Candace Owens

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Candace Owens
Candace Owens by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Owens in 2018
Born 1989 (age 34–35)
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.
Citizenship American
Education Stamford High School
Occupation Public speaker and blogger

Candace Owens (born 1989[1]) is an American conservative commentator and activist. She is known for her pro-Trump commentary and her criticism of Black Lives Matter and of the Democratic Party.[2][3][4] She is the Director of Urban Engagement at the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA.

Owens is regarded as a fake conservative by some conservatives.

Early life and education

Born to an African American family and raised in Stamford, Connecticut,[5] Owens is a graduate of Stamford High School.[6] She was raised by her grandparents after her parents divorced.[5]

In 2007, while a senior in high school, Owens received hurtful and threatening racist phone calls that were traced to a car in which the 14-year-old son of then mayor Dannel Malloy was present.[6] Owens' family sued the Stamford Board of Education in federal court alleging that the city did not protect her rights, resulting in a $37,500 settlement.[6][7]

Owens was pursuing an undergraduate degree in journalism at the University of Rhode Island but left school after her junior year.[5] Afterwards, she worked for Vogue magazine.[6] In 2012, she took a job as an administrative assistant for a private equity firm.[6]

Career

Doxing, Gamergate and political transformation

Owens launched SocialAutopsy.com in 2016, a website she said would expose bullies on the Internet by tracking their digital footprint.[5][6][8] The proposed site would have solicited users to take screenshots of offensive posts and send them to the website, where they would be categorized by the user's name.[6] She used crowdfunding on Kickstarter for the website. The proposal was immediately controversial, drawing criticism that she was de-anonymizing (doxing) Internet users and violating their privacy.[5][9] According to The Daily Dot, "People from all sides of the anti-harassment debate were quick to criticize the database, calling it a public-shaming list that would encourage doxing and retaliatory harassment."[10] Both conservatives and progressives involved in the Gamergate controversy condemned the website.[5]

In response, people began doxing Owens.[5] Owens blamed, without evidence, the doxing on progressives involved in the Gamergate controversy.[5][11] After this, she earned the support of conservatives involved in the Gamergate controversy, including far-right conspiracy theorists and Trump supporters Milo Yiannopoulos and Mike Cernovich.[5] After this, Owens became a conservative, saying in 2017, "I became a conservative overnight... I realized that liberals were actually the racists. Liberals were actually the trolls... Social Autopsy is why I’m conservative".[5]

Owens said that Social Autopsy was not meant to be a doxing platform and that no one making abusive posts anonymously would be "outed" by name or place of employment. Kickstarter suspended her funding campaign, and the website was never created, despite having created profiles on over 22,000 individuals (per their assertion).[11] The site has since been closed.

Media and conservative activism

Prior to 2017, Owens ran a website that frequently criticized conservatism and mocked then-candidate Donald Trump.[2][12] By 2017, she had become prominent in conservative circles for her pro-Trump commentary and for criticizing liberal narratives around structural racism, systemic inequality, and identity politics (the kind of content that her website previously trafficked in).[2][3][4]

In 2015, Owens founded the website Degree180.[2][5] The website frequently posted anti-conservative and anti-Trump content, including mockery of his penis size.[2] Owens said in one of her postings that it was “good news” that the “Republican Tea Party ... will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope).”[2] In one article she wrote that the antics of the Tea Party Movement were "bat-shit-crazy".[13][8][5] When Buzzfeed News in May 2018 reported on the anti-Trump content on Degree180, Owens described the Buzzfeed reporter as a "despicable creature" and alleged that Buzzfeed had threatened the former writers of Degree180 (something which Buzzfeed rejects).[2]

In 2017, Owens began posting politically themed videos to YouTube.[2] She launched Red Pill Black, a website and YouTube channel that promotes black conservatism in the United States.[14][15]

On November 21, 2017, at the MAGA Rally and Expo in Rockford, Illinois, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk announced her appointment as their director of urban engagement.[16] Turning Point's hiring of Owens occurred in the wake of allegations of racism at Turning Point.[2]

In April 2018, Kanye West tweeted "I love the way Candace Owens thinks."[17] The tweet was met with derision among some of West's fans.[18] In May 2018, President Donald Trump stated that Owens "is having a big impact on politics in our Country...She represents an ever expanding group of very smart 'thinkers,' and it is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going on...so good for our Country!"[19]

