I’m really going to build myself a reputation of starting political drama on family groups, and you know what, I’m okay with it. In fact, I think I revel in it. This time, I’m here to talk about something very specific, related to a video that was circulated on a family group. The video was a Facebook Live by American Commentator, and Pro-Trump Conservative, Candace Owens, who came out to say that she did not support George Floyd.
NOTE: I am a not a member of the black community. I am an Indian, which makes me south asian, and these are just my thoughts on Candace Owens’ video. I am by no means trying to say that I understand what members of the black community go through.
I will be linking the video here so you can also watch it, but if you don’t have the time, my post below will be breaking down every single argument she makes.
So, I’m going to take this point-wise. First, a very common thing that I’ve heard people say, which Candace Owens reiterates in her live, is that all these protests and the martyring of George Floyd is Democrat propaganda. This, I think is a very interesting statement, and the people who support this video should know that Candace Owens is a Conservative herself, making everything she says in this live, propaganda. She mentions that she has been reading up extensively on what some Black authors have to say about police brutality and the black community in general, and the authors she mentions are Walter Williams, who is a right-wing-libertarian who believes capitalism is “morally superior” to other systems, and the second author she mentions is Shelby Steele, a conservative author. I couldn’t catch the third name she said, so if you do, please let me know. Either way, I think this makes it obvious that the ideas that sparked her live are biased in themselves, owing to her ignoring the bigger picture that exists beyond this conservative/democrat debate.
She goes on to say that Shelby Steele had this idea that the African American community is the only community that shouts and yells and seeks justice for the members of their community that are “up to no good”. Now, I’m not sure where Steele came in with that idea, but are you sure that’s true? We’ll come to the truth-falsity of that claim later, but for now let’s move on to how Owens goes on to say that George Floyd, as a person, was terrible. He’s been in prison more than a couple of times for theft, cocaine offences, and was even involved in a crime where 5-6 people barged into an African American pregnant woman’s home to loot it, and that he himself held a gun to her pregnant belly. She also says that George Floyd was also under the influence of drugs when he was arrested, but this was-if you read the news-a red herring to take the blame away from the police officer who killed him. George Floyd died of cardiac arrest.
I think by taking people’s attention away from the Black Lives Matter movement, and trying to focus it on George Floyd’s criminal past, she’s creating yet another red herring to drive people away from what they’re actually trying to fight for, and that is equal treatment of all races before the legal system. I am no one to refute George Floyd’s criminal past, and I am wholeheartedly in support of the woman who was left traumatised, but by bringing this past up now, when people are trying to speak out for justice for the entire black community, is very evidently a diversion.
One thing Owens constantly talks about in her video, is that people are creating this image of how George Floyd was an upstanding, perfect citizen, and because he was not, she can’t and won’t be in support of these protests. While she does say that no one deserved to die the way he did, the very fact that she is not in support of these protests shows that she’s missing the point. The black community have been mistreated by the legal system for years, and people are not fighting to say George Floyd was an amazing human being. They’re fighting and protesting because he was a human being, who, because of his race, was treated in a way that led to his untimely death. George Floyd is by no means the only name in this protest (Tamir Rice, Aiyana Jones, Michael Brown, Wendall Allen, and so many more), and while he might not have been the most morally correct person, the least he deserved was humane treatment by the police.
Candace Owens also has the audacity to state that, and I quote, “…racially-motivated police brutality is a myth…“
This is, by far, the most ignorant statement that she could have made, and I’ll get into why she says it. She puts some facts out for us to ponder on, such as, a person has a 25% higher chance of dying at the hands of a police officer as a violent white criminal than as a black criminal, and that, quote “…a total of 9 unarmed, black men were killed by police officers, and a total of 19 white men were killed by police officers…” unquote.
Now, in her live, she stressed very actively on the numbers, but take a look at those sentences again and see the subtle difference her words did not inflect on. Violent white criminal vs black criminal. Unarmed black men vs white men. Do you see what she failed to take into account, on purpose? White men who are killed by the police officers have a way higher chance of being armed and violent, whereas black men are unarmed, and non-violent because they know if they do become violent and do not go along with what the police say, the chances of them being killed are much higher. It is drilled into the black community to be respectful, careful, wary, and cooperative with police officers because it is evident what will happen if they’re not. And yet, they get killed. That is racially-motivated police brutality.
