Briahna Joy Gray: Episode with progressive author over far-right groups was 'very unfortunate'

Briahna Joy Gray, co-host of the “Bad Faith” podcast, said that it was “very unfortunate” that her recent interview with writer Talia Lavin turned into a heated conversation in which Lavin accused Gray of wanting to “hold hands with a Nazi” by asking about building broad racial coalitions. 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Gray explained that she intended to ask Lavin, a Jewish woman who has written about her experiences infiltrating far right and white supremacist groups online, about whether her research helped to “broadly inform her thoughts and feelings about how to coalition build” among a broad range of racial groups. 

“I simply asked her, as a leftist, what that experience did to inform her confidence or pessimism about building broad coalitions,” Gray explained, clarifying that she was not referring to developing coalitions “with Nazis of course.” 

“She immediately pivoted the conversation to deprogramming, presumably because she’s gotten a lot of questions about that before, and it became very defensive almost immediately,” she added, referring to the practice of releasing someone from brainwashing. 

"I hoped that because I’m a Black American who obviously benefits not at all from the rise of Nazis… that we might be able to have a reasonable conversation that didn’t default into this kind of identity essentialism,” she continued. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.”

Watch part of Gray’s interview above.