It's time to get uncomfortable, so pull up a chair. Four chairs, to be exact.
Television producer Riaz Patel, a self-described homosexual Muslim and universal empathizer, joined Glenn on his TV program Tuesday evening for an honest discussion about finding common ground on difficult topics, and why four chairs are required to accomplish that.
With festering hate taking root in America --- thanks in great part to a political climate in which presidential candidates and, most importantly, the president of the United States encourage and participate in race baiting --- there are tough conversations ahead that can't be avoided.
Regarding Black Lives Matters, the recent shootings and racial tension in the country, Patel had this to say:
What is more uncomfortable, the conversations or the consequences? I don't think we can have one more prayer vigil about this, I don't think one more telethon. So I understand the conversations are uncomfortable . . . but they have to happen because the consequences we no longer can live with.
While much has been done to soothe relations and make amends for past grievances, Glenn and Patel both agreed something more is needed.
"You literally have [social media] relationships with people you do not see for years. And so, to me, people think they're informed and think they're having conversations and gathering information that's perfectly in line with what they already believe. And so, to me, stepping outside of that comfort zone, I don't believe people are doing as often as they should," Patel said.
Conversations need to happen, but not the typical ones, robotically hitting talking points. We need real conversations on tough topics that include listening to the other side.
"I said at dinner last night, wouldn't it be crazy if the solution to all these problems was as simple as humbling yourself and saying 'Ok, let me listen,'" Glenn said.
Patel agreed that dinner provided the perfect atmosphere to foster discussion --- with one caveat.
"I believe you can create a better America with four chairs. Literally, that's all you need. Three people having a conversation --- not two --- because with two, at some point you'll disagree and one will walk away. You need a third person for a dynamic and a fourth just to listen," Patel said. "We need listening skills again, and so, to me, we literally need four chairs around a dinner table, in a park, it doesn't matter. Four people sitting around can change the concept of hate."
As a practicing Muslim who is gay, Patel knows plenty about hate.
"I was walking in Orlando during the shooting. I was at a Pakistani wedding, wearing Pakistani attire the morning after. To see those faces and the fear --- I saw what I've seen so many times. I saw it after 9/11, I saw it in high school when people were beating me up 'cause I was gay, I saw it when I was growing up in a Jewish school and people didn't want their kids to play with the Muslim kid," Patel said.
Glenn wondered why Patel, someone typically behind the scenes producing, was sitting down with him.
"Why are you here?" Glenn asked.
Patel clearly stated one reason: To personify hate.
"If I do not start speaking, and speaking loudly, for the people to personify the hate --- you hate gays, you hate immigrants, you hate Muslims --- talk to me, don't talk about me, talk to me."
For more of Glenn's fascinating interview --- including why Patel calls the current presidential campaign the bridezilla of all campaigns --- watch the clip below. View the full interview at TheBlaze and follow Patel on Twitter @riazpatel.
Enjoy this complimentary clip from The Glenn Beck TV Program:
Featured Image: Screenshot from The Glenn Beck TV Program