Who is Candace Owens ?

She's downplayed the effects of white supremacy, made fans out of Donald Trump and Kanye, and started a movement to get Black Americans out of the Democratic party. But before all that, she actually ran an anti-conservative blog. Who is Candace Owens ?

"I became a conservative overnight"

Let's take a look at how Candace Owens became the “darling of the right”... She was born in 1989 in Stamford, Connecticut, where she was raised by her grandparents along with her three siblings. At 17 years old, she made local headlines after receiving multiple racist death threats via voicemail from several of her classmates. “They started off by telling me that they were going to kill me ‘just because’ I was Black. They warned me that if they found me at home, they were going to unload a bullet into the back of my head”, said Owens in 2016. She reported the threats to a teacher, who alerted the school and the authorities. 

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She switched to homeschooling during her senior year of high school. Feeling a loss of control of her life, she has said she developed anorexia around this time. With the help of the NAACP, she and her grandfather eventually sued the Stamford Board of Education for failing to properly address the threats. She went on to study journalism at the University of Rhode Island, but dropped out due to a student loan issue her junior year. 

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What was Social Autopsy, the website launched by Owens ?

After college, she interned at Vogue and worked at a private equity firm in New York City. In 2015, she founded a marketing agency called Degree180. The agency had a blog where Owens and several other writers occasionally published anti-conservative content. One article even mocked Donald Trump's penis size. The site is no longer active. Here's one article written by Owens, citing “a full-scale investigation intro the bat-s- crazy antics of the Republican Tea Party”. In 2016, she launched a Kickstarter campaign for SocialAutopsy.com, a website where people could send in screenshots of offensive posts with the goal of exposing internet bullies.

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“We understand the harm that social media like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter has allowed for, which is essentially a dehumanization. How can we bring it back to the "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all”? Our answer was simple: Through accountability. So what we do is we attach their words to their places of employment and anybody in the entire world can search for them”, said Owens in 2016. Critics of the site, however, said it would encourage doxing and retaliatory harassment, and warned that it would be easy for users to make and submit fake screenshots. 

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After the Kickstarter went live, she was contacted by Zoe Quinn, the video game developer who was at the center of Gamergate. If you need a refresher, Gamergate was against progressivism and feminism in video game culture. Zoe Quinn was Gamergate's first victim. In 2014, she faced an online harassment campaign after her ex-boyfriend publicly accused her, without evidence, of exchanging sex for a good review of her game. On “The Rubin Report," Owens said that Quinn reached out to her and asked her to stop working on SocialAutopsy.com, warning Owens that she could be harassed by “Gamergaters," just as she previously had. She says, “You have to pull your project on "The Rubin Report" because people actually want to find out who harassed them.”

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Candace Owens and Donald Trump

Owens declined Quinn's request and, as Quinn had warned, people soon started posting Owens' private details online in protest of Social Autopsy. With little evidence, she blamed Quinn and the progressive side of Gamergate for the doxing she experienced. “I became a conservative overnight. I realized that liberals were actually the racists, that liberals were actually the trolls”, said Owens on “The Rubin Report". 

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In September 2017, she created a YouTube channel called "Red Pill Black.” Her first video was a skit re-enacting her “coming-out” as a conservative. She started regularly posting videos criticizing Democrats, feminists, and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. Her first viral YouTube video featured her commentary on the white supremacy rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, in summer 2017. “Approximately 93% of Black homicide victims are killed by other Black people”. The video caught the attention of many conservatives online, including InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

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In November 2017, Turning Point USA, a conservative student non-profit that was at the time facing allegations of racial bias, hired Owens as its director of urban engagement. She was later promoted to Communications Director. In April 2018, a video of her berating Black protesters at a Turning Point USA event, went viral, catching the eye of then president Donald Trump. 

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What is Blexit Foundation ?

Kanye also gave her a shoutout. In late 2018, she founded Blexit, a movement to get Black Americans out of the Democratic Party. In early 2019, she spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a.k.a. CPAC, for the first time. In April 2019, she attended a congressional hearing on white nationalism and clashed with Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu. Owens'comments about Hitler prompted several Turning Point USA chapters to call on her to resign, which she did in May 2019, citing her need to focus on Blexit and writing her first book. In August 2019, Owens married George Farmer, who is now the CEO of conservative social media site Parler. She attended another congressional hearing in September 2019, during which she downplayed the effect of white supremacy in the U.S. 

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In October 2019, she was invited to speak at the Young Black Leadership Summit, which was held at the White House. “We want Trump. We want the victor narrative”. In June 2020, she faced intense backlash for a comment she made about George Floyd on Blaze TV. "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me. He was not a good person”. In September 2020, she released her first book titled “Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation.” In March 2021, she started hosting "Candace," a political talk show on DailyWire + where she shares her takes on news and pop culture, often garnering backlash… 

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