Candace Owens: The Victim Mentality of the Left

July 6, 2019 Updated: November 6, 2019

What determines individual success in America? Do corporations like Google have too much power?

What are the biggest issues facing black Americans today? Is systemic racism one of them?

And how does emotional manipulation and victim mentality play into all of this?

Today Epoch Times senior editor Jan Jekielek sit down again with Candace Owens, a conservative commentator and founder of the Blexit movement. She is the host of the Candace Owens Show with Prager University.

They discuss identity politics, suppression of conservative voices, and the mindset of victimhood among minorities, what Candace sees as a centerpiece of Democratic Party political strategy.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, Candace, it’s wonderful to have you back on American Thought Leaders.

Ms. Owens: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

Mr. Jekielek: So you’ve become this kind of social commentator for me. You have this new show on PragerU, which I’ve become a bit of a fan of.

Ms. Owens: Thank you.

Mr. Jekielek: I have to admit, I want to watch all the episodes, but they’re longer just like our show here, so it’s a little bit tough. But I wanted to kind of bounce a few recent things off you and just kind of get your take.

Ms. Owens: OK.

Mr. Jekielek: For example, the recent Project Veritas undercover video of Google, basically, that was recently taken down off of YouTube, presumably for privacy reasons. What’s your take on all this?

Ms. Owens: I’m actually on record for saying, over a year ago, that Google needed to be broken up, and it had become a monopoly by every standard of what it means to be a monopoly. They have too much power right now. And I had been beating this drum for a very long time, and I think now it’s starting to become more of a common everyday conversation. But, look, what it is is election meddling. I mean, the executive there seems pretty confident about the fact that they could help, right? And that they were the solution. And that means that they’ve actually acquired too much power.

I felt this immediately as I announced I was a black conservative. If you Google the name of any black conservative, negative, terrible things come up. That means that Google is not giving you a fair shake because I’ve done things that are much bigger than anything negative that I’ve done. But you’ll see CNN is sort of spearheaded to the front of the results. Anything they said about me on these liberal left-leaning networks is spearheaded to the front as a result. In my opinion, it’s election meddling at its finest. And as I said earlier, it just means that we need to have a serious conversation about the Antitrust Act and what it means in terms of technology.

Mr. Jekielek: So you had your own tribulations with Facebook. I think you’re fine on Facebook now, is that right? But they had blocked you at one point. They have become kind of a public square. We were just discussing this in a recent interview. People say well, it’s a private company. OK, fair enough. But they kind of dominate what people can get out–people like you or me or just essentially anyone in society who is hooked up to the Internet. It’s a public square. That’s how I see it. Is that how you see it?

Ms. Owens: Well, I think now we’re seeing that they’re acting in part of publisher. And that means that the standards in terms of what they should do should shift accordingly. And in terms of me being done with Facebook, absolutely not. My lawyer has fired off a letter, and I want to get some answers as to what was going on behind closed doors, how they had me registered as a potential hate agent, what exactly a hate agent means.

And I’ve said before in the past, and I’ll say it again, conservatives need to start lawyering up. It’s time for there to be a legal fund for conservatives. We need to start exploring these companies or hold them accountable or give them the headache of every day being in court. We need more transparency from these companies because they are altering–they’re banning, they’re outright banning differing opinions, and they’re making sure that the results in terms of what people see at the forefront are always left-leaning.

Mr. Jekielek: Very interesting. I mean, OK, let’s jump to another thing. Recently, we’ve had these rape accusations by E. Jean Carroll against the president. And, you know, this recent Anderson Cooper interview. And for me, when I was watching this, I just felt profoundly sad.

Ms. Owens: For humanity?

Mr. Jekielek: Well, first for this woman because, well, it’s obvious that she’s really not all there. And then there’s this moment where Anderson says, cut to commercial, right, when, obviously, things were not going right, and it almost feels like some kind of exploitation to me, or I don’t know how else to say it. I just felt deeply saddened. And then the whole thing almost became comical at that point when Anderson cut to commercial. What’s your take on all this? I’m doing my own commentary here, but I don’t know what else to say.

