Candace Amber Owens Farmer (born April 29, 1989) is an American conservative commentator and political activist. She is known for her pro-Trump activism and her criticism of Black Lives Matter and of the Democratic Party. She worked for the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA between 2017 and 2019.
Candace Owens Farmer
Owens in 2018
|Born||April 29, 1989|
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
|Residence||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Rhode Island (attended)|
|Occupation||Public speaker, blogger|
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Early career
- 3 Conservative activism
- 4 Political views
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Early life and education
In 2007, while a senior in high school, Owens, who is African-American, received threatening racist phone calls that were traced to a car in which the 14-year-old son of then mayor Dannel Malloy was present. 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.
Owens was pursuing an undergraduate degree in journalism at the University of Rhode Island. She left after her junior year. Afterwards, she worked for Vogue magazine. In 2012, she took a job as an administrative assistant for a private equity firm.
Degree180 and anti-conservative blog
In 2015, Owens was CEO of Degree180, a marketing agency that offered consultation, production and planning services. The website included a blog which frequently posted anti-conservative and anti-Trump content, including mockery of his penis size. In a 2015 column that Owens wrote for the site, she criticized conservative Republicans, writing about the "bat-shit-crazy antics of the Republican Tea Party", adding, "The good news is, they will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope), and then we can get right on with the OBVIOUS social change that needs to happen, IMMEDIATELY."
Privacy violation, 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. 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. 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. 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." Both conservatives and progressives involved in the Gamergate controversy condemned the website.
In response, people began posting Owens' private details online. Owens blamed, with scant evidence, the doxing on progressives involved in the Gamergate controversy. After this, she earned the support of conservatives involved in the Gamergate controversy, including right-wing political commentators and Trump supporters Milo Yiannopoulos and Mike Cernovich. 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".
Kickstarter suspended funding for Social Autopsy, and the website was never created.
By 2017, Owens had become known in conservative circles for her pro-Trump commentary and for criticizing liberal rhetoric regarding structural racism, systemic inequality, and identity politics. In 2017, she began posting politically themed videos to YouTube. She launched Red Pill Black, a website and YouTube channel that promotes black conservatism in the United States.
On November 21, 2017, at the MAGA Rally and Expo in Rockford, Illinois, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk announced her appointment as the organization's director of urban engagement. Turning Point's hiring of Owens occurred in the wake of allegations of racism at Turning Point. In May 2019, she announced her departure as Communications Director for Turning Point.
In April 2018, Kanye West tweeted "I love the way Candace Owens thinks." The tweet was met with derision among some of West's fans. 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!"
Owens has appeared on fringe conspiracy websites, such as InfoWars. In 2018, she was a guest host on Fox News. After finding mainstream success, Owens distanced herself from the far-right conspiracy websites, although she refused to criticize InfoWars or its hosts.
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. Silverman responded: "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." Owens responded, accusing Silverman of supporting terrorists and crime gangs.
In October 2018, Owens launched the Blexit movement, a campaign to encourage African Americans to abandon the Democratic Party and register as Republicans. The term Blexit—a portmanteau of "black" and "exit"—mimics Brexit, the word used to describe the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. On the launch, Owens said that her "dear friend and fellow superhero Kanye West" designed merchandise for the movement, but the following day, West denied being the designer and disavowed the effort, saying "I never wanted any association with Blexit" and "I've been used to spread messages I don't believe in." Shortly after the launch, The Daily Beast found that approximately 16 percent of the total tweets using the #blexit hashtag were from Twitter accounts associated with the promotion of Russian disinformation.
Owens stated she had no interest in politics whatsoever before 2015, but previously identified as liberal. In 2017, she began describing herself as a conservative Trump supporter. Owens has since characterized Trump as the "savior" of Western civilization. She has argued that Trump has neither engaged in rhetoric that is harmful to African Americans nor proposed policies that would harm African Americans. She stated in October 2018 that she had never voted and had only recently become a registered Republican.
The Guardian has described Owens as "ultra-conservative", and New York magazine and the Columbia Journalism Review have described her as "right-wing". The Daily Beast has called her views "far-right" and the Pacific Standard called her a member of the "alt-right", though she has rejected both terms. She was influenced by the works of Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Carson and Thomas Sowell.
Owens is known for her criticism of Black Lives Matter. She has described Black Lives Matter protesters as "a bunch of whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention". Owens has argued that African Americans have a "victim mentality" and often refers to the Democratic Party as a "plantation". She has argued that the American left "like black people to be government-dependent". Owens has argued that black people have been brainwashed to vote for Democrats. She has argued that police violence against black people is not about racism. Owens has referred to police killings of black people as a trivial matter to African Americans. She has characterized abortion as a tool for the "extermination" of black babies.
She has stated, "Black Americans are doing worse off economically today than we were doing in the 1950s under Jim Crow," adding that this is because "we've only been voting for one party since then." She has attributed economic improvements for African Americans such as low unemployment rate to Trump's presidency; however, fact-checkers have noted that economic outcomes for African Americans under Trump were a continuation of trends from President Barack Obama's tenure. When asked if it was problematic that white supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, support Trump, Owens answered that Antifa was more prevalent than the KKK. Owens has said that the media cover the KKK during Trump's presidency to hurt him. In a 2019 hearing on hate crimes, Owens referred to the KKK as a "Democrat terrorist organization". In 2018, Owens dismissed reports of a resurgence in hate crimes, saying "All of the violence this year primarily happened because of people on the left."
