Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Professor Wilfred Reilly from Kentucky State University to the newsmakers line to highlight some chapters of his book Taboo and his contribution to the bestseller Red, White, and Black.
Leahy: We are delighted to welcome on our newsmaker line, Professor Wilfred Reilley of Kentucky State University and author of a great book, Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About. Welcome Professor Reilley.
Reilly: Oh, thanks for having me. Good to be here.
Leahy: Your name keeps coming up because you also were a contributor to the book Red White and Black. You’ve got a couple of chapters in that book. We talked earlier today with Bob Woodson about that. And that book is published by the Emancipation imprint of Post Hill Press. You are prolific, Professor Reilly.
Reilly: Well, yes. I mean, as an academic, I try to write as often as possible, and I think this was an important topic to write about. Bob Woodson, obviously, is one of the organizers for 1776 Unites, which is kind of the Black business and social science community’s response to The New York Times 1619 Project, which, frankly, just got a lot of things wrong.
And there was a collection of essays that was put together as part of the launch of 1776. I wrote one about the positive side, essentially, of American history. I mean, obviously, we’ve reframed this including some of my ancestors.
We beat the Nazis. So it’s important to remember that. And when Bob called and asked if I would be willing to have that essay and another one included in this book, Red, White and Black, I said, yeah, of course, I’d be honored. And I will say that book, when it dropped, was number one in the world.
We’re definitely tracking it against, say, Ibram Kendi’s project or the book from 1619. And, of course, all the other volumes out there. But I’m glad to see it’s doing well. And it’s still out there right now. It’s available on Amazon and pretty much anywhere else you might buy a book.
Leahy: Yeah, it’s got very good ratings on Amazon.com. Your personal history is fascinating to me. You have a Ph.D. in political science, I guess, from Southern Illinois, and a law degree from the University of Illinois. Why did you decide to become a University Professor instead of a practitioner of law?
Reilly: Well, I’ve done a bunch of different things. I’ve also been a coach, although briefly. I worked in the sales and trading floor environment, which is probably the setting, honestly, where I’ve been the most financially compensated, even including training in the law and so on down the line.
But I wanted to teach. I enjoy academia, at least leaving aside politics. And so we’re not especially severe in my school, but I like teaching kids. I actually teach in a historically Black college that’s located in Appalachia.
So there’s a good chance to genuinely help people and a lot of those other things. I graduated from law school when I was 22, and I actually was very glad to get an acceptance or get an offer from grad school.
So I didn’t have to immediately move into some intense legal field, white-collar criminal prosecution, or something like that at that age. And most of the other things that I did, I was a canvas manager, as I said of working on those sales and trading floors.
I did those while I was going for the Ph.D. because I don’t like the taste of Ramen noodles all that much. (Leahy chuckles) You’re generally expected to teach. It’s not a bad job in and of itself, and that’s what I ended up doing.
I went out on the job market and I was lucky enough to get four or five different offers and ended up accepting one in the state university system in Kentucky. I may take the bar in Kentucky so that I’m available as a practicing attorney, but I don’t think that’s going to be my focus for at least the next decade or so.
Leahy: So the other book from 2020, Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About, what are some of those facts and why can’t you talk about them?
Reilly: Most of the time the book looks at sort of cancel culture, which is this idea that there are all these things that everyone knows that you’re not supposed to say. So I just break them down going through these chapters that white privilege, this is one of the facts that are almost meaningless in the univariate, since there are a ton of things what your ‘social class’ is, how attractive you are, and is your father present, and if you’re under 25, that predicts where you’re going to go in life much more than your race.
The opening chapter of the book is just called The Police Aren’t Massively Murdering Black People, and it breaks down some of the things Black Lives Matter, as the movement says, and compares them with reality.
In the most recent year on record, the total number of unarmed brothers, unarmed Black men shot by police officers was 18. The average person who leans left politically, by the way, thinks it’s between 1,000 and 10,000.
That’s a major study from the Skeptic Research Center. So I found out that this just isn’t true. We all oppose police brutality, but the movement is based on simple dishonesty, to say the least.
