*If I’m being honest, I’ve never heard Candace Owens utter a word about African Americans that wasn’t supported by hard – and somewhat uncomfortable – facts.
She’s no dummy.
In fact, as Dave Chappelle cleverly mentioned during his most recent Netflix stand up – which comes across as more of a conversation about police misconduct than an actual comedy performance – Owens is the “smartest idiot” in the political world right now.
I agree, but not for reasons that most of her critics would give.
Chapelle and others believe that Owens is a puppet for right-leaning white conservatives.
She’s been the recipient of every insult imaginable – from “coon” to “bench wench” – presumably because she’s married to a white guy.
Chapelle even made a “smelly vagina” joke about Owens during his special, despite the fact that he’s never had a single interaction with her.
If you recall, last year, during a panel discussion about race with rappers T.I. and Killer Mike, Owens’ comments about abortion and inner-city violence provoked the wrath of Black Twitter.
Ever since then, she’s been a sworn enemy to the “black delegation.”
I’m hesitant to criticize Owens because I’ve spent several years writing less-than-empowering op-ed pieces about African Americans and black culture.
I’ve never pulled any punches, and I’ve never avoided criticism or ridicule from critics whenever they spoke ill of me or my work.
The sad reality is there’s still a tremendous amount of division within the black community – and the battle lines usually separate black liberals and black conservatives.
We all share the same life experiences, which include having to navigate the ins and outs of being black in America.
On the liberal side, African Americans believe that racial injustice and inequality are promised to minorities from the day they’re born.
Conservatives disagree – most believe racism is more of an inconvenience for blacks as opposed to birthright or major hindrance. Some would argue that racism doesn’t really affect the lives of black people at all.
This brings me back to Owens. Her comments about racism, slavery, and most recently, George Floyd have been deemed “tone deaf” by pundits and critics alike.
In the past, she unsuccessfully tried to convince blacks that racism was an illusion created by Democrats to victimize and brainwash minorities.
Her exhortations for blacks to flee the “Democratic Plantation” have sparked intense emotions from naysayers who accuse her of “talking down” to African Americans.
Owens has also attempted to marginalize the impact of American slavery by noting during interviews that slavery originated in Africa and that native Africans sold themselves to white slave owners.
Owens put another super-sized foot in her mouth recently when she publicly released a video of herself blaming George Floyd for his own murder.
She insensitively rattled off details of his criminal record, she also highlighted his struggle with drug addiction, and it seems she tried to justify his assassination by insinuating that his actions that day made him partly responsible.
These ill-advised remarks have put Owens under a microscope, and they reinforce suspicions that she’s anti-black and secretly pro-white.
If I were her friend or publicist, I would first ask her if she’s truly interested in bringing awareness to and solving black issues.
Perhaps she’s just clout-chasing.
Right now it seems that she’s trying to advance a personal agenda, or that she’s getting paid, or being encouraged to throw unsolicited punches at the black community.
She talks “at” black people, not “to” them. She gives lectures, not hope. It’s condescending.
Whatever her motivation, there’s no evidence to prove that she’s an ally to the culture.
I’m not suggesting that she pander to African Americans like Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat, kente-cloth wearing buddies.
But if she wants to gain even a remote chance of connecting with black people, then she has to change her formula.
She can start by acknowledging her “blackness.” I would also like to see her make an effort to connect with black women since … she’s a black woman.
No amount of interaction or intercourse with her white husband or blue-eyed friends will change the complexion of her skin.
Nevertheless, I have never once heard Owens make positive observations about blacks, nor has she ever openly attempted to identify with black culture. It’s as if she’s living in brown skin, but she refuses to embrace it, or even acknowledge the ways it affects her life or the lives of black women as a whole.
Is she being willfully ignorant? Or does she have a complex like many of her critics suggest?
I spent most of my childhood living in a predominantly white community, like Owens. And though she and I have taken more than our fair share of swipes at black people, I have always acknowledged my blackness and I’ve never questioned the impact of slavery or racism on the lives of Black Americans.
If I’m a “coon” – as I’m often called – then she’s a “super coon” – paid to disseminate harmful rhetoric about blacks to the outside world.
This folly gets in the way of her aspirations to expand the black conservative movement – assuming it’s what she actually wants to do.
At this juncture, she’s alienating herself from minorities, and she’s also demonstrating key signs of being a “token.”
It’s not a good look.
Is she obsessed with trashing her own people? It seems the answer is a resounding Y-E-S.