that he is widely liked, or that during his two years as principal there had never been the slightest hint of “prejudice” or “discrimination.” Before his appointment at Mount Carmel, Mr. Borzellieri taught at St. Barnabas High School and Blessed Sacrament High School, always earning the highest ratings from students and colleagues; no one ever suggested he was in any way unfair to any student.

Before making a career in education, Mr. Borzellieri was a columnist for the Leader-Observer newspaper chain in New York City. His tart columns on immigration and race created a furor, but were hugely popular, and his editor always defended him.

In 1993, Mr. Borzellieri was elected to School Board 24 in Queens, and was reelected twice, for 11 years of total service. He was an unabashed partisan of Western Civilization, and thus constantly in the news. He made headlines when he called a press conference to announce his call to remove library books that promoted homosexuality and contempt for America. Mr. Borzellieri was twice voted the most popular school board member, and would have continued to serve had his board not been eliminated as part of a reorganization of the city school system.

He spoke at four American Renaissance conferences1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002 — where his witty, upbeat talks were always immensely popular. By our count, he wrote five articles for AR, the last in 2006.

It is worth repeating: There was no incident or even allegation that prompted last Sunday’s Daily News article. Mr. Borzellieri’s extensive record could not be more public. A reporter simply hashed over Mr. Borzellieri’s years-old writings and associations. This prompted bloggers to rave about his “hate filled belief system” and to claim that “Frank Borzellieri doesn’t like anyone who isn’t white.” Television and radio reporters piled on, besieging diocese headquarters and Mr. Borzellieri’s home. Everyone wants to join the pack when a “racist” has been flushed.

The diocese did not even wait 48 hours to fire Mr. Borzellieri. His record and his stack of outstanding recommendations from three schools counted for nothing in the face of baseless charges of “white supremacy.” The Archdiocese of New York mumbled something about Mr. Borzellieri’s views being “found to be incompatible with the philosophy and practices” of the school, and gave him the boot. This contemptible behavior harks back to when the church used to hunt for witches and burned heretics at the stake.

In recent years, as part of his dedication to a career of service to students, Mr. Borzellieri returned to graduate school, where he earned two master’s degrees. He has heavy student debt — and no job. He would be deeply grateful to anyone who can send a check to:

Frank Borzellieri

Box 780142

Maspeth, NY 11378