It's A Cornel West/Candace Owens Hullaballoo!
Candace Owens, the most embarrassing black woman alive, claimed "socialism" was responsible for ending the 100-year-long post-slavery afterparty when black people were whooping it up in America. She spouted this nonsense on Laura Ingraham's white power hour last night because who else would have her? Somehow, respected academic and activist Cornel West got roped into this clash of the intellectual titans.
West was talking up presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which is certainly his right. Owens conceded that Sanders is more "enthusiastic" than primary rival Joe Biden, but she declared his policies a greater threat to black people than hypertension.
OWENS: [Sanders's] talking about socialism, and we know that that is something that has ... absolutely destroyed and decimated the black community. Socialist policies like in terms of the welfare."
"Like in terms of the welfare"? She is less coherent than a punch-drunk boxer during a post-match interview.
Owens is so dumb her mental capacity is fully taxed by remembering to breathe. However, West, who voted for Jill Stein and must have a high tolerance for bullshit, patiently tried to explain things to her.
WEST: I would argue that welfare ... was not socialist, it was an attempt to intervene given the failure of capitalism to provide jobs or a living wage for people. It was not socialistic at all. That's not socialism.
Social welfare programs are not the same as socialism just because "social" is in the title. The Social Network is also not a movie about socialism. Owens -- who does not have a degree in history or ... well anything, actually -- decided to school the Ivy League-educated (and -educating) West about one of the many things she clearly doesn't understand.
OWENS: One hundred years after slavery, the black community was doing better. We were going up, up, up. Then, suddenly, they socialized our community via welfare policies and the black community started going down, down, down.
It's true that after the Civil War, black people were no longer slaves. That's always an improvement, but it's a remarkably low bar. It also didn't take long before we were fully disenfranchised second-class citizens, terrorized by the Klan and brutalized by Jim Crow. Someone needs to take this lady's dumb ass to the lynching museum -- preferably on a day when there are no other black people present.
Slavery ended in 1865, so what Owens defines as a golden age for black people concluded a year after passage of the Civil Rights Act. Not even history books in Texas are this revisionist. When Owens talks about how "they" targeted "our" community, she sounds like a member of the Nation of Islam, but that's OK because the black hats in her historical fiction are white liberals. "They" either want to wreck the black community for the lulz or create a culture of dependency so that minorities will always vote for them.
Fortunately, at this point, the screen cut to just Owens and West, so we were spared the sight of Ingraham's toe-curling orgasm while she watched Owens repeat conservatism's favorite racial talking points.
OWENS: You're sitting here supporting a candidate who is advocating for making that on a larger scale. He's saying we're not just going to do it to the black community, we're going to do it to every community in America. You know [Sanders's] policies do not work. You know that socialism has led to more deaths than anything else in the last 100 years.
You'd think that even Owens realizes the Holocaust took place during the past 100 years, but she's also shared "alternative facts" about Hitler's Germany. She's simultaneously shameless and stupid.
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Owens insists all that "scratching and surviving" on "Good Times" was because of socialism -- not predatory lending and red-lining. The black community also suffered greatly during the 1980s. Was Ronald Reagan a socialist? Who knows what's in those encyclopedias Owens bought online.
When Owens suggested West embrace Donald Trump as a champion of black people, West suggested she cut the crap.
WEST: The very fact that you have been able to aspire and achieve the level that you have based on the struggle of those who came before, from W. E. B du Bois, from Ida B. Wells, to Frederick Douglass. They were not concerned with isms, they were concerned with justice and fairness. Now, du Bois was a socialist, but ... he wasn't pro welfare, so you got to get your history right, my dear sister.
That's when Owens said the dumbest thing she's ever said. Seriously.
OWENS: We're talking about Bernie Sanders. We don't have to talk about history. We're talking about [the] present.
Lady, you're the one talking about history! You can't just appeal to made-up historical facts and when called out on them suddenly claim you only "live in the moment." Well, we guess you can if you're a fraud and a hack.
[ Newsweek ]
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.