A Defense of Frank Borzellieri
Until this past week, Frank Borzellieri was a principal of Catholic elementary school in the Bronx, New York. Once word was released that Borzellieri was a “white supremacist,” however, he was swiftly terminated.
As it turns out, Borzellieri was, at one time, at any rate, a bit friendlier with a certain organization – American Renaissance (AR) – than the self-appointed guardians of our politically correct orthodoxy believes he had a right to be. AR promotes what its founder, Jared Taylor, describes as “race realism.” For this, it has been branded a “hate group” and purveyor of “white supremacy.”
I am not affiliated with Frank Borzellieri. But one shouldn’t need to be affiliated with a person in order to rise to his defense when one believes that person has been done a great injustice. I have no affiliation with Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage, yet this doesn’t preclude me from appreciating the fact that both men have been treated most unfairly by the very same “anti-anti-racists” that have set their sights on Borzellieri: no sooner than he began his job as a football commentator on ESPN, many may recall, Limbaugh lost it for the allegedly “racist” remarks he made regarding Donavan McNabb, and in addition to being fired after a similarly short term career at MSNBC, Savage’s “hatred” also landed him on a list of disreputable types including terrorists and murderers that are prevented from entering England.
The difference, though, between the Limbaughs and Savages of the world, on the one hand, and the Borzellieris, on the other, is that if they live hundreds of years, the former will never spend another moment worrying about their livelihoods; such, however, is far from the case with the latter. Not unlike yours truly, Borzellieri invested considerable resources in the way of time and money acquiring an education in a field that isn’t exactly known for being lucrative. Even less lucrative than the journalism career in which he evidently excelled was the position of a Catholic school principal that he ultimately chose to pursue.
Yet now Borzellieri is out of a job for no other reason but that he dared, at one time, to express politically incorrect beliefs concerning race while maintaining an affiliation of a sort with AR.
The more one learns of both AR and Borzellieri, the more this episode becomes at once interesting and disturbing, for you see, if Borzellieri is a “white supremacist” because of his association with AR, then there is a whole lot of other popular media personalities and organizations that are guilty of “white supremacy” because of their association with it. Some of these have a relationship with Borzellieri as well. This is interesting. What is disturbing is that thus far, not one of these personalities or outlets has so much as mentioned the travesty that Borzellieri had visited upon him, much less defended him.
Let’s begin with AR by focusing specifically on its founder, Jared Taylor.
This “white supremacist” has contributed articles and essays to such publications as the Wall Street Journal; the Los Angeles Times; the Chicago Tribune; the Baltimore Sun; the San Francisco Chronicle; the Boston Globe; National Review; and the Washington Post. He has also spoken at the University of Pennsylvania, George Mason University, Temple University Law School, Hillsdale College, Howard University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Texas. He has taught Japanese at Harvard University and is the author of several books, including a couple that were met with critical acclaim upon their release: Shadows of the Rising Sun: A Critical View of the Japanese Miracle and Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America.
Taylor made multiple appearances, not just on “conservative” talk radio, but as well in such left-leaning venues as Donahue, Chris Mathews’ Hard Ball, Joe Scarborough’s Scarborough Country, and Queen Latifah’s short lived daytime talk show. But there is more. As “Edward Bernays” notes in Vdare.com, “C-SPAN broadcast at least two of AR’s bi-annual conferences and also two press conferences where Taylor was a speaker.” It is precisely just these bi-annual conferences, not incidentally, that Borzellieri participated in – and it is his participation in them that supposedly establish his subscription to “white supremacy.” Bernays mentions that when “AR’s groundbreaking Color of Crime report” was released in 1999, it “was actually discussed on the Rush Limbaugh Show….” Interestingly, it wasn’t Limbaugh himself who actually discussed the report but guest host Walter E. Williams, a black economist who “summarized the report favorably to Limbaugh’s 20 million listeners.” Taylor even managed to hold “a press conference at the National Press Club to discuss the report” that “was widely attended and resulted in a CSPAN broadcast and national print coverage.” American Thinker’s Robert Weissberg and Pat Buchanan too are friendly with Taylor and AR.
However, it isn’t just the aforementioned figures and outlets that are guilty of “white supremacy” for lending legitimacy to Taylor and his ilk.
In 1999, seven radio talk show hosts spoke to Taylor’s American Renaissance magazine about their views on race, IQ, immigration, white racial consciousness, and the prospects of whites being reduced to a minority within the decades to come. It may shock some readers to discover this, but among those hosts were Michael Reagan (son of President Ronald Reagan), Michael Medved, talk radio legend Bob Grant, and two black radio personalities, Larry Elder (the “Sage from South Central” (Los Angeles)) and Ken Hamblin (“The Black Avenger”).
Time constraints prevent a fuller review of the exchanges that transpired between AR and these hosts. But suffice it to say, all seven of them had nothing but harsh words for the politically correct orthodoxy on these matters. Particularly surprising were Michael Medved’s comments. Concerning the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, he said that this issue demands that we make a choice as to whether we want to preserve “Anglo-Saxon culture” or dissolve it. Medved rhetorically asks: “Should Anglo-Saxon be dissipated or should it be respected?”
Yet the point in alluding to this is not to endorse or refute either AR’s or these radio personalities’ position(s) on these topics. It is solely to show that if AR is really “the white supremacist” organization that its critics make it out to be, and if Borzellieri is a “white supremacist” for having consorted with it, then Michael Reagan, Michael Medved, Bob Grant, Larry Elder, and Ken Hamblin must be “white supremacists” too.
As for Borzellieri, if he is a “white supremacist” because of his association with an allegedly “white supremacist” organization, then presumably those who associate with him must not be too terribly uncomfortable with “white supremacy,” if they don’t embrace it altogether.
This is relevant, for Borzellieri has contributed to, among other publications, Newsday, USA Today, and the New York Daily News. He has made appearances on Leeza Gibson’s, Geraldo Rivera’s, and Ricki Lake’s shows, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday, The Sean Hannity Show, and The Alan Colmes Show. In fact he counts Colmes, an avowed “liberal,” as among his “friends.” National Review and Human Events are among the “conservative” publications that have lavished praise upon Borzellieri.
Frank Borzellieri has been subjected to rank injustice and no one in either “the mainstream” or so-called “alternative” media has lifted a finger to come to his aid.
Given that the shots to assassinate his character were fired in the pages of the New York papers, the Fox News crowd especially must be aware of what he is being made to endure at this time. And yet there is silence.
If political correctness weakens as the “conservative” movement strengthens, then the abrupt reversal of fortunes that Borzellieri suffers and the refusal on the part of “conservatives” to defend him constitute a powerful commentary on the true condition of their movement.
Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. blogs at www.jackkerwick.com and Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith and Culture. Contact him at [email protected]