Ms. Owens: You know, I obviously found it to be hilarious. And it’s a dark comedy, but it is a comedy. And it’s because the left has produced this. I think that there are two things that are affecting this, and we’re seeing the rise of radical feminism. I’ve spoken about it the whole time. I was against the Me Too Movement immediately, one of the first to condemn it, and was roundly condemned on both sides from both conservatives and liberals who said: Oh, it’s about sexual assault. No, it’s about sexual assault because the left likes to dive into these topics that make people feel uncomfortable even having a rational debate about. It’s their way of saying: You can’t talk about this topic because it’s about rape. So there’s nothing that you can possibly say against this, isn’t going to make you the bad guy.

And then we saw that, obviously, it’s about gaining power. We saw that with Brett Kavanaugh, and now we’re seeing it again with these baseless accusations against the president. This is about taking down Donald Trump. And they’ve been trying this.

I think the left is so obsessed with doing it by any means necessary, that they’re not thinking about the larger implications of you now telling women that everything is rape, that they should be believed no matter what. That they should be sanctioned and everything should be a safe space for them to talk about their feelings. And people aren’t looking at objective data and objective facts. It’s all emotions and feelings. And it’s going to be problematic [in the] long term. But in terms of her, I just thought, great, we need to see more public displays of exactly what is happening in society right now.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s absolutely incredible. Like, for me, when Me Too first started I thought, well, how can I not support Me Too? You know, that–

Ms. Owens: That was the point. That was the point. And I said, nope, absolutely not.

Mr. Jekielek: So you see this as manipulation of emotions, right?

Ms. Owens: Of course, because that’s what the left is. That is what the Democrat Party is, right? It’s all about manipulating emotions. Because when your policies don’t hold up, you need to have another way to get people to vote for you. And that’s emotionally. And, look, human beings in general are emotional. Most people will choose emotion, an emotional response to something above a rational one when pressed. And this is how they’ve been able to seize black Americans, how they’ve been able to seize minorities, how they’ve been able to seize women.

It’s just making them feel so outraged about something that they’re not actually thinking, does this even make sense? And usually the answer is no. It makes no sense. Why should you just believe women? Have women never told a lie? I mean, I lied the whole time. Check out my teenage years. I mean, I lied to my parents constantly and consistently because that was a part of being a teenager. What can I get away with?

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. Actually, I do want to talk a little bit about your whole journey to get to where you are today. I know our viewers would be very interested in that. You’ve been kind of portrayed … I’m remembering now the hearings where Ted Lieu was holding up this clip from a video … People have tried to portray you as having these racist views. You foresee yourself as standing up for yourself, black Americans, maybe Americans overall. Tell me a little bit about black Americans and how they’ve been … what is the term that you used? How their emotions have been manipulated, taken advantage of.

Ms. Owens: Yeah. I mean, completely. We have been sold and administered a victim mentality to our own detriment. And we were sold that by the left and by the Democrat Party. It was Malcolm X that said that liberals will pretend to be your friend. And that’s exactly right. They pretend to be your friend. They come to you. They pretend they want to help, when in fact they’re hurting. The left, the Democrat Party does not want black America to ever get better because they stump on our issues every four years. They can’t come to us and get us to be emotional if everything’s fixed. If our lives are better and our lives are improved, they’re going to have to come to us with just policies that would make sense.

So instead they want to make sure that they keep us quiet and make it seem like there’s always something that we’re struggling towards, something that we can’t get over. And, of course, the theme is racism. We’ve been manipulated by by the conversation about racism for so long. At the same time, our communities have been destroyed over the last 60 years by liberal policies.

Mr. Jekielek: So how is it that you’re suddenly being portrayed as racist? I’ve been trying to figure this out. And I know from what I’ve seen from the video that I was trying to view that that’s patently ridiculous. But, nonetheless, this is a narrative which perpetuates–

Ms. Owens: It’s a brilliant narrative. I love this narrative because what it is is it’s the left overplaying their hand. So they were in a safe space when they did it to Republicans, right? To constantly say Republicans are racist. They’re the bad guys. They were in a safe space when they did to Donald Trump. Oh, look at this white billionaire. He’s going to send you back, right, to the times of slavery. Be afraid of this.

There is something that happens when you start trying to smear black people as racist. Something goes off in the back of your head. I don’t care how emotional you are, right? You’re going to say, this seems a little weird. Now you’re calling black people Nazis. I don’t think that they would have been the race that Hitler wanted to promote, right?

