The case for Blexit

Candace Owens uses social media to preach against victimhood.

Internet phenomenon Candace Owens recently logged on to her Facebook account and discovered that some bureaucrat had suspended her page because it violated the company’s “community standards.”

She was surprised, she said, by the suspension, as smears from meanspirited internet trolls are posted on the social media platform and somehow stay safely within Facebook’s guidelines. As a young black female who also happens to be a conservative, Owens has been called a “sunken-faced demon,” “a satanic force,” and “America’s first black white supremacist.” She related her experience to a sold-out audience of 920 at American Experiment’s annual dinner in May.

What set off Facebook, she discovered, was her post declaring that “white supremacy is not an issue facing black America.” It has been replaced, she wrote, by a “liberal supremacy” that has long duped black Americans into an attitude of victimhood over self-reliance. The message was consistent with her ongoing “Blexit” theme, an effort she founded in 2017 to try to persuade African Americans to reconsider their reliance on the Democratic Party.

“Today 22 percent of blacks live in poverty,” she said. “Among married blacks, the poverty rate is just 7 percent. Your success in life is not determined by the color of your skin but by the decisions that you make.”

Owens’s fearless capacity to take on the liberal strongholds—the education establishment, feminism, and black families—has enabled her to use social media to become one of the most influential thought leaders in conservative punditry. She counts more than a million political followers on Facebook and Twitter each. Only Donald Trump has more, she said.

After tweeting President Trump about her Facebook predicament, Owens’s message amassed 40,000 retweets within seconds, she said. “Every major conservative player was commenting on it.” She then logged back into her Facebook account to find a groveling note of apology: “We’re so sorry,” it said. “We didn’t mean to suspend you. Please accept our sincerest apology.”

“Thankfully I can make noise when something like this happens,” she said. “But what about the millions of conservatives around the world who are being silenced? Social media companies are silencing people who are effective at getting certain messages out. Those messages always seem to be conservative.

“They say it is about hate speech,” she said. “But I’ll tell you what it really is: It is just speech that they disagree with.”

Until recently, Owens was an executive at Turning Point USA, an organization that reaches out to students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government. She also hosts a program on PragerU’s YouTube channel.

She credits her grandfather with being a role model of self-sufficiency and the “truest example of the American Dream. If you work hard and refuse to accept the idea that you are a victim, if you stay out of trouble, if you put God and family first, I can guarantee that you will make something of yourself in this country.

“My goal in launching the Blexit movement was to deliver that very simple message to a community that desperately needs it, to help them realize that our futures are being stolen from us before we even try,” she added. “The left is constantly telling us that ‘we can’t.’ My grandfather used to tell me that if you believe that you can’t, you certainly won’t.”