Candace Owens at the Freedom Center's Restoration Weekend
Owens unveils the Left's panic as black Americans escape the Democratic plantation.
Candace Owens spoke at the Freedom Center's Restoration Weekend held recently in Palm Beach, FL (November 14-17, 2019). She discussed her journey as a black American toward conservative principles -- and how black Americans are escaping the Democratic plantation. Don't miss it!
Candace Owens: Thank you to David Horowitz for having me here. I was just going to share that this really is the conference where everything started for me. How many of you guys were around when I was here? Wow. I was running around; it was just two short years ago. It feels like a lifetime ago, and I did, I started my career, my political career on YouTube making just funny, satirical videos, and I got an email from David Horowitz inviting me to this conference, and let me just tell you what a big deal it was for me. I had no connections whatsoever.
I was running around, trying to introduce myself to everyone and to network with every, single person in the room, and there is a very funny story, of course. I did a panel, which was entitled Why I Left the Left, and on the panel was me, Dave Ruben and Tammy Bruce, if you guys remember that, and Tammy Bruce didn't realize that the video that I had done, which was me acting, it was called Mom, Dad, I'm a Conservative, and I was playing myself as the mom and a dad, and I was basically getting at that today it's harder to come out as a conservative to your family than it is to come out as lesbian and gay, but it was a skit, and I was acting, and in the middle of the panel, nobody really knew who I was. Tammy said, "Isn't this incredible that we have an all gay and lesbian panel up here?" and I was too nervous to correct her, so then I spent the next 2 days of the conference people, I'm such a courageous lesbian, and I was like, "I'm not a lesbian. That was just a skit," so it was some damage I had to reverse for the next couple of years.
It was okay, I just got married, and that put the rumors to rest, but I'm so grateful, and that is correct. I met Charlie Kirk here and spend about a year and a half with his organization going across the college campuses, which are really just glorified nurseries. If you guys have not just visited a college campus yet, if you think it's bad, it's probably a little bit worse, and we had a really amazing time, and I was so grateful for the experience, but then it became apparent to me that when I first met Charlie here, he asked me what I wanted to do, and my answer was really clear and succinct. I said, "I want to lead the revolution for black America against the Democrat party."
Thank you. I've always had that vision, and we made so much progress, but as we were on those college campuses, I realized that the majority of black Americans never make it to college campuses, and more had to be done, and I knew that if we were going to really make a change, really make a change in Black America and get them to embrace conservative principles, it was going to have to be a cultural change. The thing that I knew as soon as I got into this was that black Americans are the lynchpin of the Democrat party. They rely upon our vote every 4 years. If they get 85 percent of our vote in 2020, they lose. That is how much they rely upon our vote. Hillary Clinton got 89 percent of the black vote in 2016. If they dip to 84 percent, their party is finished, so we're talking about swinging the black vote five points, and for me, I said, "That's the vision."
I want to move the black vote 20 points by 2020. I think we can get 20 percent of the black vote in 2020. So then I had to think about how, how am I going to do that, and my husband came up with a great analogy about the Democrats and about the Left. He said, "They're a bit like the Titanic", this massive ship, and they've run around so arrogant for so long, and thought not even God can sink this ship. Not even God can sink the ship of the Democrat party. The amount of arrogance that has come out of them, and they were going through the waters, chopping through the waters, and they hit a little iceberg, and that iceberg was little old me, and they did what they always do. They smeared, the liabled me. I think they're calling me now the nation's first black white supremacist.
The amount of leaps you have to take to get there, and people go, "How do you put up with that, Candace? How do you remain so courageous and so positive?" and I mean really think about it. If they're getting to the point that they're calling black people white supremacists, we have to be close to winning, right? But in thinking about how, how they managed to sell our own demise really to the black community, you have to understand that they really had a stranglehold on culture for so long. Everything that you see on TV is really done at the expense of conservatives, and I wanted to create a movement that would reverse engineer exactly what the left has done to black America, just beneath that little iceberg that they hit, which was me, is really 60 years of Democrat policies that have destroyed black America, policies like the welfare policies and Lyndon Bane Johnson's Great Society Act, which has literally incentivized bad behavior. I mean think about it; there's a government job where people walk around and ring the doorbell and make sure that the father does not live inside of the home. Back in the 1960s, Patrick Moynihan's report came out, and they said there was an epidemic in black America because 23 percent of black Americans were growing up without a father in the home. This was thought of as an epidemic in the 1960s, 23 percent.
Today, that number is 74 percent in the black community, and nobody's talking about it. Nobody's talking about what's really killing black America. So I said, "How am I going to bring that to the forefront?" and many of you know that the end of last year I teamed up with Prager University. We have Allen Estrin here, please give him a round of applause, the Executive Director of Prager U. It really has been just the most wonderful organization to work with, namely, because they understand me, and they understand that what we're fighting for is changing culture, and they really are fighters, and with my show, The Candace Owens Show, we have brought forth so many guests. So many people have demanded that the show be taken down, and they remain so strong in defending me and standing on the principles of conservatism and really trying to take back all of the turf that we have lost in culture over the last 60 years. Through the Blexit Movement, that's exactly what I'm trying to do.
