Racial diversity debate between White Nationalist and KSU professor held Thursday night

Published: Apr. 21, 2016 at 11:20 PM EDT
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Kentucky State University Political Science Professor Dr. Wilfred Reilly went head to head in a political debate with White Nationalist Jared Taylor at Kentucky State University Thursday night. The debate was held in Bradford Hall.

Taylor issued a debate challenge to Dr. Reilly, which was accepted on the sole condition that the debate take place in Kentucky on a HBCU campus.

Taylor argued that racial diversity is not a strength for America, saying it causes a constant source of tension and conflict.

"Imagine American history with no blacks at all? There would have been no slavery. No Civil War, no Civil Rights movement, no Jim Crowe, no bussing, no race riots and it makes no difference whether all of those things that were unpleasant in our history. You can assume that they were 100 percent the fault of white people if you wish but the fact remains that the historical balance sheet for black white racial diversity in the United States is crushingly, crushingly negative,” Taylor said.

"How can diversity that brought those horrors be a strength?” Taylor asked.

After Taylor had 30 minutes to voice his argument, Dr. Reilly was given 30 minutes to voice his argument. Dr. Reilly said he disagreed with everything Taylor said.

"Diversity makes life more interesting and civilized and fun. In terms of Spanish clubs and Indian food and white quarterbacks and African American tennis players and so on,” Dr. Reilly said.

"So it may be true that whites and blacks fight a lot in America today but we have to recall that these are both constructed, made up categories. They're put together from Irish men, Italians, Orthodox Jews and Zulus and Mandinka. They used to fight a lot more,” Dr. Reilly said.

"The most violent countries in the world are all made up of only one race and usually one religion,” Dr. Reilly said, "When the country was massively, overwhelmingly white there was far more violence. People fought each other on the basis of religion: Catholic versus Protestants, some inherited from Europe, Irish fought Italians who fought Dutchmen who fought Greek."

After each debater was given 10 minutes to respond, students lined up in the auditorium to ask questions.

"What is the root of your racist rhetoric? Is it for preservation or due to fear?" one student asked Taylor.

"I feel like there are so many things that are so pressing and so incredibly terrible in this world yet you're here fighting for against diversity, I was wondering what your motivation is?” another student asked Taylor.

"There are very, very, very few people who are going to talk about race from an unorthodox point of view. And this whole idea that this source of dissention and conflict in the United States is our greatest strength- that to me is so palpably stupid and wrong that it seems to me somebody has got to stand up and talk about it,” Taylor said.

The auditorium of nearly 200 people became noisy at times due to the crowd yelling out comments. At 8:00p.m., the debate concluded. Students were asked to voice their further questions and thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #ksudebate.

The following is information from the press release sent to WKYT:

Taylor is the author of “White Identity” and the New York Times best-seller “Paved with Good Intentions.” Taylor calls himself a “race realist” who believes that America was at her best as an overwhelmingly white and Christian nation.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly is an expert in American and International ethnic group relations. Reilly holds a PhD from Southern Illinois University and a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Reilly believes that diversity and racial tolerance are good things.