Blog Entry 8/2/11
White Supremacist Running a Catholic School?
By Mark Riley
The answer to the above question is…..yes. When you do this kind of work long enough, the same bad penny can turn up many years after you first hear about it. Such is the case with a guy named Frank Borzellieri. Back in the day he was a member of Local School Board 24 in Queens. His record there is worth examining. Among other things, he tried to ban a biography on Dr. Martin Luther King (he thinks it was un-American), he voted to reject all federal government monies (unconstitutional), and tried to fire a gay teacher (unsuccessfully).
He once referred to the increase in black and Latino populations in the US as “The New Dark Age”. That comes from a book he wrote that I won’t bother to publicize by writing its title here. And yet, Frank Borzellieri never seems to have trouble finding work. What’s interesting is that he finds the work in schools that are predominately composed of students he labels “The New Dark Age”. He taught at the St. Barnabas School in the Bronx, and then, two years ago, he was hired as principal at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, also in the Bronx.
The pastor who hired him, the Rev. Eric Rapaglia said he knew about Borzellieri’s views, but didn’t seem them as a problem. He apparently managed to also overlook his ties to the publication American Renaissance, a white supremacist rag that he remains affiliated with. Now, imagine for a moment what kinds of protests there would be if a teacher at a predominately white school, public or parochial, had public ties with the New Black Panther Party. Or the Nation of Islam, or La Raza. Would the Catholic Church sign off on such a thing?
Don’t get me wrong, Frank Borzellieri has every right to live his life as he chooses. I simply wonder what fascination this man has with young children of color, children who, if his writings are to be believed, barely deserve an education at all. Parents at Mt. Carmel are starting to ask questions. One outraged resident of Queens actually came to the Bronx this past Sunday and interrupted Mass to protest. He was kicked from behind by church ushers and later arrested. He ought to get a medal.
If anyone ought to face sanctions here, it is Rev. Eric Rapaglia. He not only hired Borzellieri, but all but endorsed his views as well. This is nothing less than a stain on the Catholic Church, which can ill afford any more than they’ve already endured. Fire Frank Borzellieri now, and send Rev. Rapaglia to a parish the serves a gated lily white community. Communities of color deserve better than these two.