I'm trying to make it fun; I'm trying to make it cultural; I'm trying to remind people that it's okay for conservatives to use humor. It's okay for conservatives to be funny. People ask me all the time what are the points of frustration because I remain so positive all the time, and I tell them that early on, the first hit piece that was ever written about me wasn't written by a leftist tabloid; it was written by the Right. It was written by the National Review. They were writing an article about my YouTube videos which were all funny and all light, and they said, "This is the sort of conservatism that we need to reject."
They didn't find my videos to be intellectual enough, and I remember reading that article and just being so disappointed; disappointed because they weren't realizing that that sort of a thought process is the reason that conservatives were losing for so long. Who I was sitting for dinner asked me a question. She said, "What changed you or how did you arrive at who you are and have such clarity and perspective in your viewpoints?" and I wasn't always like this, and what I was telling her was that I arrived at conservatism very slowly. It was introduced to me very slowly all throughout my life, and many of you have heard me speak about my grandfather, who is the biggest source of inspiration of in my life. You may have seen him sitting behind me at the Congressional testimony. Did any of you guys see that, with Ted Lieu? When I say my grandfather is my biggest inspiration, I'll give you an example of what I mean, so when Charlie and I would go on college campuses, one of the things that I would do first was look around the room and just ask a simple question before we got started. I would say, "Okay everybody, before we get started today, I just want to ask a very simple question.
How many people in this room believe that America is a more racist country today in 2019 than it was 60 years ago?" and at least 70 percent of the hands would go up, and I'd go, "Wow. Wow." Think about that. Think about the educational brainwashing that is taking place that is convincing people that America is a worse country today racially than it was 60 years ago, and this really is the thing that inspired me the most. This mindset is something that not infuriated me, but frustrated me very much because I grew up in my grandfather's home, and my grandfather grew up when there was actually real racial tension in America. My grandfather grew up on a sharecropping farm when there was segregation in North Carolina.
My grandfather grew up, and his first job was when he was 5 years old, laying out tobacco to dry on that sharecropping farm before the sun would go up because otherwise, it would be too hot under the Carolina heat. My grandfather also picked cotton, and my grandfather faced the real KKK. At night, they would come in, and they would spray bullets inside of the home, and even when my grandfather talks about those instances to this day, he talks about it from a position of pride. He never sounds like a victim. He says, "They'd come around and they'd shoot, and my daddy would grab a shotgun and shoot back at them boys." Right? I mean think about that. When my grandfather moved up north, he was 17 years old. He didn't mean to move up north. He saw my grandmother on a trip up north, and that was it for him. He married her, and he stayed in Connecticut, and my grandmother and my grandfather remained married until her dying day in 2013, and I was blessed, I really do believe that the turning point started in my life that, when during my formative years, I grew up in their household, and my grandfather had so many rules. I mean, it was ridiculous. He really ran a tight ship.
Every single morning, we had to read the Bible. It was just very simple. My grandfather believed in God. That was the thing that ran his life day in and day out, and he wanted all of his grandchildren to grow up with that same messaging, and I always say that me and sisters genuinely believed that my grandfather had a direct line to God. We were convinced he had a direct line to God, and something that he would always do, which always made us nervous, is that he would incorporate us into the prayer. So, if we did anything wrong throughout the day, he would incorporate us into the prayer, and one particular night, which I always remind my grandfather of today, I had turned the heat up in the middle of the night.
I had got cold, and I didn't know what I was pressing, but we were not allowed to touch the heating system at all, and I did it in middle of the night, and I went back to sleep, and in the morning, I went down for breakfast. My grandfather would make a big southern breakfast every morning; grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes. I should be clinically obese. I don't know how I'm not, and he got around to praying and he said, "Dear Heavenly Father, please help Candace to remember shouldn't be touching the heat," and I instantly got up from the table, and I ran upstairs and I started crying, and when he followed me, I just looked up at him, and I said, "Granddaddy, why did you have to tell God?" and we genuinely believed that, that whenever he prayed it was a direct line, and God knew and saw everything, and it was such an interesting way to grow up.
Of course, when I went through the public school system, though, I was very embarrassed about that, because when you are growing up in a secular lifestyle, you're not supposed to believe in God. We have sort of arrived, very suddenly, into an atheistic culture. People are mocked. Our Vice President is mocked for respecting his wife and for believing in Jesus Christ. Do you remember when Joy Behar mocked him for those things? It wasn't cool. It wasn't hip for me to believe in God, and I wanted to reject so many of the things that my grandfather and my grandmother had taught me. So first and foremost, my grandfather believed in God. The second thing that my grandfather believed in was family. Everything we did was together.
In the home, my grandfather would take us church, he would dress us, he would open doors for us. We would lay out clothes, what we wanted to wear, and it was just so important to him that the family was always together, and we went on holiday together, and the third thing that my grandfather believed in, which is going a bit out of fashion today, is hard work. Never, ever once growing up in his household did my grandfather ever utter a bad word about a white person. He would say, "That's just the way things were." I simply did not learn how to be a victim. I never learned it. My grandfather had a deep reverence and a deep respect for all of the opportunities that were afforded to him if he simply just worked hard. The update on my grandfather and my grandmother is that about 15 years ago, they retired, and they moved back down south to Fayetteville, North Carolina, and my grandfather purchased the sharecropping farm that he grew up on. What that is, what my grandfather did, that's the American Dream, right?
That's the American Dream. America is unique in that you can come to this country with the clothes on your back, and if you work hard, and if you stay out of trouble, you can make something of yourself in this society. That is what we fight to protect. America is an idea, and it's a philosophy. That's what unites us. We're not united based on race or sex. We are united on the philosophy, that idea of hard work and that idea of freedom, and every single day when I fight, I think about my grandfather, and I think about Black America, and I say, "Wow." Imagine a world where Black America wakes up, and they realize that the Democrats have lied and have used and have abused us for the last 60 years.
Imagine a world where black Americans stop viewing themselves as separate from America and realize that we are Americans, too. First and foremost, we are all Americans. The Democrat party would collapse and so too would all of these wild Leftist issues, which I believe, at the root of all of them is the intended breakdown of family. When I think about the LGBT now QRSTUV movement, because they're just adding a letter every year, I think. I think, "What are they doing here?"
Why do we have a society, when you think about toxic feminism, which we're seeing more and more of, why do we have a society that wants to turn women into men and men into women? Why do we have a society that's promoting these issues like trans children? What are they really getting after? It's the breakdown of family. Why do we have a society that is promoting atheism? What are they really getting after? Well, it's the breakdown of family. They're trying to destroy the family unit because that's really the only way that government can grow. You have to believe in nothing in order for them to continue to grow government. You have to continue to turn to government. You have to worship government as the end-all, be-all. All of the solutions you think have to come from government, and the experiment with that philosophy started with black America in the 1960s. The systematic removal of our fathers from the home. Look where it's led us.
Look where it has led Black America without having that pillar and that structure. It's horrible, and it's saddening, but I believe strongly that it is something that we can reverse actively in 2020, and it's happening, and I'll tell you why I know it's happening; because they're scared. When I see articles calling me the Dems' worst nightmare, thank you very much, but when I see these reaches, referring to me as a white supremacist, when I see these attacks saying that I support wild dictators, or that I hate myself, or that I've internalized misogyny, what I see is their fear. When I see their candidates get on stage and say, "We'll give you reparations," what I hear is their fear. I mean, how desperate is that?
They're literally saying to Black America, "Here, take our money. Just take it. Forget it. Forget everything. Please, just don't leave us." They're terrified. They know that everything can collapse if Black America wakes up, and so I launched the Blexit Movement, the Blexit Foundation, which stands for the black exit from the Democrat party, and I'll tell you what happened when I did that. I said okay, we're doing Blexit and instantly, I got a bunch of emails and messages from Latinos, and they said, "You're not leaving us. We're going to be the L in Blexit," and I said okay, okay, and they showed up in Los Angeles, and then I got a bunch of email from Asians, and they said, "Can we turn Blacksit, can we make it black Americans and Asians exiting the Democrat party?"
Isn't that wonderful? So many different groups of people are waking up, and I just want to wrap this by thanking so many people in this room, and I see some of my Blexit people in the back. You guys, stand up. These people, these students. The bravery that it takes. I mean, what these people fight, what we have to fight at home, that really is the hardest part, having to deal with the fact that people don't know what to do with you when you think for yourself and when you think for freedom, but I'm inspired every single day, and I keep going thanks to stories like yours. You gave one of the most beautiful prayers that I've ever seen at the White House, Mahallod Really, when it went viral, it was absolutely beautiful, and from the heart, and your story is so encouraging, and I want to encourage you to keep going, and to the people in this room, the people that believed in me.
I mean really, when I came here a couple of years ago, it has been the most humbling thing in the entire world, to come back and to have received the Annie Taylor Award last year, to come back and to be welcomed to speak on this stage, the encouragement, and I want to tell you guys this. When I first got started on YouTube, I got contacted by a random person in San Francisco, and I had no plan, and he told me to set up a Patreon account, which allows you to accept small donations from people all over the United States, and that Patreon account kept me going. He mailed me a $500.00 check and said, "Keep going, and keep going." I want you guys to remember that there are a lot of Candace Owenses in America right now that are feeling inspired and that want to keep going, and simple acts of kindness, like little donations that make it so they can make their rent next month, can create something way bigger than you ever expected, so thank every single person in this world for supporting me, for supporting Blexit, and I can't wait to make this thing the biggest thing possible in 2020 and to finally sink the Titanic of the Democrat party.
Thank you so much.