So I love when they do this stuff because A, it shows me how scared they are, but B, how desperate they are. They are outwardly overplaying their hand, and I let them do it every single time. I’m happy to take all the bullets in the world because it always has the opposite desired effect. It wakes people up.

I was flooded with emails—after Ted Lieu did that—from black Americans saying, sorry, I had you completely wrong. Because it went viral and they were forced to watch my testimony, and they heard what I was actually about and what I was actually demanding, which is a more honest conversation in terms of what’s going on in black America.

Mr. Jekielek: How often do these kinds of ploys backfire in your view?

Ms. Owens: Always. Trump is president. I mean, really, he’s the biggest example. They tried everything. They called him a racist, a sexist, a misogynist. At one point, they had him pegged as a rapist, which they’re still working on now. They had him pegged as incestuous. Remember, they said he had feelings for his daughter Ivanka. They tried everything, and the man is sitting in the Oval Office. So, clearly, it backfires. But the great thing about the Democrat Party is they never learn their lesson. They just double and triple and quadruple down.

Mr. Jekielek: Candace, I want to find out a little bit about your journey. I saw a recent tweet of yours saying that you came out of a tough situation in childhood, that, in fact, there’s maybe some powers that are trying to prevent people from knowing that, which is also an interesting story in itself. But, tell me, how did you get to here? How did you get to being a spokesperson for black conservatives, perhaps? I think you are that to some extent.

Ms. Owens: Thank you. I appreciate that. You know, yeah, my journey is never really talked about, and that’s because it humanizes me and it makes people realize that I might be saying something because I’ve lived through some experiences that taught me some things. And I came from absolutely nothing. I’ve gone through basically a public X-ray into every facet of my life, but they won’t touch my childhood. Because what I teach people is that it’s conservative principles that brought me away from that little girl who grew up sharing a bedroom in a tiny apartment in a low-income housing building that had the exterminator have to come to get the roaches every few weeks. Nobody wants to tell that story, right? Because–

Mr. Jekielek: Where was that?

Ms. Owens: That was in Connecticut in a building on Tresser Boulevard, if anybody cares to actually go see where Candace Owens started her life, it’s still up. And, yeah, I had to fight for everything I had. I didn’t have wealthy parents. I didn’t have parents that had money to send me to school. I took out $150,000 in student loans, and I was in debt, and I had to pay back every single penny by myself. I had nothing. I slept on friends’ couches, just believing in myself and thinking that I could make it. And if it wasn’t from my perspective of seeing myself as a victor, as someone who could work harder, as someone who wasn’t going to go out and party, but instead, somebody who was going to spend every second that I had learning, trying to learn more, trying to add value to companies, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.

And that’s what I try to tell black Americans. Forget what they’re telling you about being a victim. That’s not going to take you from point a to point z. All it’s going to do is make you feel bitter and angry and outraged the entire time.

It’s the same way that you build success, whether you’re black, whether you’re white, whether you are Asian, who by the way, no one talks about the Asians. They’re the ones doing the best in America right now. They were in internment camps, but Japanese-Americans are doing the best today. How did they do it? Well, there is no “Japanese Lives Matter” movement that I know of in America. So it might just be that they kept their heads down, they worked hard, they keep their families together, and they have good values.

Mr. Jekielek: Someone told me or I read somewhere that Larry Elder inspired you, or red-pilled you perhaps is the term. How did things kind of shift for you where you actually came out as a conservative or became this kind of conservative voice? What happened? Can you give me kind of a run down?

Ms. Owens: I would say the shift really transpired … I was already living my life conservatively. I just wasn’t paying attention to politics. And I had been brainwashed like most black Americans via the public school system to believe that I had to be a Democrat and that I had to be a liberal.

But when Trump began his candidacy for the president, everyone started suddenly paying attention to politics and watching him be sniggered and labeled as a racist. And at the time, I had spent seven years living and working in New York. Everyone loved Trump. I listened to hip-hop music. Everybody loved Trump. And I just wasn’t so foolish as to believe that overnight someone could become all of these things, but he had gotten away with it. For so long he was celebrated by the media.

