Kanye West draws criticism for praising conservative activist Candace Owens

(L-R): Kanye West and Candace Owens. Getty Images

WARNING: This story contains explicit language.

Kanye West faced criticism Saturday after he praised conservative activist Candace Owens, known for her opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, among other controversial views.

The rapper took to Twitter to write, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.”

Owens is an activist currently serving as the communications director for Turning Point USA, specializing in “urban engagement.” The organization is a nonprofit aimed at delivering far-right ideology on university campuses around the country — and is reportedly aligned with the Trump administration.

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West sent out multiple tweets after tweeting about Owens. In a series of tweets, he wrote, “People demonize people and then they demonize anybody who sees anything positive in someone whose [sic] been demonized,” he continued. “People respect people for following the general trend and consensus… there was a time when slavery was the trend and apparently that time is still upon us. But now it’s a mentality. … self victimization is a disease.”
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Many people on Twitter spoke against West’s views on Owens.

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Owens responded to West’s tweet, writing, “I’m freaking out. @KanyeWest… please take a meeting with me. I tell every single person that everything I have been inspired to do, was written in your music. I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community.”

Owens also tweeted about the Twitter moment titled, “Kanye says he likes the way far-right media personality Candace Owens thinks.”

“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. I’m not far right —I’m free,” Owens wrote.

When Black Lives Matter activists protested a speech Owens gave Friday at the University of California in Los Angeles, she accused them of embracing victimhood by focusing on slavery and the systemic racism of the past.

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She later tweeted about the protesters: “They’re a bunch of whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention.”

Owens said Sunday on Fox & Friends that after West’s tweet, she received a lot of backlash.

“In about 10 seconds I became the KKK member, anti-LGBT, you name it,” she said. “Just because I think differently and I refuse to accept this narrative that I’m a victim. I’m not a victim.”

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This isn’t West’s first time voicing his opinions on politics.

Two years ago, he told the audience at his Saint Pablo tour that he would have voted for Donald Trump.

“I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? But if I were to vote, I would have voted on Trump,” he told the crowd, who then immediately began booing him.

He continued to talk about why he supported Trump before transitioning into his song, Heartless.

“Whether you voted for Hillary or Trump, this is a safe space for both of you,” he told the audience, asking any Trump voters to make themselves known.

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The rapper explained what had appealed to him about Trump’s campaign.

“There’s methods, non-political methods to speaking, that I like, that I feel were very futuristic. That style and method of communication has proven that it can be a politically correct way of communication. And I f**k with that,” he said.

The audience objected to his statements so loudly he actually had to stop the performance moments in.

“I just said that I would have voted for Donald Trump and then I did a song and y’all sang it at the top of your lungs,” he noted. “That doesn’t mean that you’re a Trump supporter. That just means [you’re] OK with a celebrity having their own opinion. Or that someone else is OK to have their own opinion. That might not be your opinion but you can still like that person or still like that person’s music.”

West also generated audible opposition when he started talking about racism.

“Specifically to black people, stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, OK? Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much. It’s just a f**king fact. We are in a racist country. Period… Not one or the other candidate was going to instantly change that.”


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