The untold truth of Candace Owens

Rising conservative star and Communications Director for Turning Point USA, Candace Owens was launched into the media spotlight in 2018. An outspoken black Trump supporter, Owens' full embrace of right-wing ideology is perhaps best summed up by her tweet from April of that year: "I truly believe that @realDonaldTrump isn't just the leader of the free world, but the savior of it as well. May God bless America— the last stand for western civilization." 

A brief look at Owen's YouTube channel tells you all you need to know about her political positions, with video titles like, "Women Marching In America Again? What a JOKE," "How to escape the Democrat Plantation (an easy guide)," Halloween Is Cancelled Because of Liberalism," "Nobody Like Feminism: that's what happened, Hillary," and "No Transgender People in the Army: Who Cares?"

But what else do we know about the new Tomi Lahren, who says police shootings of black men aren't about racism? Take a red pill and let's take a look at the untold truth of Candace Owens.

Candace Owens received a settlement after racist threats

Months after graduating Stamford High in Connecticut, Candace Owens' family settled with the state's Board of Education for $37,500 after Owens received racist threats. According to The News-Times, "at least one of five teenagers sitting in a car left messages threatening to kill Owens, who is black, and repeatedly used a racial epithet. In one of three messages, one of them referred to her as "dirty" and threatened to burn her house down and tar and feather her." One of the students was the 14-year-old son of then-Mayor of Stamford, Dannel Malloy. 

The supposed ringleader was fellow student Evan Kopek, who "had a shouting match" with Owens two days before the incident in February 2017. Kopek was suspended, but the school refused to "discipline him and the other boys for an incident committed off school grounds unless the police made an arrest." This decision caused Owens to miss school for six weeks because "it was traumatic to attend with the alleged callers." The NAACP even offered its support. A little over a year later, the Board of Education settled with the Owens family.

Years later, during a 2019 appearance at CPAC, the annual conservative conference, Owens had this to say about racism in America (via Daily Beast). "Stop selling us our own oppression," she said. "Stop taking away our self-confidence by telling us that we can't because of racism, because of slavery. I've never been a slave in this country."

Candace Owens 'became a conservative overnight'

According to NBC News, Candace Owens co-founded the marketing agency Degree180 in 2015, where her political posts showed a very different Owens. She wrote about "bat-s**t-crazy antics of the Republican Tea Party," adding that "they will eventually die off." But in 2016, her political transformation began with her next business venture, a site called Social Autopsy that would serve as a searchable database to expose "cyberbullies and trolls."

Many felt this was an invasion of privacy and would lead to rampant doxing. In retaliation, "people began to dox Owens, posting her address, family members, workplace, contact information and social media profiles," according to NBC News, who also reported that "Owens received threatening emails and texts, many of them racist." This led to Owens crossing paths with alt-right figures and conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich. "I reached out to offer some moral support, told her to keep her head up and not let the hate get her down," he told the outlet. 

And that's all it took. "I became a conservative overnight," Owens said in 2017 interview with Dave Rubin. "I realized that liberals were actually the racists. Liberals were actually the trolls."

What is Candace Owens' #Blexit movement?

"Black People Don't Have To Be Democrats," reads Blexit's Twitter bio. Launched in 2018 by Candance Owens, it is a campaign urging black people to change the historically political affiliation. "Blexit is a Renaissance," Owens told Fox News. "Blexit is the black exit from the Democratic Party. It's the black exit from permanent victimhood, the black exit from the false idea that we are somehow separate from the rest of America."

Owens held her first Blexit rally in March 2019, but there was already a movement by that name with a very different message. According to Forbes, Me'Lea Connelly created the original movement in 2016 after the police shooting of Philando Castile "to encourage fellow Black Americans to explore alternatives to extractive financial systems in the name of economic justice."