And so I just started to begin to explore the liberal argument versus the conservative argument, and I stumbled upon Larry Elder literally taking Dave Rubin to the cleaners on his own show.

Mr. Jekielek: I love that video. That’s amazing.

Ms. Owens: I love that video. And I love that video for two reasons. Not just because Larry Elder is brilliant and just slaughters all the arguments that Dave Rubin, who’s a good friend of mine, gave him, but also that Dave Rubin was willing to listen. Right?

Mr. Jekielek: And publish.

Ms. Owens: And publish it and be humble enough to say, wow, I was seeing things the wrong way. That was for me, too. It took a tremendous amount of humility for me to get where I am today because I had to acknowledge formally that everything that I had thought before was wrong. The Republicans weren’t racist, that they weren’t the ones keeping me back, that I had learned everything the wrong way, that I had been not uneducated, but miseducated intentionally.

So people that say, oh, it’s easy to be a black conservative. You’re completely wrong. It’s about holding up a mirror, admitting you’re wrong, and getting in the driver’s seat of your life. And that was kind of my story. And I’m so grateful to Larry Elder for that moment on the Internet. And I hope I provided that moment to people as well. I hope that, you know, that’s the purpose of the Internet today is to provide alternative perspectives.

Mr. Jekielek: And I think the point of that Dave Rubin, Larry Elder video was around systemic or institutionalized racism. Maybe for the record, what’s your perspective on systemic or institutionalized racism?

Ms. Owens: It doesn’t exist. Actually, I would say it does exist, but you tie your own noose, meaning, if you do go to the government for your solutions, if you do turn to welfare programs. Welfare programs systemically keep people below the poverty line for a reason. It incentivizes bad behavior. They literally reward you for bad behavior. The more children you have out of wedlock, the more money we’ll give you. If you don’t marry the father of your children, we will give you even more money, right?

So if you want to go that path and you want to believe government is the solution to all of your problems, you will see some systemic racism, if you will, or just, I guess it’s not even racism because you can be white and on welfare as well. But systemic, no, there’s nothing that I cannot do as a black woman sitting in this chair or in this society, in this country that you can do as a white man. It’s all about our choices.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. And I think Larry also talks about how he feels like the really big issue is the breakdown of the American family. Do you share that [view]?

Ms. Owens: He’s 100 percent correct. It’s the biggest issue facing black America today. Every single metric supports that claim. And we know that it was in fact the welfare policies that incentivized that behavior. When you see in the 1960s, only 23 percent of black Americans grew up with a single parent in the home. Twenty-three percent. And at that time that was considered a lot. That was considered, oh my goodness, we have a problem.

Today it’s 74 percent, and it was actually Barack Obama who gave a speech and talked about what that means, what the implications are of growing up without a father in the home–nine times more likely to end up behind bars, six times more likely to lead a life of crime. He talked about those numbers. So you know that where you see that black Americans are growing up in single-parent homes, you are going to see suffering.

Mr. Jekielek: I just thought of this. You mentioned that you had to pay back a $150,000 worth of student loans.

Ms. Owens: I really hope Bernie Sanders goes with this because I will sue for every single dollar back.

Mr. Jekielek: You see where I’m going with this. So what do you make of this? I was sharing with one of our staff today that of all the policy things that I’ve heard about, that is kind of a frightening one in a way because, one, financially it’s hard to conceive in a budget. But the other part is I can see it being attractive to a lot of people in a way that most of the other stuff isn’t.

Ms. Owens: I don’t know. … Look, I always choose laughter. So first off I’ll say you were scared, I laughed. No, I would have felt that way if we were still caught in that society where people only turn to TV for information, and you just had CNN telling you this was great and Fox News may be disputing that it wasn’t so great. But it’s a different world now. And it’s a world where political commentators are able to bring the discussion to the forefront in a different way.

And, look, the way that I view it is I would love to do a show. I would call it “Who’s Bribe Is It Anyway?” And we would talk about all of the bribes on the left right now. Which bribe are you going to take? All right, you could take Bernie Sanders, and he’s going to just pay off all of your student loans. You could take Elizabeth Warren. She’s going to give you money because you’re black. Or you could take Joe Biden. He’s going to cure your cancer.

