The black conservative media personality Candace Owens has a long list of detractors who have criticized her statements about black voters' support of Democrats, the Black Lives Matters movement, and police brutality. But one person is not on that list: Kanye West likes who Candace Owens is — or at least how she thinks.
The rap superstar tweeted Saturday, "I love the way Candace Owens thinks." And the internet reacted loudly. The post was liked 70,000 times but responded to 5,000 times with some of West's fans posting things like, "He’s too far gone. I wish him well," accompanied by the shrug emoji. Others posted they missed the old West who criticized President George W. Bush for his response to Katrina, when he said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Owens works as the communications director for Turning Point USA, a "youth organization that promotes the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government." She got her start by making a switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party and calling herself a "reformed liberal."
Last year, Slate explored her party switch, one that she has explained in many interviews since. They quoted a Fox News interview in which she criticized the Democratic Party. "I mean it’s absolute disaster, and they make these false promises," Owens said last year. "They secure our vote with all these false promises, and the second they get in to the White House, they do absolutely nothing for African-Americans but make sure we remember that we are black so they can play the same identity card the next election cycle."
The clip that Kanye reportedly was excited about was one that she posted to Twitter criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement. "Here is a video clip of me smacking them down with the truth; they’re a bunch of whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention," Owens posted to Twitter.
In the video, Owens claims that there is an "ideological war" happening in the black community. She says there are black people "focused on their past and shouting about slavery" and then are others, like her, "that are focused on their futures." At no point in her discourse does she explore structural racism or the possibility that some might look to the past to understand the present and move forward.
As for Kanye's endorsement, Owens was thrilled. She took to Twitter to express her excitement. "I’m freaking out," Owens tweeted. "@kanyewest ....please take a meeting with me. I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music."
"I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay," Owens continued. "I need you to help wake up the black community."
Kanye tweeted again several times on Sunday, seemingly echoing arguments that Owens has made. "Constantly bringing up the past keeps you stuck there," he wrote. "There was a time when slavery was the trend and apparently that time is still upon us. But now it's a mentality."
Owens spoke on Fox & Friends Sunday about why she said what she did in the clip criticizing Black Lives Matter. "I took them on because I believe that their ideas are poisonous," Owens said. "I also believe that they are intellectually dishonest or intellectually lazy depending on what you want to take a pick at, because the truth is the numbers are in, OK? Police brutality is not an issue that is facing the black community whatsoever."
West did not explicitly address police brutality in his tweets. Instead he wrote, "Self victimization is a disease." Maybe Owens loves the way West thinks, too.