Episode #53: Race in America Today with Wilfred Reilly

Peter Wood

Summer has come and gone for most of the country. Here in the Northeast, the leaves are changing into their vibrant array of fall colors. Although our seasons change, many things in our shared life do not, particularly our national debate about racism.

In today’s episode of Curriculum Vitae, we are joined by Dr. Wilfred Reilly, assistant professor of political science at Kentucky State University’s School of Government, Policy and Justice Studies. Dr. Reilly is a man of many interests, including weightlifting, cooking, basketball, shooting and archery, and dogs (of course!). I imagine these various hobbies keep Dr. Reilly sane while teaching and debating  race in today’s academy.

We launch into today’s podcast by asking, “What is racism?” Is it systemic? Is it just individuals treating others differently based on their race or ethnicity? Or is it everywhere, pervasive, and undefinable, requiring the nation’s best “ghost hunters” to track it down and exterminate it? 

In this episode, I also ask Dr. Reilly, “if race suddenly disappeared as an issue in America, what would Americans care about?” I think the answer would surprise you.

We also discuss Dr. Reilly’s involvement in the Woodson Center’s 1776 Project, what it teaches us about black Americans, what we should learn from their work, and what it wants us to know about our nation’s founding. 

If you like this episode and enjoy listening to Dr. Reilly, I encourage you to read his writings in Quillette, RealClearPolitics, and Academic Questions. Dr. Reilly is also author of Hate Crime Hoax and Taboo: Ten Facts You Can’t Talk About.

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