I mean, they’re really outdoing each other in terms of who they can bribe. And it’s making a mockery, but I think it’s also showing people what I say the whole time, which is that the left believes that the majority of people in America are irredeemably stupid. So they appeal to people that they think are stupid and emotional and not rational because, hey, it sounds great. I’m going to pay your student loans.

But no one’s thinking about what the implications are there–trillions and trillions of dollars, and where’s it going to come from? Because they think that people aren’t smart enough to understand basic economics. I think people are smart enough to understand. And that’s where I come in. That’s why I make videos. And I go out and I talk about what are we really talking about here?

Bernie Sanders, he’s a champagne socialist. I love it. He’s a millionaire, but he’s also a socialist. Didn’t live his life that way. He loves capitalism. That’s obviously how he got to where he’s getting, but he’s going to try to sell the people that he believes to be dumber than him that the way to solve everything is to just start taxing the rich more.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, there seem to be a lot of–and I’m not 100 percent sure I’m right about this–but there seem to be a lot of very affluent people who support these policies.

Ms. Owens: Who are we calling affluent?

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s say Silicon Valley, right? California, Silicon Valley.

Ms. Owens: Which policy in particular? So they kind of support more of the Milton Friedman, Andrew Yang stuff in terms of a basic giving people a universal income.

Mr. Jekielek: Sure. I mean, there’s one example, but supporting more government-control type policies rather than let’s say the bottom up policies. Am I right or maybe I’m not right? I’m open to being corrected here. But that’s my feeling. And I’m always fascinated by this given that–

Ms. Owens: Tax them first.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s the bastion of capitalism in Silicon Valley innovation … what do you think of this?

Ms. Owens: You know, I always say that there are two types of socialists. I think a lot of them, and I say this a little bit from knowing–because I’ve met Jack Dorsey and I’ve spoken to him behind closed doors, and I don’t think he’s this villain that people like to think that he is. I actually think that he’s a techie. I think he’s more nervous and more reserved, and perhaps a lot of people experience guilt when they generate a lot of wealth, right? Like I have all this money. Some people don’t. It’s really easy to say, hey, you should give some of that away. And that just makes sense without them thinking about the larger implications.

Now, in terms of Facebook, I don’t know, I feel like that’s a whole nother situation, and then perhaps they do support these policies.

We know Google … I mean certainly it wouldn’t even make sense for Google to want more government. They’re kind of in this weird wedge where they’re trying to help people that want more government, at the same time, keeping their freedom to be able to manipulate search results, which more government would instantly shut them down. So, I don’t know, I think that they’re shooting themselves in the foot a bit with that.

Mr. Jekielek: Interesting. The other thing that occurred to me is, you mentioned to me earlier that you see the Democratic Party as being stuck in a kind of short-term thinking, and what you were talking about earlier spoke to that, I think. Can you expand on that a little bit?

Ms. Owens: Yeah. They aren’t realizing the long-term implications of the things that they’re doing. What they’re really trying to do is fundamentally get away with—it’s not a literal assassination, right—a figurative assassination of a president right now. They are trying to take him out by any means necessary. But you can’t just shoot a president, so they’re going to say, well, what can we do? We’re going to slander. We’re going to libel. We’re going to make his life a living hell every single day.

Well, once you open that window, you can’t really undo that. Right? So that means that let’s say we do have a Democrat politician in six years from now. Well, you’ve now made it OK for women who don’t like this politician to just say that they were sexually assaulted, for people to have no respect for the highest office in the land. I mean, that’s dangerous stuff that we’re playing with here. And you can’t undo that.

And I think that you see that in certain regards. They don’t know how to handle it when it accidentally comes back on them. Like when Keith Ellison, with the sexual assault claims, they didn’t want to talk about, they didn’t want to touch it. And they have to realize that you create these rules, eventually you’re going to have to play by them.

I think I’m the greatest example to that. They’re the ones that created the rules that you’re not allowed to say anything negative to a black woman because we’re supposed to be at the top of the progressive stack in terms of victimhood. Well, now they don’t know how to handle me. They don’t know what to do with me because, whoa, do we ignore her? Do we try to shut her down with something that’s really crazy? Well, I’m sorry, you created the rules. Now you play by them.

