Update: This article has been corrected to say that Kayne West did not design the clothing line of Blexit, but helped Candace Owens by introducing her to a designer. The original article said that West had designed the clothing line of Owens’ Blexit, which is factually incorrect. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
Further update: A non-proft organization known as Blexit has decided to pursue legal action for infringement of intellectual property. The organization, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has held trademark rights since July 2016.
Conservative commentator Candace Owens recently announced a new campaign she called “Blexit,” which specifically encourages black Americans to leave the Democratic Party.
Owens made the announcement and debuted the Blexit movement’s designs, which features words “Blexit” and “We Free” to a cheering crowd in Washington, on Oct. 27.
A video of Owen’s announcement was posted to her Twitter account. Owens, communications director of conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA (TPUSA), had spoken at TPUSA’s Black Leadership Summit, a three-day event geared toward young black conservatives ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
Owens also announced the launch of the campaign’s website, Blexit.com. The website features testimonies of people from the black community who no longer support the Democratic Party. It also includes links that explore facets of history relating to black Americans, under a section titled Inconvenient Truths.
“For decades, the black community has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with the Democrat Party,” Owens wrote in a column published as an exclusive on Breitbart on the same day. She explains the Blexit movement in her own words.
“Blexit is a national movement of minorities that have awakened to the truth. It is for those who have taken an objective look at our decades-long allegiance to the left and asked ourselves ‘What do we have to show for it?'” she wrote.
The Blexit movement is focused on the 2020 elections; Owens said the campaign will target major cities in the United States that she said has been “destroyed” by Democrats, including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit.
“The Blexit movement will spend 2019 holding rallies in every major city in America the Democrats have destroyed,” Owens said on Oct. 27.
At long last, https://t.co/nUoq5DBrzU is launched!!!
The official Black Exit from the Democrat Party.
NO MORE ENSLAVED MINDS. AMERICA FIRST.
Support our movement by visiting https://t.co/nUoq5DBrzU today!!!
WE ARE FREE!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/sIYzRHyPXx
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 27, 2018
“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 at the summit, while holding up a Blexit cap.
Blexit T-shirts were handed out to attendees at the summit. Nikki Schwab of the New York Post shared images of the designs on Twitter.
— Nikki Schwab (@NikkiSchwab) October 27, 2018
Despite Owens’ remarks at the summit, and while Schwab had written on Twitter that West had designed the Blexit T-Shirts, and several media had originally reported that West had designed the clothing line for the movement, West later wrote on Twitter that he did not design them and have no links to Blexit.
“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,” West wrote.
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.
— ye (@kanyewest) October 30, 2018
Owens explained on Twitter: “I said on stage that my friend and fellow superhero helped me design the “X” for BLEXIT … I am blessed that Ye introduced me to a designer who despite having totally different political beliefs than me, helped me craft some beautiful letters that I used on the BLEXIT caps.”
#BLEXIT is about the beautiful stories of so many black people who have awakened themselves to the possibilities of our future, as Americans.
The press is trying to use Kanye’s name to create drama and further divisiveness which is WRONG.
Here is statement of clarity from me: pic.twitter.com/PJSdM2PRFi
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 29, 2018
‘Americans First and Foremost’
Blexit is a play on “Brexit,” the name for Britain’s movement to leave the European Union.
On Oct. 27, Owens said: “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.”
According to Owens, Blexit is about encouraging black Americans to exit the Democrat “plantation.”
The expression “the Democratic plantation” has been popularized by conservative political commentators. It draws a parallel between the racism against blacks advocated by the Democratic Party in the past, and the system of government dependency represented by the welfare state advocated by the Democrats of the present.
The black community has been victim to the narrative fed to them, according to Owens.
“Our options are simple. We can accept the left’s narrative that we are not American, that we have more in common with the criminal caravan at the border than we do with our brothers and sisters of this country,” she said.
“We can accept that we’re victims, that we can’t do without government handouts, that we’re too stupid to get into schools on the basis of our own intellect.
“Or we can decide … that we are long last ready to snatch a piece of this American Dream.”
Owens said the Blexit logo signifies unity among Americans.
“Every American who wears this logo realizes that when we all come together, when we refuse to allow the media to divide us, to pit us as men versus women, as black versus white,” she said on Oct. 27.
“When we all come together we’re the first to understand that the colors of this country are red, white, and blue.”
In her speech, Owens acknowledged some of the left’s labels on the black community.
“We can fully recognize that this is, in fact, our country,” she said. “That while Hillary Clinton viewed us as ‘super predators,’ CNN views us as ‘token negros who don’t read,’ Donald Trump views us as Americans.”
Will @cnn smear us all as “token negroes”?
Or will they report accurately that the black conservative movement is here, and it’s big.
We love this president. We love this country. And we are here to claim our piece of the American dream.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 26, 2018
“We are Americans first and foremost and we will work to piece back together our broken communities—absent overreaching government structures, absent hand-outs, and alongside our American brothers and sisters,” Owens wrote on Breitbart.
Trump approval among black voters has risen to a record 40 percent, according to a Rasmussen poll released on Oct. 29.
Trump has spent considerable effort to appeal to black voters, asking them to consider how electing Democrats for decades benefited them. Trump promised them jobs, safety, and education.
“We’re fighting every day for African-Americans, for more jobs, for higher wages, for safer communities, for great schools, and we want school choice. We got to have. We’re fighting hard. It’s going to make a big difference,” Trump said at the Oct. 27 rally in Evansville, Indiana.
Black unemployment, a powerful talking point, has dropped to historic lows under his administration’s “America First” economic agenda. Violent crime also slightly declined in 2017, after two years of increases.
Epoch Times reporter Petr Svab contributed to this report.