Candace Owens’ millions of followers pushed a social media hashtag to become the top trending topic on Twitter after their fearless leader was suspended from the social media app for violating one of its policies surrounding content posted about the coronavirus pandemic. They were appalled that the same person who openly sympathized with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was banned from her favorite method of communication over a tweet that encouraged people in Michigan to disobey social distancing guidelines by protesting the stay at home order while the state is officially locked down.
While that’s the latest reason why the young Black conservative commentator finds herself back in the news for all the wrong reasons, her proven track record of inspiring, inciting and influencing way worse than any COVID-19 civil disobedience cannot be ignored.
The tweet that got Owens suspended came late Friday afternoon and took a shot at Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over the restrictions she put in place that have largely kept the state’s non-essential businesses shut down as others begin to reopen.
Owens’ tweet insisted that the “people of Michigan need to stand up to her,” inciteful phrasing that Twitter apparently found problematic. She went on to suggest that protesters wouldn’t get arrested, seemingly encouraging them to continue to defy social distancing orders while brandishing guns, like throngs of them did when they stormed the statehouse on Thursday.
A Twitter spokesperson told the Hill that Owens’s tweet violated its policy ““specifically around heightened-risk health claims” including “denial of … government body recommendations to decrease an individual’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 with the intent to influence users into acting contrary to recommended guidance.”
Luckily, Owens’ words didn’t get anyone killed this time around.
That was apparently far from the case when a terrorist shot and killed dozens of Muslims worshipping in a mosque in New Zealand last year. The shooter left behind a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto that said in part, “The person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens. Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness.”
While she has never called for violence against immigrants, her anti-immigration views have been well-documented — by herself on Twitter and by the New Zealand gunman, who did admit that even he had “to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes.” (To be clear, that was a mass murderer calling Candace Owens “extreme.”)
Owens has also downplayed the existence of anti-Black racism, something that very well may have helped encourage the white supremacist movements and factions that incorporate violence into their hate-filled agendas. Of course, that was some of the irony in the #FreeCandace hashtag that went viral on Saturday, since she once had the audacity to say that racism is over because “I’ve never been a slave.”
On the flip side, Owens recently threatened to run for public office, a prospect that could make her potential constituents who are not white rise up in armed rebellion if she ever won an election. Go figure.
This is America.