Mr. Jekielek: The other thing that struck me as something that’s very important to me or something maybe that scares me in society, is this support or preponderance of victim mentality or victimhood culture. And I’ve seen that’s something that you’ve spoken about a lot, and it goes into many different aspects of society in many of the topics we’ve just been discussing. What is your take on the role of this victimhood culture in society now?

Ms. Owens: Early on, Democrats sat down, and they realized that they were going to spin this web, and the nucleus of the web of them trying to capture votes was going to be victimhood, right? So from that nucleus, you can build anything, right? So it’s victimhood—the Me Too Movement. Victimhood—reparations. And then they keep growing in terms of who they think could be a victim. Trans movement now, I see it kind of building and becoming the forefront of the conversation, even though less than 1 percent of people are affected with gender dysphoria, right? So this is what they do. They look for their next victims—the illegals, right? Oh, you’re victims. You’re just trying to get into a better country.

But at the core of what they’re trying to do is just capture people for votes with an emotional argument. So if you can destroy the victim mentality, you collapse the entire Democrat Party. If you get people to realize that that’s what they’re doing, you collapse the entire Democrat Party, because then it forces them to actually come to the table with policies that can make things better for everybody. Forget whether they’re gay, lesbian, trans, black, white, Hispanic, everything could be better if you just actually have good policies. Unfortunately, the left doesn’t have good policies. All they want is power. They’re obsessed with power, but they don’t have good policies.

Mr. Jekielek: Is this a new phenomenon? I’m thinking back to the Democratic Party, circa JFK, let’s say. To me completely different, different reality. I’m not an expert by any means, but when I think about, roughly, some of the different policies, some of the different approaches–night and day difference from the kind of stuff that I hear being talked about. I’m very sensitive to socialist or extreme socialist policies. My family escaped from communist Poland in the ’70s. They came here for a reason, to North America for a reason. Has there been a shift, is the first question, in your view, and is this just a different party now?

Ms. Owens: So, yes, it is a different party, and they have become extremists. But, I’ll tell you, they gave birth to it within their own party. So Nancy Pelosi is not an extremist, she’s a moderate, right? When you think about some of these people–Chuck Schumer is also not an extremist. He’s a moderate. And let me explain what I’m saying because they both say extremist things. In order to combat Trump the moderate Dems pretended to be extremist. Oh, this is so horrible. Oh, we need more of this. Oh, we need more of that.

But they didn’t really think that. They just wanted power back by any means necessary. So what happened? It gave birth to AOC. It gave birth to Rashida Tlaib. It gave birth to Ilhan Omar. These are actually the real radicals. These are the people that really want socialism, and they want these radical concepts in America.

And now what’s happening? The moderate Dems don’t know how to contend with this in their own party, but they actually birthed it. It’s actually brilliant. I love to watch it because they have to say: We actually made this OK because we were saying things we didn’t really believe, but we wanted to just take down Donald Trump.

Well, now what’s happening is, of course, they’re creating what I refer to as liberal refugees—the more moderate Dems that existed, these JFK Dems that you’re talking about who are saying: I don’t recognize this party. What are we talking about, making America Venezuela? What are we talking about open the borders, let everybody flood in. I’ve met these people, these liberal refugees, and they say: I know, I’m not with Trump, but I’m really against this. And I think what it’s going to amount to is in 2020 you’re going to see Trump win by very large margins.

Mr. Jekielek: During 2015, after now-President Trump entered the race, I was fascinated. I’m going to do a little of my own commentary for a second here. I was fascinated because I suddenly saw all these media basically saying exactly the same thing. I saw something that I knew was happening on the China side. Because I was a China watcher before, I knew there was a narrative around China, and I knew that a lot of the truth about China wasn’t being said even though I knew they were real. And I knew there was propaganda being spun.

But 2015, suddenly, I’m seeing all these media [in America] doing a similar thing. Essentially, it doesn’t matter what happens, they are always just going back to the same narrative, and we know what it is. And you described it earlier as we were talking. So I had a bit of a transformation in thinking about media. Is there a conspiracy? I don’t know. And this is around the same time that you’re saying you had your realization: Hey, wait a second, am I conservative? I don’t know. What were you thinking, and how were you able to shape your views so quickly? Because you have prolific thoughts on a whole range of issues. We know because we’ve seen the videos, listened to the podcasts, and heard the interviews. So how did that all happen?