"There's too much at stake, at this point, to allow a movement so important to just be co-opted for political stunts. ... We know that our pledged members for our Black led credit union that's coming in 2019, the members of Blexit that have been supporting our work for the last two years, Blexit activist all over the country — deserve better," Connelly told The Clay Cane Show (via Newsone) of the movement's decision to take legal action against Owens regarding the name. "It's put us in a very vulnerable position to have to move quickly to protect this and we believe that it's worth it."

Kanye West was a Candace Owens supporter ... then he wasn't

Rapper Kanye West sparked controversy in 2018 when he tweeted, "I love the way Candace Owens thinks," and went through a MAGA phase. During Turning Point USA's Young Black Leadership Summit later that year, Owens debuted Blexit t-shirts that she claimed West designed. "Blexit is a renaissance and I am blessed to say that this logo, these colors, were created by my dear friend and fellow superhero Kanye West," Owens said (via Page Six).

However, West denied involvement. "I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn't want their name on it so she used mine. I never wanted any association with Blexit. I have nothing to do with it," he tweeted. Owens publicly apologized to West on her official Blexit blog, but by then it was too late. "My eyes are now wide open and now realize I've been used to spread messages I don't believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!," West tweeted.

Although West cut ties with Owens, in January 2019 he confirmed that he was still a Trump supporter.

Candace Owens and Joe Rogan argued over climate change

Part of being a popular right-wing personality is to deny climate change. On a 2018 episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Candace Owens and Joe Rogan got into a heated argument over climate change. Despite Rogan providing Owens detailed evidence and statements from scientific journals on how humans are exacerbating climate change, Owens refused to change her mind.

Her reason for not believing in climate change is due to "they way it was presented to us" by liberal politicians. Rogan showed her a survey reported by Scientific American, and she replied, "What website is this? [Scientific American] .com though? That means it's making money. I don't trust that. If it was a .org, I would probably take that, but this is just a random website." After Rogan explained that it wasn't a "just a random website," Owens replied, "I don't believe this, like, at all, just so you know. I genuinely don't believe it."

Owens said she can't bring herself to believe the consensus of the scientific community because "global warming has ... become so politicized." Rogan agreed, but made the point that's why she feels the need to push back on scientific data. "It's an ideological right-wing point," Rogan said, "that global warming isn't real." Finally, Owens said she has "a right to say [she doesn't] believe in something that [she doesn't] know." Okay then. 

The New Zealand mosque shooter said Candace Owens "radicalized" him

On March 15, 2019, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant attacked two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand, gunning down 51 Muslims worshippers and injuring dozens more. In his 74-page manifesto, Tarrant wrote that Candace Owens "radicalized" him the most. "Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness," he wrote (via the New York Post). "Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for me are too much, even for my tastes."

However, it remains unclear if Tarrant was being truthful, because due to a report in The Atlantic, "portions of the manifesto appear to be an elaborate troll, written to prey on the mainstream media's worst tendencies."

Owens denied this with a crying laughing emoji. "LOL! FACT: I've never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam," she tweeted, adding," The Left pretending I inspired a mosque massacre in...New Zealand because I believe black America can do it without government hand outs (sic) is the reachiest (sic) reach of all reaches!! LOL!" 

Candace Owens spread a conspiracy theory

In October 2018, sixteen pipe bomb devices were mailed to top Democrats and Trump critics, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Robert DeNiro, George Soros, and Eric Holder. Although all of the packages were intercepted by law enforcement, the situation caused a nationwide panic.

Before a suspect or an arrest was made in the case, Candace Owens joined in with fellow right-wing pundits claiming that is was a hoax engineered by Democrats to damage the GOP in the midterms. "I'm going to go ahead and state that there is a 0% chance that these 'suspicious packages' were sent out by conservatives," Owens wrote in a now-deleted tweet (via The Daily Dot). "The only thing 'suspicious' about these packages, is their timing. Caravans, fake bomb threats—these leftists are going ALL OUT for midterms."