During her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the rise of hate crimes and white supremacists in the United States, Owens made the false claim that the Southern Strategy employed by the Republican party to boost its appeal to racist voters was a "myth" that "never happened". Republican strategists who sought to turn Southern white Democrats into Republicans coined the term. Her claim was disputed by several historians who state that the existence of the Southern Strategy is well documented in contemporaneous sources dating back to the Civil Rights era. Historian Kevin M. Kruse, who writes about modern conservatism, called Owens's statement "utter nonsense". In 2005, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman formally apologized to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a national civil rights organization, for the Southern strategy, calling it "wrong".
In June 2019, Owens said that African-Americans had it better in the first 100 years after the abolition of slavery than they have since. She said that "socialism" was at fault. Owens made no mention of Jim Crow laws, which legally enforced widespread racial discrimination in the South. She did not mention the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, which were passed approximately 100 years after the abolition of slavery and conclusion of the Civil War, and which legally enshrined a range of civil rights for African-Americans.
Owens is critical of feminism. Owens described the Me Too movement – an international movement against sexual harassment and assault – as "stupid" and said that she "hated" it. Owens wrote that the movement was premised on the idea that "women are stupid, weak & inconsequential".
Owens supports same-sex marriage. On July 28, 2017, Owens came out in favor of banning transgender individuals who are undergoing sex reassignment surgery from serving in the United States military, but stated that she is fine with fully transitioned transgender individuals serving in the United States military.
Owens opposes welfare, although she says that she has family on it.
Owens is a registered National Rifle Association (NRA) member. She has stated that the NRA was founded as a civil rights organization that trained African Americans to arm themselves. To the contrary, Politifact states that the NRA was actually founded by Union Civil War veterans to improve soldiers' marksmanship.
In 2018, Owens warned that "Europe will fall and become a Muslim majority continent by 2050" and "There has never been a muslim majority country where sharia law was not implemented." She suggested that the United States would then be "forced to save" the British.
This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (April 2019)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
In April 2018, Connecticut NAACP president Scot X. Esdaile, who had defended Owens when she was the victim of an alleged hate crime in 2007 and helped her receive a $37,500 settlement, was interviewed by Mic. He was "shocked" to learn that Owens had become conservative, sharing: "We're very saddened and disappointed in her." "It seems to me that she's now trying to play to a different type of demographic." According to the Atlanta Black Star, Owens now claims to hate the NAACP. In an interview with Chicago's Morning Answer, Owens stated:
I mean, the NAACP is one of the worst groups for black people. All they do is jump on a platform, and they never talk about real issues that are facing the black community. It's all about PR for them, so I'm sure if they're involved then it's got to be absolute BS.
Dispute with Mollie Tibbetts' family
In August 2018, Owens had a dispute with a cousin of Mollie Tibbetts. Tibbetts was murdered, allegedly by Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a twenty-four year old Mexican Illegal immigrant. Tibbetts' cousin criticized Owens saying she exploited Tibbetts' death for "political propaganda". Owens responded, describing the cousin's criticism as a "strange" attack on Trump supporters. Later that month, after the dispute, the University of Iowa chapter of Turning Point USA criticized Owens for "public harassment" towards a member of Tibbetts' family.
October 2018 mail bombing attempts
In October 2018, during the bombing attempts targeting prominent Democrats, Owens promoted the conspiracy theory that the bomb mailings were sent by leftists. After authorities arrested a 56-year-old suspect who is a registered Republican and Trump supporter on October 26, Owens deleted her comments without explanation.
Comments about Hitler
At a Turning Point USA event in December 2018, in response to an audience member who asked for a "long-term prognosis" about the terms "globalism" and "nationalism", she remarked:
I actually don't have any problems at all with the word "nationalism". I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don't want. ... 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 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. Everybody to look a different way. That's not, to me, that's not nationalism.
Owens encountered heavy criticism by some for her comments. She later clarified her comments on Twitter stating that Hitler was "a homicidal, psychotic maniac" and there is "no excuse or defense ever for ... everything that he did", saying that the point of her comments was to say that "Hitler wasn't a nationalist" because he murdered his own people, which a true nationalist would not have done. She also claimed that her comments were about Hitler's crimes against Jews.
Owens comments' about Hitler were played by Representative Ted Lieu during testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee on the issue of increasing hate crimes and white supremacism in America, and brought them back into public attention. Lieu stated that he did not know Owens and was just going to let her own words characterize her, before playing the audio clip. Owens responded by claiming that Lieu had taken her words out of context.
Mention in "manifesto" of Christchurch mosque shootings
The terrorist who committed the Christchurch mosque shootings produced a "manifesto" where he wrote that Owens had "influenced [him] above all". According to journalist Robert Evans, it is "possible, even likely" that the shooter is a fan of Owens, considering her rhetoric against Muslim immigrants, but in context the terrorist's references to her may have been an example of "shitposting" intended to provoke political conflict. Hours after the shooting, Owens posted a tweet in reaction to allegations that she inspired the mass murder, stating that she never created any content espousing her views on the 2nd Amendment (to the United States Constitution) or Islam. Her tweet was criticized for appearing glib, and it was reported that she actually had posted tweets about the 2nd Amendment and Islam. She later made formal statements rejecting any connection to the shooter.
In early 2019, Owens became engaged to George Farmer, son of Michael Farmer, a British peer and businessman. On September 1, 2019, Candace shared on social that she and Farmer had officially married.
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I just turned 29.
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Candace Owens, a popular young black conservative also known as Red Pill Black, has mastered new media platforms, but in service of advocating for something closer to a traditional strain of conservatism: She's critical of the press, feminism, and open borders, but supports gay marriage.
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LOL! 😂 FACT: I've never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam. The Left pretending I inspired a mosque massacre in...New Zealand because I believe black America can do it without government hand outs is the reachiest reach of all reaches!! LOL!
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