Ms. Owens: Yeah, I mean, I think that first and foremost, the president, Donald Trump, definitely forced this mass awakening upon us. And it’s a bizarre thing to think backwards and say: I remember actively learning about propaganda in school. I remember actively learning about yellow journalism when I was learning it and thinking, wow, this is a facet of the past, right? That we now get to study here in the future.

And then suddenly Trump made you realize, we’re living under this. This isn’t just something that happened in Germany or something that happened at this time in America. This is something that we are actively living through. We are living under propaganda networks. They do not care what the people say. It’s about what they put out and what they need people to believe [to be] true. Even to their own detriment.

CNN ratings are dropping. I mean, MSNBC, their ratings have dropped and they don’t care. They’re going to keep lying every single day to the American people, even if the American people are no longer with them. In terms of, I guess, my growth, well, first and foremost, when you’re in it, you have to learn very quickly. You have to pivot.

So I could say by necessity. I had to do a lot of research, a lot of studying. I got really into Dr. Thomas Sowell. He is an absolute legend. And he just kind of smacked me the truth into me, if you will. And Larry Elder, and Dr. Ben Carson… I had to. It was kind of [like] “You’re in this now, and they’re going to pick apart everything that you say, so you better know exactly what it is that you’re talking about.”

Mr. Jekielek: So basically the self-preservation instinct kicked in. That’s funny.

Ms. Owens: Yeah. Yeah. Really. It was self-preservation. You misspeak once then … she’s done, you know? She got it wrong.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. So you’re really kept to this really, really high standard.

Ms. Owens: Right. All the time. But I love it, too. So I’m so in this now. I’m so fascinated by it. I’m fascinated by Candace of the past. I’m fascinated by Candace that was a sleepy liberal, and didn’t realize that everything in her life actually related to politics, you know? … If I had had this understanding, wow, I don’t know what my life would be today if I had started this understanding when I was six years old.

And I think about it in terms of everyone in my life, people that have made terrible decisions. And a big portion of my family is on welfare, and their lives have never gotten better. Then I have a portion of my family that never went on welfare, and seeing where their lives are. So I love it just in terms of assessing my past and my history and then thinking of just the future potential that black America could have if we woke up and said, oh my gosh, we’re not different from Americans. We are Americans. Stop allowing them to make us feel like we’re somehow different. Like we’re less than.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. So speaking of which, big in the news recently has been the issue of reparations. It’s come up. I mean, again, I’ll just give you my own personal thought. I mean, there’s probably a few groups in history in America that may deserve, theoretically, reparations. Some really horrible things were done to black Americans. We know that. Right? So what’s your take on reparations?

Ms. Owens: I think it’s a joke. I think it’s such an insult to black Americans. And I have questions. What about mixed race babies? Do you know who the forgotten people of America are? The mixed race kids. Are they half privileged or half oppressed?

Mr. Jekielek: So, OK, I understand. So how would you actually implement reparations? How would it work?

Ms. Owens: It can’t be implemented. … And this is what’s really funny about the left because they never make sense, they’re just always running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The party that once said that Republicans were racist for requiring ID to vote because it’s too hard for black Americans to get ID, right—which is fundamentally saying we’re too stupid to figure out how to get ID—[that party] is now saying that we’re suddenly smart enough to gather all of our ancestral papers and history to prove that we were once slaves in this country. I mean it’s jarring to me.

Obviously, this is nothing more than an election technique to get all the black votes. And I think it’s an indication of how scared they are. They realize that something is shaking in the black community and that black people are speaking in ways that we haven’t spoke before in the past. And I see it everyday online, more and more black conservative movements and sections and pockets of America are popping up.

They know that they cannot afford to lose even 5 percent of the black vote or their party is finished. They rely upon the black vote like you wouldn’t believe. And so I think it’s just an exercise in fear. And I also think that it should be laughed at because it just shows you what I say. It’s true. They believe black Americans are stupid and emotional.

Mr. Jekielek: I want to ask you about the theoretical concept of reparations in a moment, but what just struck me as you were talking is I remember when Kanye West said, you know, I like how Candace Owens thinks … I don’t remember, but something to that effect. Then, of course, previously, he came out essentially in support of the president. How much of an impact did that have on the black community? I mean, I saw different responses. And some people were saying, this is a tidal wave-type effect. Other folks were saying it’s not a big deal. How did that impact things? What change did you see?