There’s a chapter that looks at the actual rates of interracial crime, violent interracial crimes are incredibly low. The person most likely to kill you is your ex-wife. About three percent of crime. But when it does occur that’s actually about minority on white. There are all these different taboo topics. Why immigration should probably be merit-based.
There’s a chapter on IQ. There’s a chapter taking down the alt-right and looking at some of the things the right gets wrong. So the whole idea of the book is to give people ammunition in the sense of what are the actual facts around these public debates people keep screaming about.
Is what, for example, Mr. Cuomo is saying on television, is that accurate point by point? Very often we find out it’s not. And again, that’s a book that did pretty well, because I think a lot of people wanted to see. And it’s written from a center-right perspective, but fairly unbiased.
I think a lot of people wanted to see what is the actual data around all these issues that I’m told we can’t discuss. Where I’m told I just have to kind of listen sympathetically. Are the people doing the talking being honest? No.
Leahy: Professor Wilfred Riley, Kentucky State University, here’s my question for you. How is it that you developed the intellectual courage to talk about these things? What is it that gives you the ability to talk about them? And what kind of pushback do you get?
Reilly: I think the question itself is interesting. One of the things for me, I often jokingly say men’s events and so on. And I grew up in real America. That’s kind of accurate. I grew up in a blue-collar Black-Irish-Italian neighborhood in Chicago and moved to a similar neighborhood in Aurora.
I know that I have other employable skills, jokes aside. Going back to blue-collar but skills I picked up as a young man. I lived a fairly normal less. As you mentioned, I went to law school before grad school and so on.
So when I entered the academic exchange of ideas, I did so as a taxpaying citizen. I’d already worked for good pay. I was kind of a center-right politically. I was an adult. I got to hear some of these things that I think many people heard at age 17 or 18 and think about them logically.
And a lot of them struck me as kind of nonsensical and left the idea that your race matters more than whether you’re born rich or poor. That I remember being something I found just an idiotic idea.
And I kept asking for proof of that. Has anyone tested that? There are a bunch of potential docs here. Has anyone gone out in the field and looked at that? I think that that was my approach. And as I said, one of the chapters in the book looks at some of the alt-rights claims as well that diverse societies don’t work.
My one line here we’ll go back to ancient Rome they do 98 percent of often non-diverse societies. A lot of the things people say, picking up those methodological, as they’re called skills from academia later in life struck me as being very poorly defended.
Another one from the left, the concept of white fragility. This is Robin DiAngelo. White people get very angry and defensive if you criticize them about bad things white people have done like engage in racism.
I don’t think that’s a white thing. I think that’s universal. If you were to accuse a bunch of Latinos, for example, to bring up high rates of illegal immigration in the Latino community. Or if you were to criticize a bunch of Black people unprovoked about lower SAT scores or something, you’d get some anger and some yelling.
A lot of this didn’t strike me as based on reality and I think I was able to see that because I came to it a bit later in life from a fairly stable position. And I think that’s true of a lot of very original thinkers.
Thomas Sowell was a sharpshooting instructor in the Marines before he went to college. And he initially went almost as a joke. But he turned out to be one of the brightest students. And he went from Howard which is a top school to Harvard which is probably the best in the country.
And so he came out as the sort of very well-formed, veteran, conservative academic. So again, we need to diversify the universities in a real sense, ideologically and some. But that’s where I came from.
Leahy: Does the fact that you teach at Kentucky State University, a historically Black college rather than an Ivy League school, give you more freedom to express your views?
Reilly: Probably it does. One of the things that someone said jokingly during a KSU golf event about a year and a half back was if everyone’s a well-off Black guy, it’s hard to feel too much white guilt.
And that is a humorous comment. But it’s also true. I think, where you see the most hysterical restrictions of speech, this sort of thing, that doesn’t tend to be the great Black schools like KSU or Centre or Morehouse.
