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Centrist professor claims ‘leftists’ and ‘progressives’ won’t come on his podcast


Wants to talk about ‘wokeism’

A psychology professor at George Washington University recently said that he has trouble getting “leftists/progressive” to come on his personal podcast, called “Converging Dialogues.” The podcast is not affiliated with the university.

“I am slightly frustrated,” Xavier Bonilla said on Twitter on January 14. “I really would like leftists/progressives on my podcast and they are extremely hard to want dialogue.”

“I am left on many big ticket issues and I think I’m charitable and want to get the best versions of people but none seem to be interested in dialogue,” Bonilla said.

His previous guests have ranged from Ben Winegard, a professor at Hillsdale College, to Brittany Talissa King, a Black Lives Matter activist.

However, Bonilla would not tell The College Fix what guests he has invited on his show.

“I have loved all my guests, but I want progressive and very left people as well,” Bonilla told The Fix via email.

Bonilla said that he didn’t want to “name names” but that he would “love to talk about wokeism, progressivism, and just current liberalism” with guests who hold those types of views.

“I would talk to almost anyone,” he said in a separate Twitter message to The Fix. In the same Twitter conversation he said he is “pretty centrist” or “[s]lightly center left.”

Bonilla has a degree in clinical psychology and also graduated from a seminary. He said he is interested in having discussions with those across the political spectrum. Recent podcast topics include data on racial groups, racial identity and political ideologies, such as liberalism and conservatism.

The description classifies the show as “a podcast that is designed to have honest and authentic conversations with a diversity of thoughts and opinions.”

“Wide-ranging topics include philosophy, psychology, politics, and social commentary,” the description said. “A spirit of civility, respect, and open-mindedness is the guiding compass.”

Bonilla told The Fix that his former guests have primarily been “center-right.”

He also shared that some conservatives had declined as well, but he was having more difficulty getting those who fall along the leftist and progressive side of the political spectrum.

When asked why he believed that they were declining his invitations, the professor said he was not sure.

“I do want viewpoint diversity and actively seek that as a centrist,” he told The Fix.

“The goal [of the podcast] was always to expose people to differing ideas. I am actively seeking people all over the political and social spectrum and not just centrists like myself,” Bonilla wrote on Twitter on January 22.

He has previously explained his views in an essay on Medium.

“Radical centrists typically have been on both sides of the political spectrum at various points in their life,” Bonilla said in his September 2020 essay on “Rediscovering a Radical Centrism.”

“Radical centrists are able to hold conservative or liberal ideas at the same time,” he said. “There is an appreciation, understanding, and value placed in people that hold some of their own views and the views of those with whom they disagree.”

MORE: Move over ‘white privilege’ – now there’s ‘centrist privilege’

Editor’s noteThe article has been updated to note that Bonilla produces this podcast in his personal capacity and not in affiliation with George Washington University. It also has been updated to clarify  Bonilla’s credentials.

IMAGE: Xavier Bonilla/Twitter

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About the Author
Hayley Tschetter - University of Northwestern - St. Paul