Wilfred Reilly is a tenure-track political science professor at Kentucky State University, a historically Black 1890 land grant university located in Frankfort, Kentucky. Dr. Reilly’s main claims to fame are a debate with (in)famous white nationalist Jared Taylor on the KYSU campus as well as various appearances in conservative and mainstream media, including Tucker Carlson Tonight, after the release of his 2019 book Hate Crime Hoax.
“The Great Debate”
On April 21, 2016, Reilly participated in a regionally televised debate against alt-right personality Jared Taylor.  Reilly argued for the social value of diversity, contending that it makes life "more interesting, civilized, and fun," and using published research to point out that mono-racial societies (e.g. Bosnia, Somalia) are often no more peaceful or less conflicted than multi-racial societies, due to the greater prevalence of tribal in-fighting within them. Talyor took the anti-diversity position. Following the contest, "leading" alt-right platforms described Reilly as desiring the genocide of whites, and ranked him as one of the most dangerous men in the world. Reilly later discussed the debate during an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where he criticized then-candidate Donald Trump for dog-whistling to the alt-right, and described the 2016 race as "shining light on some dark corners of the Internet."
Hate Crime Hoax and Media Reception
Reilly's book Hate Crime Hoax was published by Regnery Publishing in February 2019, and attracted a substantial amount of media attention given its proximity to the Jussie Smollett alleged attack hoax. For the book, Reilly assembled a data set of 409 allegedly false or dubious hate crime allegations (concentrated during the past five years), which he describes as hoaxes on the basis of reports in mainstream national or regional news sources. Reilly has stated that this data set is available to anyone who requests it. He uses this data to support his claim that a substantial percentage of all hate crime allegations must be hoaxes, given that only about 7,000 reported hate crimes take place in a typical year, and at most 8-10% of these receive the national or regional reporting that would allow a researcher to determine whether they have been debunked. In the wake of the Jussie Smollett situation, Reilly authored an editorial outlining his case in USA Today. After interviewing Reilly, the Washington Post argued that hate crimes are on the rise and a relatively small percentage of allegations are hoaxes, but quoted him as saying "It’s politicization to say there’s a massive surge of hate" under President Trump and that political liberals tend to "characterize all hate crimes as attacks on innocent people of color" even where what actually happened may be unknown or ambiguous.
Reilly, who is African American, has appeared or been quoted in multiple mainstream and especially conservative television, radio and print media outlets, claiming that many or most recent high profile hate crimes (i.e. Jussie Smollett, Yasmin Seweid, Air Force Academy, Eastern Michigan, Hopewell Baptist) have turned out to be hoaxes.. He has also recently published a summary of his research and a review of an academic book in Commentary magazine..
- The $50,000,000 Question: An Engagingly Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between "Privilege" and Pride (2017)
- Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left Is Selling a Fake Race War (2019)