It doesn’t seem to be the military sort of institutions, Texas A&M or the Citadel, any of the place, the community colleges, the places that draw from just sort of normal American citizens. It tends to very specific, sort of upper-middle-class, almost entirely white institutions without criticizing these. The schools in Portland and Portland State or Evergreen obviously, I become internationally famous and the Claremont Colleges.
So I think that that idea of guilt or that my ancestors descend or something like that, you don’t see very much at an HBCU where most of the professors are going to be Black. So you’re going to have Black Republicans and Black businessmen, and so on down the line.
I think it’s assumed that even your white colleagues obviously wouldn’t be racial bigots, so they wouldn’t be teaching at a Black school. So, yes, that probably helps a little bit. It’s hard to call me a Nazi.
Leahy: (Chuckles) Professor Wilfred Reilly, author of Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About. Come on down to our studio here. We’re not too far away. Frankfurt, Kentucky, down to Nashville. Not too far. Come on in-studio someday and talk with us then.
Reilly: Sure. I’ll definitely get in touch when I’m in Nashville.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Wilfred Reilly” by Wilfred Reilly.
Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who outlined the convoluted gun requirements to obtaining a firearm in certain blue states while making it harder for lower-income people to own, and how these resemble Jim Crow voting laws from the past.
(Maxine Waters clip plays)
Leahy: That is Representative Maxine Waters, who is Black and who is a Democrat and was up in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the site of the second police shooting of a young Black man or the shooting of a young Black man who was resisting arrest and sounds like inciting violence to me. In Florida Ron DeSantis doesn’t like that kind of idea Crom.
Carmichael: What Maxine Waters said there was, we need to stay in the streets, correct?
Leahy: That is what she said. Now, the Constitution allows us to peaceably, assemble to address the government with our grievances. That’s what the Constitution allows. What Ron DeSantis and the Republicans in Florida have done is they’ve passed legislation that essentially says that if your protest turns to intimidation that is by definition of their law, not peaceful.
And so mostly peaceful in Florida won’t fly anymore. And if it’s two or more people, two or more people. I remember seeing videos, for example, of all the riots all over the country. But I also saw videos in Washington, D.C., outside of the Capitol, where you had some protesters, and they were just like the protesters in so many cities across the country that were acting intimidatingly against the Capitol Hill police. In Florida that will be an arrestable offense. That will be a felony, not a misdemeanor.
Leahy: There’s no state law, apparently that addresses that in Minnesota although there are certain constitutional elements to it. Here’s the story about Waters, from Breitbart. Waters in her remarks to reporters, that a protest in Brooklyn Center, where thousands have been protesting the death of Daunte Wright encouraged people to ‘take to the streets if Chauvin (Derk Chauvin the officer charged with, I think second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd back in May) we’re looking for a guilty verdict,’ Waters said.
‘And we are looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place. And after they saw what happened to George Floyd, if nothing does happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice.’ That’s what she said. That sounds like inciting violence to me.
Carmichael: Sure does. I would like to compare that to anything that Trump said. Trump didn’t say anything like that.
Leahy: Nothing like that.
Carmichael: And they’re claiming that Trump said this. But if I could, Michael, let me do a Jen Psaki here and circle back.
Leahy: Jen Psaki, the incompetent Press Secretary for Joe Biden.
Carmichael: No, she’s actually quite competent. She just provides zero information. She’s very competent. She does have information. She does exactly what the Biden administration wants her to do.
Leahy: Which is to give no information.
Carmichael: Which is to provide nothing. But anyway, let me give you some more information. We’ve talked about this previously, the Jim Crow laws. First of all the Jim Crow laws were passed post-Civil War by the Democrats in the South. This is extremely important that we recognize as it was the Democrats in the South who passed the Jim Crow laws. What did the Jim Crow laws do? They did two primary things. Anyway, the two things: one is they imposed poll taxes to make it expensive to vote.
Carmichael: And the other is they set up certain standards and certain procedures, things that you had to pass in order to have the right to vote. And those were disproportionate. They truly did subdue the Black vote.
Carmichael: Absolutely did that. Now, let’s look at Illinois, and let’s look at Indiana. Of the people in Illinois, less than have a firearm. In Indiana 20 percent have firearms. And in Indiana, the cost of applying for a firearm is $12. In Illinois, it’s $450. Democrats control Illinois. Are Democrats trying to keep low-income people from owning a firearm?
Leahy: From legally owning.
Carmichael: From legally owning. Great point. The violence in Illinois is terrible. The violence in Chicago is terrible. The people committing the violence, do not own legal guns.
Leahy: And there are usually illegal guns.
Carmichael: These are mostly illegal guns. And so in Illinois, it is the Democrats who are trying to have a poll tax as it were on the right on the right of self-protection. Now in Illinois, you have to have 16 hours of training. If you live in the city of Chicago, you have to drive a long long way away to get training. But you have to have 16 hours. And that’s also expensive because you have to pay for the training.
Leahy: Pay for the training.
Carmichael: But that means if you tried to do it in two full days, eight hours a day, you’d have to drive someplace and stay overnight. So what they’re doing is they’re making it as difficult as possible in Illinois for a low-income Black person in Chicago to own a gun.
Carmichael: Legally. That is the definition. What the Democrats are doing in Illinois to keep black people from protecting themselves is the essence of Jim Crow.
Leahy: It’s a Second Amendment suppression.
Carmichael: It is Second Amendment suppression. No question about that. But it is the tactics. It is the tactics that they’re using. They’re making it expensive, and they’re making it almost like you have to jump through all kinds of hoops. And the results are that Black people, especially in Chicago, the honest Black people, which is the vast majority they can’t afford the time or the money to protect themselves. And the police and the mayor simply aren’t able to do it. For whatever reason, they aren’t doing it. And so this is resulting in murder. This is resulting in death. And it’s all Jim Crow gun laws. Jim Crow Gun laws.
Leahy: You make a very fine point there, Crom.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed journalist and author Andy Ngo to explain why he was canceled from the upcoming Q Ideas – Culture Summit Christian conference in Nashville and how critical race theory is seeping into evangelical Christianity.
Leahy: We’re joined by our good friend Andy No, author of Unmasked. Welcome to the Airwaves in Nashville Andy.
Ngo: Thank you for having me on.
Leahy: Andy, you are welcome to talk and discuss your work here. You have brave journalistic work investigating Antifa, the left-wing group that engages in violence. You yourself were injured very seriously when you were covering some of their violent activity in Portland. We are delighted to have you on The Tennessee Star Report.
We believe in freedom of speech here. And what you have to say is very important. I was trying to unravel this crazy story from last week where a Christian conference here in Nashville canceled your appearance after a former speaker had said, well, I don’t like Andy. What happened there?
Ngo: Yeah. So I was really looking forward to speaking to this conference because even though I myself am not religious, I do find that Christian institutions and the church act as probably the most important bulwark against critical race theory and this neo-racism that you are seeing on the far left.
And so I was invited to speak about Antifa. The conference is meant to be about discussing different ideas and inviting people who may not be part of the evangelical community or church, but nonetheless have important things to say. I was supposed to be speaking with the conference founder, Gabe Lyons, and everything was set to go and was finalized.
And then last week I got just a very short email, letting me know that they were no longer moving forward with having me there. And I didn’t quite understand why until I saw the reporting that came out to the Religion News Service that a former speaker who is also a BLM activist and friends with the founder had reached out to Mr. Lyons to tell him to disinvite me.
Leahy: So this guy Jason “Propaganda” Petty just asserted that Andy Ngo is a bad guy, and that’s it no evidence, nothing other than that. That’s all we see here. Well, first, you’re a good guy. A. And B, you tell the truth. Why would a purportedly Christian conference and why would Gabe Lyons, whom I don’t know why would he bend to these false accusations against you and disinvite you?
Ngo: Well, your listeners are probably aware that many evangelical churches and even institutions like the Southern Baptist Convention have been slowly allowing critical race theory to creep insensibly under the guise of what looks like very noble racial justice. But the ideas, the theory behind critical race theories are not about equality or protecting equal rights and human rights.
