Interview with Author Bo Bennett
Bo’s pro bono work focuses on education. He developed and taught a public speaking and debate course for Student Athletes Rising, a non-profit youth development organization offering guidance and training for America’s youth, ages 7-19, preparing them for enriching college experiences and productive lives as future leaders of their communities. As a PhD student, Bo spent time as a graduate assistant for Walden University, tutoring masters and other PhD students in research methodology. His dissertation was on social intelligence development in both traditional and distance learning programs. Bo spent three years as an adjunct professor at Lasell College teaching introduction to psychology and social psychology.
Bo has developed several online courses and the learning platform on which they run—as well as teaches those courses (see bobennett.com).
Hello Author Bo Bennett, Welcome to WorldAuthors.org! Why did you write the book? What was your motivation behind it?
I wrote this book because I noticed a disturbing trend: a vocal minority started to have tremendous influence over both individuals, our institutions, and businesses. This group deemed themselves the arbiters of political correctness and social justice. To even question these people is social and professional suicide. Even our academic institutions have swept aside the scientific method and scholarly debate in fear of the repercussions for disagreeing with these false gods and their rhetoric. The “uncomfortable idea” that the critical thinking community used to relish has now become the idea that should not be questioned—at least not publicly. This is a major societal problem that needs to be solved.
Who do you see as your main audience for this book and what do you hope they will get from reading your book?
This is the ironic part, or perhaps the challenge that I have as the author. The book does not cater to any one ideology. The political left and right will find things they agree with as well as things they disagree with. The religious and non-religious will be offended. Those with conservative values and more progressive values will be upset by something in this book. The question is, can the readers suspend their ideological zeal in favor of reason?
Why do you think you are the right person to write this book? How do you think your qualifications or experience make this a better book?
I have a PhD in social psychology. Although what we see happening with facts being denied and non-dangerous opposing views being silenced can be explained by multiple disciplinaries, social psychology offers the greatest insight, as well as solutions. Plus, I am generally indifferent about these topics, which allows my reason to prevail where others who are passionate about these topics allow their emotions to interfere with reason, leading to poor conclusions.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. I am not embarrassed nor ashamed about any views I hold, especially the ideas I write about in this book. I don’t even share my views on the topics—I simply present the arguments that many people are afraid to present. Many of these arguments I don’t agree with, but I do present them.
Were there any topics you left out of the book because you were afraid of the consequences?
Yes and no. I wrote the first edition back in 2016 before the U.S. presidential election. I wrote an article about no matter who wins, we should support him or her (Trump was running against Clinton). After Trump won, I was so turned off by his behavior and his apparent disregard for honesty, that I removed the article from the book. Then about a year later, I put the article back in, realizing that what I wrote did not mean we need to agree with whoever is in office; just that we need to give the a fair shot, and avoid buying into the media rhetoric.
The book’s latest edition has just been published in November of 2021, five years after the first edition. Have you received any blowback from writing about such controversial and taboo topics?
I get the occasional “unfriending,” nasty comment, and one-star rating on my book because I offended someone. The university where I used to teach as an adjunct professor never invited me back. I can’t be sure it was because of this book, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were.