Candace Owens has a controversial rationale for why she thinks that racism in America is a thing of the past — because she personally has never been a slave.
The communication director for the student conservative group Turning Point USA — who has attracted controversy for a number of public statements and for her courtship of Kanye West to join the conservative pro-Trump movement — made the remarks at the CPAC conference this week. As The Daily Beast noted, the black woman told the nearly all-white attendance at the conservative conference that it is wrong to say that black people are oppressed.
“Stop selling us our own oppression,” she said (via The Daily Beast). “Stop taking away our self-confidence by telling us that we can’t because of racism, because of slavery. I’ve never been a slave in this country.”
As the report noted, the comments seemed to echo that of onetime friend Kanye West, who was once aligned with Turning Point USA for his support of Donald Trump. Last year, West made the controversial claim that black Americans chose to remain in slavery.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years… for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” the American rapper said during a visit to TMZ‘s office.
West would later walk back the statements amid widespread criticism, saying he only “brought up the 400 years point because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years.” West added that he knew “slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.”
West later broke with Owens and Turning Point USA after the organization co-opted him into its “Blexit” movement, which calls on black voters to leave the Democratic Party. The campaign was largely seen as a failure was and criticized for the largely white organization dictating to black voters who they should or should not support.
Candace Owens at CPAC: Racism Is Over Because 'I've Never Been a Slave'.— Indivisible Network (@IndivisibleNet) March 2, 2019
Well... we never owned slaves, but that doesnt mean racism doesn't exist. ????https://t.co/HMYliEooas
Candace Owens herself is no stranger to controversial statements. Last month, per reporting by The Inquisitr, she faced calls to step down after making statements that appeared to praise Adolf Hitler for the work he did in Germany, saying that he only ran into trouble when he had aspirations to “globalize” Germany. Critics pointed out that Hitler had been leading a genocide of Jews and other political and social groups in Germany long before the country’s military campaign to take over Europe.
“He was a national socialist,” Owens said. “But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize.”
After the remarks, many called on Candace Owens to resign from her position at Turning Point USA, but she vowed to remain in the position.