It’s about giving in to grievance and hatred really. And I do think that this is (Inaudible talk) to Christian theology, and it’s unfortunate that many important Christian institutions in the West have been allowing us to come in. That’s the bigger picture and the bigger takeaway that I have for this. I wish the conference well.
It’s moving forward very soon anyway, I won’t be a part of it. But it’s unfortunate that the audience wasn’t able to hear what I have to say, given that we’re now in the past four days experiencing another round of extreme political street violence by BLM and Antifa in many American cities.
Leahy: Yes. Now, this event is called the Culture Summit. It’s the 15th annual conference for a group called Q Ideas. It’s scheduled for April 22 in Nashville which is next week. Were you going to appear in person or by a Zoom call? How are you going to appear?
Ngo: I was invited for a virtual discussion.
Leahy: Okay, so it’s a virtual discussion. I’ve never heard of these guys. How did you get to get to know them?
Ngo: So they actually reach out to me. But if you Google them, they’ve been doing these yearly annual conferences all around the country. They usually host it. They’ve even done it in Portland, Oregon, of all places. At one point some of the past speakers have included, like now the former mayor of Portland. So they do include people on the left, center, and right. And they try to analyze the discussions through a Christian worldview. That’s been my understanding.
Leahy: Let me read to you a couple of comments from our story at The Tennessee Star about this group’s decision to cancel your appearance for no good reason other than one guy is a BLM activist who doesn’t like you for unspecified reasons. Here’s one comment, I’m going to read these three comments. This is what our readers had to say about that decision. ‘Stupidity also affects some Christians. And last time I checked, you can’t legislate stupid.’
That’s one comment. Okay. Another reader says “a healthy culture needs to hear a variety of ideas, but I will choose what variety of ideas you can hear. Does anyone see any hypocrisy in that statement? What is fascism?” That’s a second comment. Here’s a third. “Nothing more than leftist cancel culture masquerading as Christian. Funny thing, the record company of the quote Christian rapper mentioned here who got Ngo canceled is in Portland, Oregon. So who really is the con artist? Hint, it’s not Andy Ngo.” What do you make of our readers when they say that about this cancellation?
Ngo: It sounds like you have some good readers on your site. I appreciate that support. You know, I dug into the background of this BLM activist/rapper who used his personal connections to get me removed from the conference. I actually found out that he hosts a podcast with an Antifa activist that’s based in Portland named Robert Evans.
He’s very extreme and radical. And their podcast is extremely anti-police. And they are pushing the Antifa lie that policing today is the same as essentially slave patrols in the past where law enforcement historically in the South were used to return slaves to the masters. Therefore, the institutions today need to be destroyed.
That’s what their podcast is about. I mean, this particular activist/rapper has his own personal grievance against me. I had never heard of them. And I would have appreciated an opportunity to explain my side of things to the organizers. But again, it’s not really about me. This is just one speaking opportunity. I think it’s emblematic of a larger trend we’re seeing in the evangelical Christian churches in America.
Leahy: Are you still based in Portland, or where are you based now, Andy?
Ngo: So last year, I had to leave Portland because it was extremely unsafe for me with all these frequent death threats coming in, violence in the city, and the shrinking police department because of the defunding of the Portland police after George Floyd’s death. And we’re seeing now weekly riots continue as they have for months on end.
They are escalating into really bad attacks. Just over the weekend Antifa gathered outside the local ICE facility and barricaded the front to lock the officers inside and then started it on fire. And then on Monday night, they set fire at a Portland police station. And then last night, they set the police union hall on fire.
So we’re having riot after riot. It’s not just Portland. We’re having riots in Seattle, and, of course, near Minneapolis because of the shooting death that happened a few days ago. It’s like I wrote in Unmasked and even my writings before then have always been a warning to the public and to politicians that this is what’s coming.
And these are the lessons we can learn from mistakes not just from 2020 but even going back to 2016. How do these far-left extremist groups in a way where they can systematically chip away at the rule of law and get the police department defunded and ruin morale, and then carry out acts of violence with impunity?
Listen to the full first hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Andy Ngo” by Andy Ngo.