(image from thetablet.org)
NEW YORK (77 WABC) – Chazz Palminteri made headlines with his comments towards Chirlane McCray, wife of Bill de Blasio, during Friday’s appearance on WABC’s Bernie & Sid in the Morning. The actor called her “a racist” for not including Mother Frances Cabrini in the “She Built NYC” competition, seeming to ignore the results that nominated Cabrini as one who was deserving of a statue to honor her. “Absolutely, she is being racist”, said Palminteri. “As Italian Americans we have to speak up.”
She Built NYC was established in June of 2018 by Chirlane McCray to create more statues of women around New York City. She Built NYC conducted a campaign to ask the public to nominate women for a potential statue. The campaign received over 2,000 votes for over 300 eligible women to be recognized. When the She Built NYC results were published this past December, Mother Cabrini received 219 nominations which was more then double the number received by Jane Jacobs (who received the second most votes). The women chosen for statues by The She Built NYC selection committee did not take the direction from the voters but instead went with the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 19th, 22nd, 24th and 42nd place finishers. The Catholic News Agency has reported that a spokesperson for Ms. McCray has said that the public nomination process was not intended to determine which women would be honored but only to inform the judgment of the selection committee.
On Sunday afternoon, more then 1,000 parishioners packed Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary & St. Stephen Church in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn to support Saint Frances Cabrini being nominated for a statue built in her honor. The parishioners gathered to voice their displeasure with how She Built NYC snubbed Mother Cabrini.
Frances Xavier Cabrini MSC also called Mother Cabrini, was an Italian-American religious sister who founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (a Catholic religious institute that was a major support to the Italian immigrants to the United States). She was the first naturalized citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, on July 7, 1946.
(Listen to the full interview above)