President Donald Trump praised conservative speaker Candace Owens on Wednesday, May 9, and said that she is having a great impact on American politics.
“Candace Owens of Turning Point USA is having a big impact on politics in our Country,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“She represents an ever expanding group of very smart ‘thinkers,’ and it is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going on,” he added. “So good for our Country!”
Owens is the president of conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA. She made her way to the national stage by bucking from the mainstream narrative pegging black women as victims of oppression.
“I am truly honored and humbled by this,” Owens wrote in response to Trump on Twitter. “I was just a girl on YouTube who had an idea that black people could rise above the victim narrative and embrace the opportunities of our future.”
“This tweet is an affirmation I will never forget,” she added. “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Although she was already famous in conservative circles, Owens was vaulted into the national spotlight last month after rapper Kanye West wrote a Twitter message about her.
“I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” West wrote.
Mainstream media heaped scorn on both West and Owens after the tweet and labeled them “far-right.” Owens fired back a clarification.
“Far right? Allow me to clarify: I believe the black community can do it without hand-outs. I believe the Democrats have strapped us to our past to prevent us from our futures. And I won’t stop fighting until all black Americans see that,” she wrote on April 21. “I’m not far right—I’m free.”
Owens is known for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement. She summarized her view of the group recently when a group of Black Lives Matter hecklers interrupted her event at the University of California in Los Angeles.
“There’s an ideological civil war happening: black people that are focused on their past and shouting about slavery, and black people that are focused on their futures,” Owens said to applause from the audience. “I can guarantee you, what you’re seeing is victim mentality versus victor mentality.”
“Victim mentality is not cool. I don’t know why people like being oppressed,” she said, gesturing to the hecklers. “You’re not living through anything right now. You’re overly privileged Americans.”
West mirrored some of Owens’s thought in several tweets.
“Self victimization is a disease,” he wrote in a tweet on April 22.
“There was a time when slavery was the trend and apparently that time is still upon us,” he wrote in another message. “But now it’s a mentality.”
Left-wing commentators attacked both Owens and West for their tweets. When asked about the attacks on Fox News on April 22, Owens said that the backlash is a common left-wing tactic.
“I think it’s pretty typical of the left. The truth is that the left wants to strap black people with this idea that they are victims,” Owens said. “They do not want black people to focus on their future. They want black people to focus on their past.”