Ms. Owens: Absolutely a tidal wave. So black Americans are seized culturally, right? That’s sort of a natural thing that happens when you break down the family. When you remove mom and dad from the home, they will still pursue that maternity and that fraternity somewhere else. So it becomes the cultural icons. Jay-Z and Beyonce become mom and dad, and this is why Hillary Clinton wants to throw a Jay-Z and a Beyonce concert. Leading up to the election day, she was throwing concerts while Trump is on the ground speaking to Americans.

So when you’re seized culturally, the only thing that can get you [to] forget culture for a second and actually think about the politics is a cultural icon. So Kanye West created this vacuous space. He punched a hole in between two segments that have previously been separated–politics and culture. And he forced people that love him to then go find who Candace Owens was.

Whether you hated her or you loved her, you felt something, and it forced a conversation. Like I say, the people, instantly, when they find me, they’re usually pretty angry and bitter and then something kind of happens over time where they change their mind.

And then … you get that period where they say: Well, I’m not a Democrat, but what have the Republicans ever done?

Great. You’re thinking, you’re starting to think, and that’s what it’s all about.

I think one day we’ll look back on this moment in history because I do believe that we’re going to see an exodus in black America from the Democrat Party. And we will say that Kanye West was a big piece of that.

Mr. Jekielek: OK. Now, I have to ask you how far has Blexit come since you launched?

Ms. Owens: It’s been amazing. I mean, this is Blexit, what we’re doing right now, what we’re talking about, this response in black America and all these movements popping up is Blexit, right? It’s not about just Candace Owens. Every rally that we’ve done has gotten bigger and bigger. They’ve all been sold out. It’s just me and one other person that’s running the entire show. And it feels cultural. It feels like a cultural movement and a cultural conversation. And to know that things are being heavily debated in the black community is what Blexit is all about.

We were thinking in terms of a monolith before, and that’s been broken now. Black American is not a monolith anymore.

You’re seeing, even on the biggest hip-hop shows, they’re now kind of coming at Elizabeth Warren, and they’re not as trusting in the Democrat territory anymore. And that is basically what my hopes and dreams were. I wanted to inspire an ideological civil war in the black community. I wanted to be remembered—Helen of Troy, Candace of Connecticut.

Mr. Jekielek: Visions of grandeur, perhaps? No, that’s super interesting. So, now [let’s say] I still think that black Americans were horribly treated in this country.

Ms. Owens: They were. By Democrats. Absolutely. We have been treated terribly in this country by Democrats. Still are.

Mr. Jekielek: So is it fair that there’s no reparations, no restitution, nothing?

Ms. Owens: So should the Japanese? That was more recent. The internment camps were more recent. Should the Japanese get reparations? Should the Irish get reparations, by the way? Irish “need not apply” signs when they came here during the Progressive Era. How far do we want to take this down? Are we acknowledging that there are ugly spots in history? Because 60 percent of the world would be entitled to slave reparations if you wanted to play that game. What about the people that existed under the Roman Empire? What about people that existed under the Ottoman Empire? What about the peasants that existed under kings? I mean, how far do people really want to take this argument before they acknowledge that there are ugly spots in human history, right? The only way that you can repair the past is by focusing on the future.

Mr. Jekielek: So it exists, it’s real, it’s horrible, but you’ve got to move on and make something of yourself–

Ms. Owens: You have to move on. Everybody has lived through terrible things in society. Really. If you’re looking for victims, they’re everywhere. There’s something in your life that makes you a victim. There’s plenty of things in my life that make me a victim. We could go around the room, and everyone could share their victim story, right? That is the human history. And by the way, there’s always going to be victims. Democrats like to sell this illusion that somehow society is perfectible. Of course it’s not perfectible because society is run by human beings, and human beings are imperfect. So stop focusing on that. Start focusing on the things that you can focus on, which is how to make things better.

Mr. Jekielek: Powerful place to finish up, Candace. Thank you so much for joining me.

Ms. Owens: Thank you for having me. Candace of Connecticut.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

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Follow Jan on Twitter: @JanJekielek