On October 26, 2018 (via The New York Times), Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc was arrested outside an auto parts store while wearing a MAGA hat. The van Sayoc lived in was covered in "pro-Trump stickers," and printouts that "condemned liberals and the news media — including one "image of Mrs. Clinton under red crosshairs." As of this writing, Owens has yet to address the issue again.

She testified before congress

On April 9, 2019, Candace Owens was invited to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the subject of hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism. Instead of speaking on that subject, Owens lambasted the hearings and turned to conservative talking points. "Let me be clear," she said in her opening statement. "The hearing today is not about white nationalism or hate crimes. It's about fear mongering, power, and control. It's a preview of a Democrat 2020 election strategy, same as the Democrat 2016 election strategy."

"What they won't tell you about the statistics and the rise of white nationalism is that they've simply changed the data set points by widening the definition of hate crimes and upping the number of reporting agencies that are able to report on them," Owens continued. "What I mean to say is that they are manipulating statistics. The goal here is to scare blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims into helping them censor dissenting opinions; ultimately into helping them regain control of our country's narrative which they feel that they lost."

She also claimed that Democrats were targeting social media companies to suppress and censor dissenting viewpoints. However, during the hearing, YouTube was forced to disable comments on their livestream after being "flooded with racist and anti-Semitic comments," according to CNN"Hate speech has no place on YouTube," a representative for the streaming giant told the outlet. Hmm. 

Congressman Ted Lieu used Candace Owens' receipts against her

During that same House Judiciary Committee hearing, Candace Owens and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) (above) had a heated exchange. "I don't know Ms. Owens. I'm not going to characterize her, I'm going to let her own words do the talking," Lieu started at the top of his remarks. Lieu then played the following recording of Owens' statements during a 2018 Turning Points USA event:

"I actually don't have any problems at all with the word nationalism. I think that it gets — the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don't want. So when you think about — whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about — at least in America — is Hitler. You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler had just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted — he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize, he wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German."

Owens immediately pushed back, claiming "Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid," and accused him of presenting an "extracted clip." She vehemently denied defending Hitler, insisting that she merely answered a question "about whether or not [she] believed in nationalism and that nationalism was bad." Owens then said Hitler wasn't a true nationalist because "a nationalist would not kill their own people."

The Trump family loves Candace Owens

Candace Owens may have a lot of people who vehemently disagree with her on the other side of the aisle, but the Trump family are big fans of the controversial political activist. Mostly notably, President Donald Trump himself. "Candace Owens of Turning Point USA 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!" the 45th president tweeted.

Donald Trump, Jr. let NBC News know that Owens might as well be a regular at Trump family functions. "Everybody in our immediate family has met Candace on multiple occasions," he said, "and deeply appreciates what she has done to bridge the polarizing delta left by leftist politicians and their media cohorts, who wish to see this country divided."

And after Owens' testimony before Congress, the eldest Trump child tweeted out his support. "Wow. Well done @RealCandaceO !!! Great to see someone call out the Dems on their purposeful manipulation of facts for their narrative," Trump Jr. wrote, adding, "Since the media runs with anything they say and is the marketing wing of the DNC they aren't used to getting called out for the repeated BS."

Candace Owens is not exactly a hit on college campuses

Right-wing personalities like Ben Shapiro and Dave Rubin built their brand on speaking at college campuses, and defending what they define as "free speech." Candace Owens is no different. After her highly contentious testimony before Congress, Candace Owens' and Turning Point USA's "Campus Clash" tour hit UCONN.

During the event, Owens once again pushed back on claims that she defended Hitler and influenced the New Zealand shooter. "How dare you, say that I'm now in a place where I'm coming back to my hometown to preach white supremacist ideas? It's so intellectually dishonest that it makes me upset, but it also encourages me. Here's the only thing I've actually said: 'black people don't have to be democrats,'" Candace Owens said (via WFSB).

