Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens spoke to The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey about why conservative policies are better for the African-American community. Owens appeared at the White House’s Generation Next forum for millennials Thursday. An edited transcript of her Daily Signal interview is below.
Rob Bluey: How did you become a conservative?
Candace Owens: I think for most people, watching Donald Trump run in 2016, something had to wake up inside of you. This is a man who was celebrated by the media. They could not get enough of Trump. You’re listening to rap and hip-hop music, they glorified him. Everyone wanted to end up at Mar-a-Lago. They said they were acting like Trump.
And then the second he won, he became a racist instantly. In that moment, I understood that racism was being used as a theme and a mechanism to control black Americans, and that the black community needed new leaders to sort of see them through that complete lie.
Bluey: You’ve made the case that Trump and his policies are better for the black community. Why is that?
Owens: Of course, our conservative policies are better for a black community. If you think of everything that we’ve gone through historically, it is because of Democratic policies that we are worse off today than we were 60 years ago.
For sure, no one would be foolish enough to say that America is a more racist country today than it was 60 years ago. So what happened? LBJ happened, the Great Society happened. Government dependency happened, welfare happened. All of this happened and came from the Democratic Party.
Bluey: When you’re talking to young people at Turning Point USA, what is your message to them?
Owens: My message to them is just that the time is now. President Trump represents the first opportunity for black Americans to get off of, what I refer to as, the ideological slave ship, to step outside of this line—this myth and this illusion—and to understand that we’ve had our power essentially stripped from us.
We continue to allow that by being afraid of racism, which is no longer an actual threat in this society for black Americans.
Bluey: You’re somebody who isn’t afraid to engage on Twitter or in the media. What gives you that courage to stand firm on these principles?
Owens: Honestly, I was born aggressive. I think I came out shouting orders at everyone.
I’ve been really strong-minded from the time I was a little girl, and I hate being told what to think. So propaganda just doesn’t really work on me. I’m not afraid. It takes fearlessness.
You can’t be afraid to be referred to as a “coon” or an “Uncle Tom,” which, by the way, Uncle Tom, for people that actually read the book, was the hero of the novel. That term does not work.
It’s going to take people with some courage to step up and say, “You can call me whatever you want, this movement is happening. You can get on board or you can watch it.”
Bluey: We’re approaching in the next couple of weeks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. How did MLK influence your life?
Owens: The most important thing to understand is that what he wanted was a society where people would not be judged by the color of their skin. Everything that the Democrats are advocating for is for us to only be judged by the color of our skin, by our sex, me as a black woman, they want me to constantly remember that.
You are black, you are a woman, and you cannot exist outside of that. So we need to understand that in many ways, we’ve gone backward from the themes that he was teaching when he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
His dream is being realized, but it’s not being realized by the Democratic Party right now.