Dr. Wilfred Reilly, assistant professor of political science at Kentucky State University, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about the killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, media influence, the Black Lives Matter movement and more.
Reilly said he thought there were a number of contemporary and historical reasons for the riots following George Floyd’s death, including the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, contemporary mass media and 1960s era policies.
“Something like 40% of blue-collar workers were laid off [during the lockdowns], at home with no money,” Reilly said. “Obviously, when you see the same government that is making you do all these stuff abusing people in the streets, you’re going to be more much likely to snap.”
Reilly also reflected on the 1960s and policies from that era, a number of which produced longstanding trends which also may have contributed to the current civil unrest.
“Many, many positive trends in black communities and ethnic white communities were derailed during this period,” Reilly said. “This period saw the growth of the welfare state, the real beginning of the modern welfare state. It saw the ’68 riots, which burned an incredible percentage of the black businesses in the country. It saw ‘white flight,’ where people began to worry ‘Are my neighbors going to kill me? Are they going to attack me for racial reasons?'”
“If it had not been for the massive riots that destroyed our business sectors several times over and for the influence of welfare, which played a major role in taking the black ‘illegitimacy rate’ from 11% around World War II to 74% today,” Reilly continued. “Without those two negative stimuli, I think we’d be about on par with the white community in terms of most measures.”
Reilly also responded to the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a black man killed Friday in Atlanta. Brooks’ death has sparked a number of protests just weeks after Floyd was killed in Minneapolis and whose death inspired its own ongoing wave of nationwide protests. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: MLK’s Niece Says Biden Speaks From A Different Reality In Saying Floyd’s Death Had A Bigger Impact Than MLK’s Assassination)
Check out The Daily Caller’s most popular shows: