A seismic shift in the cultural and political American landscape this weekend emanated from an unlikely epicenter: superstar rapper Kanye West, who tweeted a controversial endorsement of black conservative commentator Candace Owens. Nothing triggers leftist anger quite like blacks thinking for themselves, and not like they do. So the left erupted with predictable fury toward both West and Owens.
Kanye, whose ubiquitous wife Kim Kardashian was a prominent supporter of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has drawn leftist fire before. First, he incurred online scorn from the left and right in 2015 for announcing his serious intention to run for President in 2020. Then shortly after the 2016 presidential election, he shared with a California audience that he didn’t vote, but if he had, he “would’ve voted for Trump,” an admission that was unusual to say the least for a celebrity of his stature, black or white. It angered and bewildered fans so much that they actually expressed concern about Kanye’s mental health.
In December of 2016, he met briefly with Trump, who referred to Kanye at the time as his “friend,” to discuss “multicultural issues,” primarily the topic of violence in Chicago where Kanye was raised. This showed some surprising independence of mind and considerable courage on Kanye’s part, considering that black-on-black violence in blighted urban centers controlled by Democrat politicians is a scourge the left is silent about.
Then this past Saturday morning, Kanye dropped a bombshell tweet, declaring, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.” As of this writing it has been retweeted over 21,000 times and “liked” over 81,000 times. A few minutes later he followed up with another seemingly supportive message, “only free thinkers,” which holds similarly high numbers of retweets and “likes.”
Owens is a millennial black conservative commentator known to her 183,000 subscribers on YouTube as “Red Pill Black.” Her recognition factor was increased last September by an interview with fellow former lefty Dave Rubin on his immensely popular YouTube talk show, The Rubin Report. In that interview she discussed her journey from left to right, her issues with the left’s corrosive identity politics, and her thoughts on activist journalists essentially serving as media “hitmen.” Rubin has continued to be a big supporter of Owens.
That November she joined many other prominent conservative figures such as Mark Steyn, Sebastian Gorka, James O’Keefe, and Ann Coulter at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s annual Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, an invitation which she later told Horowitz “changed my life. I was pretty unknown until then.”
At Restoration Weekend, Owens met Charlie Kirk, leader of the conservative youth nonprofit Turning Point USA, who was so taken with her presentation that he appointed her director of urban engagement for the organization. Both she and TPUSA are being demonized in media reports now as “far-right,” because the left smears anyone to the ideological right of the lifelong supporter of Communist causes, Bernie Sanders, as equivalent to the Taliban. Owens recently spoke at a TPUSA event at UCLA, where she was heckled by a Black Lives Matter contingent in the otherwise mostly-supportive audience. Owens delivered a smackdown (see video below) in which she memorably noted that the difference between the BLM hecklers and the respectful blacks elsewhere in the audience was a “victim mentality versus a victor mentality.” In a tweeted clip from the event, Owens referred to the protesters as “a bunch of whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention.”
She has even come to the attention of Donald Trump, whose family has embraced her as a friend and supporter. Of the President who has done more for black Americans in one year than his predecessor did in eight, Owens said, “I love the guy, I love him, because what he represented to me is the death of political correctness, and you have no idea how necessary that death is. The truth is that Trump as an individual appeals to younger people. His whole style is younger, it’s fresher, it’s not buttoned up, it’s authentic. That’s the way we speak. We’re the LOL nation.”
Conservative blacks like Owens are dismissed by the left as Uncle Toms and race traitors, so it takes extraordinary courage to face that ugly onslaught as she and Kanye West have done. Increasing numbers of blacks are finding that courage, however. Owens told Breitbart News in March that the news media are “pretending that black conservatives don’t exist, when in fact the truth is, it’s growing, we’re multiplying. Every single day a black person goes, ‘Okay, you know what? Being a victim is boring.’”
That message seems to have caught the ear of Kanye West, whose tweet this weekend touting Owens sparked a flood of responses. On the conservative side, activist and writer Richard Armande Mills wrote, “I have legitimate tears in my eyes. For a hip-hop artist with a platform like West’s to promote and align with a strong conservative like @RealCandaceO. I’m in awe. This is amazing. My morning is made.” Actress Roseanne Barr, who plays a Trump supporter in her recent reboot of Roseanne which delivered jaw-dropping ratings, responded with a simple, “Bingo.”
Race-baiting replies from the left included a response from washed-up comedian (and former Roseanne Barr husband) Tom Arnold, who has plenty of spare time now in which to rail against Donald Trump on social media. He chimed in with illiterate disapproval: “Aside from being an insane alt right race pimp Candace Owens thinks Donald Trump is literally the messiah not you @kanyewest so you might want to reconsider.”
Owens replied to Arnold and two other prominent critics, “When @PerezHilton, @TomArnold, @ShaunKing, 3 white men, rush to viciously attack the freedom of two black people who refuse to be pawns to a leftist ideology—it should ring as a wake up call to the world about who the real racists are. None of you white men own my blackness.”
This agitated Arnold, who wrote back a typically ugly, profane leftist attack: ““That’s a lot of extra words @RealCandaceO so you can suck racist d--- by trying to insult an actual hero @ShaunKing hahahaha. #MAGA” – a tweet he later deleted.
“Candace Owens is making money off of denigrating black folks for her mostly white audience,” asserted black sports broadcaster Herb Lawrence. “Same as that [NRA advocate Colion] Noir guy, same as [actress/activist] Stacey Dash, same as Allen West etc.”
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King tweeted that Kanye’s admiration for Owens is “sad.” Owens shot back at the purportedly biracial King, “Out of curiosity… are you still pretending to be black?”
Writer and transgender activist Raquel Willis tweeted, “Candace Owens has proven to be anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ and fact-hating.” Every one of those descriptors is false but typical of the left’s politics of personal destruction. “For Kanye to align himself with her is messy and dangerous.”
What’s dangerous about it is that it threatens the left’s stranglehold on the black community. As Owens tweeted Sunday, “They control your media. They control your idols. They control your mind.” If blacks and other minorities start getting the subversive idea that they can think for themselves and thrive on their own, off the Democrat plantation that has kept them under the Party’s thumb for half a century, then the Democratic Party is finished. Dangerous indeed.
One Kanye critic wrote, “I’m ready to delete, burn and never buy another Kanye album or item if this is who [sic] he supports,” referring to Owens. Political commentator Touré (who wisely eschews his last name Neblett), formerly an MSNBC regular and now reduced to podcasting, echoed that sentiment when he tweeted, “How many times can Kanye signal his affinity for people with anti-Black policies and positions before it takes a toll on how Black fans feel about him?”
But thanks to Kanye, what many of those black fans are now being exposed to is Candace Owens’ message that it is the Democratic Party that holds anti-black policies and positions, while conservatism offers blacks freedom from Progressive slavery.
As the firing squads gathered around him, Kanye not only didn’t back down, but doubled-down with a series of short tweets, including: “Express what you feel not what you’ve been programmed to think,” “get past the past,” “question everything,” “the blinders are off,” “People demonize people and then they demonize anybody who sees anything positive in someone whose been demonized,” “the thought police want to suppress freedom of thought,” “constantly bringing up the past keeps you stuck there,” “there was a time when slavery was the trend and apparently that time is still upon us. But now it's a mentality,” and “self-victimization is a disease.” These are clarion calls for black liberation from the one-party mind and one-party state that runs the ghettos and the killing fields and the failed schools of America’s inner cities.
Owens herself responded to Kanye’s praise with, “I’m freaking out. @kanyewest ....please take a meeting with me. I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music. I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community.”
Kanye may already have begun that process. He has 22.5 million Twitter followers. The seven words he tweeted about Candace Owens boosted her profile immeasurably, but more importantly, they sparked a vital conversation the left does not want blacks to have.