Owens has appeared on fringe conspiracy websites, such as InfoWars.[5][8][3] In 2018, she guest hosted on Fox News.[5] After finding mainstream success, Owens distanced herself from the far-right conspiracy websites, with InfoWars' Alex Jones saying it "hurt" his "feelings".[5]

In May 2018, Owens suggested that "something bio-chemically happens" to women who do not marry or have children, and she linked to the Twitter handles of Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Kathy Griffin, saying that they were "evidentiary support" of this theory.[20][21] Silverman responded, saying "It seems to me that by tweeting this, you would like to maybe make us feel badly. I’d say this is evidenced by ur effort to use our twitter handles so we would see. My heart breaks for you, Candy. I hope you find happiness in whatever form that takes."[20] Owens responded, accusing Silverman of supporting terrorists and crime gangs.[20]

Political views

Pro-Trump views

By 2017, Owens had become a pro-Donald Trump conservative commentator.[2][3][4] The Guardian has described her as "ultra-conservative", the Daily Beast has described her as "far-right", the New York Magazine and Columbia Journalism Review described her as "right-wing", and the Pacific Standard described her as "alt-right."[22][23][24][8][25] Prior to 2017, she ran a website that frequently criticized conservatism and mocked then-candidate Donald Trump.[2][12] She has characterized Trump as the “savior” of Western civilization.[4] She has argued that Trump has neither engaged in rhetoric that is harmful to African Americans nor proposed policies that would harm African Americans.[24][8]

Owens did not vote in the 2012 and 2016 elections, saying in June 2018, "his is the first time I’ve been politically inclined and active."[5]

She has called for the imprisonment of Hillary and Bill Clinton, former FBI director James Comey, and special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as TV anchors such as Jake Tapper, Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper.[5]

Race relations

Owens is known for her criticism of Black Lives Matter.[4][26][27][28] She has described Black Lives Matter protesters as "a bunch of whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention."[29] Owens has argued that African Americans have a "victim mentality" and often refers to the Democratic Party as a "plantation".[24][26] She has argued that the American left "like black people to be government-dependent".[30] Owens has argued that black people have been brainwashed to vote for Democrats.[3] She has argued that police violence against black people is not about racism.[26][29] According to The Guardian and the Daily Beast, Owens has referred to police killings of black people as a trivial matter to African Americans.[24][8]

After the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Owens said that concern over rising white nationalism was “stupid”.[5]

Climate change

Owens rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.[31][5] She has called climate change a lie used to “extract dollars from Americans.”[5]

Me Too Movement

Owens described the #MeToo Movement - which was an international movement against sexual harassment and assault - as "stupid" and said that she "hated" the movement.[32][33] Owens wrote that the #MeToo Movement was premised on the idea that "women are stupid, weak & inconsequential."[32][33] She is critical of feminism.[34]

Abortion

She has said that abortion is “extermination” of black babies.[5]

Welfare

She has advocated for an end to all welfare programs.[5]

Other

She attended the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.[35] She is critical of the press and open borders policies.[34] She has called for the immediate deportation of all undocumented immigrants.[5]

In May 2018, Owens praised Louis Farrakhan's tweet endorsing Donald Trump with a description of “a really big deal” and “relevant.”[32] Afterward, Owens received criticism from conservative figures for praising Farrakhan - who has a history of anti-semitic remarks - Owens deleted the tweet.[32]

She has described George Soros and “globalists” as among the most urgent threats in the United States.[5] She has said that conservative critics of her are generally “secret socialists.”[5]

References

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  7. Danbury News Times: "Racist threats case filed by Stamford High student settled for $37,500" January 23, 2008
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  10. Controversial bully shaming database loses Kickstarter but will launch anyway. The Daily Dot, 15 April 2016
  11. 11.0 11.1 New Yorker Magazine: "The Strange Tale of Social Autopsy, the Anti-Harassment Start-up That Descended Into Gamergate Trutherism" By Jesse Singal April 16, 2016
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  15. Fox News: "Liberals sick of the alt-left are taking 'the red pill'" By Elizabeth Ames September 13, 2017
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Further reading

External links