Candace Owens has been using the term “Blexit” to encourage Black people to leave the Democratic part. However, the term had already been established as a pro-Black movement for more than two years before Owens tried to recklessly co-opt it.
According to the real Blexit group, “Blexit is a Strategic Movement towards Black Independence through economic boycotting, civil disobedience and organized investment into the Black economy. We will no longer participate in or contribute to a community that condones our intentional demise.”
Me’La Connelly, the founder of the real Blexit, spoke out on Thursday for the first time and was threatening legal action against Owens.
“I was heartbroken. I was shocked,” Connelly said on “The Clay Cane Show” on SiriusXM Urban View channel 126 about learning the term was being used by Owens, who has made a career supporting the president. “I was saddened, angry and afraid. I think I was pretty paralyzed in the beginning just trying to process what was happening and what to do about it.”
Connelly explained that her Blexit began after the shooting of Philando Castile in July 2016. A tweet from her group shortly after Trump was elected confirmed that.
“The concept of Blexit was around exiting systems that benefit from our pain and using economic resistance as a tool to approach and deal with oppression and racial inequity,” she said. “The idea was around organized boycotting with an invest, divest approach.”
She continued: “That hashtag has been used by activists and organizers all across the country who have been uplifting the concept of economic resistance in their own ways. We’ve been really proud to lead in that space.”
Connelly said she wasn’t sure if Owens chose the term Blexit knowing it was already a movement in its own right.
“People were talking about it and maybe someone in Candace’s position thought it was an easy way to swoop in and take that trajectory and move it into whatever space they wanted, which is unfortunate,” Connelly said. “I really hope that this wasn’t intentional. She says in her latest blog post that she came up with this idea February 2018. We’ve been working on this for a couple of years already.”
Connelly said while her organization never filed for a trademark, legal action against Owens has begun.
“We were a decentralized movement. We were proud of that. We weren’t edging towards trademarking or anything like that but because of this, and because of the fact that Candace had filed for a trademark for Blexit back in August, we’ve had to start take legal action,” she said. “We’ve served her with a cease-and-desist as of this morning. We are prepared to take legal action if she doesn’t honor that.”
The gravity of the situation led Connelly to this point, she said.
“There’s too much at stake, at this point, to allow a movement so important to just be co-opted for political stunts. This is something that we have to do. We know that our pledged members for our Black led credit union that’s coming in 2019, the members of Blexit that have been supporting our work for the last two years, Blexit activist all over the country — deserve better,” Connelly added. “They don’t deserve to have their movements swept out from underneath them. As a small volunteer lead organization, we didn’t have the money to buy the Blexit.com domain. We didn’t have the money to initially go out and pay a lawyer to do trademarks, which a lot of grassroots organizations don’t have. It’s put us in a very vulnerable position to have to move quickly to protect this and we believe that it’s worth it.”
Listen to a clip of Me’La Connelly with Clay Cane:
Social media called out Owens over the weekend for going public with an appropriated version of Blexit.
We hope the real Blexit can maintain its name and the work it’s done for years. Kanye West coming forward earlier this week and saying he has nothing to do with Owens’ Blexit was a start.