The police were there to oversee "fiery back-and-forths," and while no arrests were made, clashes between protestors and people waiting to get inside raged outside. On the other hand, "a diverse group of students from various cultural organizations showed their opposition to the event by holding one of their own." Armana Islam of the Bangladeshi Student Association said, "Most people want to act on their anger and their feelings and emotions and that's totally OK, but doing it in a way that's organized, it feels more intellectual."

Twitter accused Candace Owens of fanning the flames in Michigan

To combat the spread of COVID-19, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order. This decision caused armed protestors, who were upset they were being ordered to stay home during a highly contagious virus, to storm the Michigan State Capitol. Candace Owens used the protests to inject herself into the situation and spread her particular conservative brand.

"Apparently [Whitmer] believes she is a duly elected dictator of a socialist country," Owens wrote in a now-deleted tweet (via the Washington Examiner). "The people of Michigan need to stand up to her. Open your businesses. Go to work. The police think she's crazy too. They are not going to arrest 10,000,000 people for going to work." Twitter then briefly suspended Owens, claiming her tweet violated its platform guidelines.

Naturally, Owens doubled down. "I unequivocally stand by every single word of my tweet," Owens told the Washington Examiner. "If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can use Twitter's platform to encourage workers to walk out and boycott — I should be allowed to encourage lawful citizens to resume work. The only person breaking any laws is governor-turned-dictator Gretchen Whitmer, who is impoverishing millions, ignoring the votes of her state legislature, and as a result, rolling over the constitutionally protected rights of Michigan citizens." At the time of the writing, Michigan has the 8th highest coronavirus death rate in the country.

Candace Owens' controversial take on Ahmaud Arbery's death

According to CNN, Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man, was allegedly gunned down during a jog after getting into a struggle with Gregory and Travis McMichael, a father and son, who pursued him in Travis' truck, because they "believ[ed] he was a suspect in a string of burglaries." A third man, William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., recorded the confrontation that ended in Arbery's death on video. As of this writing, all three men face murder charges. So, what was Owens' take on the situation?

"Ahmaud Arbery was caught on camera breaking into an unfinished property that was owned by Larry English," she tweeted, adding, "His mother has confirmed it is him in the video. Please stop with the 'just a jogger' bulls**t narrative. Avid joggers don't wear khaki shorts & stop to break into homes."

While Arbery is on surveillance camera viewing the construction site, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that he was on the property for "less than five minutes" and "did not appear to take anything." On top of that, Glynn County Police Lt. Cheri Bashlor told CNN the last known burglary in the area occurred two months prior.

At the preliminary hearing in the Arbery case that took place a month after Owens' tweet, Special Agent Richard Dial of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified under oath that Travis McMichael used a racial slur while standing over Arbery's body (via The New York Times). At the time of this writing, Owens' tweet has yet to be deleted.

George Floyd's death sparked another classic Candace Owens take

In the wake of George Floyd's death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, Candance Owens once again leapt into a controversial stance with her video "Confession: #GeorgeFloyd is neither a martyr or a hero. But I hope his family gets justice." Although she stated that "the family of George Floyd deserves justice for the way that he died," that concession lead to the real theme of her argument, which was: "The fact that [Floyd] has been held up as a martyr sickens me. Was he really going to change things around? It's just not true."

She then blasted Floyd's past criminal history, including incidents unrelated to the arrest that lead to his death. After receiving criticism for comments, Owens responded, "I've had time to reflect on my video about #GeorgeFloyd and you guys were right — I was very wrong. He went to prison 9 times, not 7. I missed two earlier convictions for theft and drugs."

But instead of leaving it at that, Owens started a GoFundMe campaign for Alabama bar owner Michael Dykes who lost business after calling Black Lives Matter protestors "idiots" and George Floyd a "thug" in leaked text messages (via AL.com). According to Market Watch, the campaign raised $205,000 before being suspended "because of a repeated pattern of inflammatory statements that spread hate, discrimination, intolerance, and falsehoods against the black community at a time of profound national crisis."