Again, let’s focus on the numbers, and I’m not sure where she’s getting the numbers from but she said them pretty confidently, when a quick search will show you numbers that are vastly different. I checked about 4 different sites, and the number of police killings of white people is between 370-406, and the number of police killings of black people is between 325-359. Almost all sites had different numbers but they were between this range. Now, obviously the first thing we see is that white people deaths were more than black people deaths, and this is the result you will be stuck with if you choose to selectively look at data, something that Candace Owens is doing.
These numbers also take into account the amount of the American population that is taken up by the black and the white communities. White people constitute more than 60% of the population, while the Black people only constitute around 13%. Taking into account those percentages, the number of deaths are severely disproportionate. When you look at the rate of fatal police shootings per million, the black community suffers the highest number of deaths, standing around 42 per million, and white people stand at around 12. Also think about how many of these deaths suffered by the African American community go unreported, or how many times their murderers go scot-free, because more than 98% of the time, the police officers did not face charges.
Alright, moving on, Candace Owens says that it does not matter how much of the population a community takes up, rather the number of crimes members of community commit out of the total number of crimes committed, and to that, I say, okay, fair, makes sense. But she goes on to say that African American people commit way more crimes than White people, and that comparing the number of crimes by community to the actual number of people in the community will give you scarily disproportionate results.
To all the people who think Candace Owens’ argument here is valid, I say, go look at the distribution yourself. White people have a higher number of crimes in the following areas: Rape, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny, Theft, Vandalism, Motor Vehicle Theft, Forgery, and over-all violent crimes (I got all this information from official government websites, so it’s pretty easy to find and not “democrat propaganda”). And the area where the African American/Black community ranks disproportionately higher than all other ethnic groups/races: Robbery. It’s almost as if the conservative, capitalistic, white supremacist situation in the country has pushed the Black community to an economic low where they find themselves forced to commit crimes like robbery in order to survive, isn’t it?
And despite the humongous disparity in those numbers, black people, unarmed black people at that, have a 1.3 times higher chance of being killed at the hands of police officers. And that’s pure, unadulterated, non-selective facts for you.
The fact that she talks so much about how George Floyd wasn’t an upstanding citizen and therefore doesn’t deserve the martyrdom he’s apparently receiving seems very silly (to use a mild word in order to maintain some sort of respectful calmness in this post) when we take into account that she supports a white man who openly admitted to raping a woman, who is misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and chooses to not use his massive privilege for a good cause; as if he deserves to be the president of a country.
The very fact that she constantly refers to these protests as election fodder and propaganda shows clearly her own agenda here. We’re talking about a person dying here. A person’s death that was racially-motivated. Derek Chauvin had his hands in his pockets while his knee was on a man’s neck; a man who was saying “I can’t breathe.” That is not propaganda, that is murder, and racism.
Owens also talks about violent protests, and yes, violent protests should not happen, but again, she’s drawing your attention away from the massive number of peaceful protests that have taken place. A lot of them, taking social distancing into account. Please do not fall prey to selective, manipulative arguments.
These protests are for equality, justice, and the uplifting of the black community that has suffered for decades at the hands of an unjust system bent on exploiting them for the gain of the privileged, and if you can’t understand that, you’re blind and need to educate yourself.
Also, of course, this video is conservative propaganda for obvious reasons. It’s, in her own words, election fodder. Trump himself shared her video which I think says enough. Candace Owens is also known for severely downplaying the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, and talking against the Black Lives Matter movement in general. And, is it just me, or does it feel very tokenistic that Candace Owens, a black woman, is talking about this? They (the conservatives) know that the one way they can show that they’re not racist is by having an African American woman speak on their behalf, but oh dear, she’s racist, too. Please know how to discern manipulation from truth. Educate yourselves.
To all the non-black-POCs living in America, know that you are able to live the life you’re living in the United States of America, because of the Black Civil Rights Movement.
Again, do not politicise a death to the point of viewing it, and the consequences it brought about as propaganda. Learn about the community and not from biased sources that will try and bend the truth in order to further deepen the division on the basis of race and gain votes of the supremacists. Do not be blind to the truth, and when you see the truth, do not hesitate to change your ideas. Please, for the sake of people everywhere, all over the globe, educate yourselves.
If you want to donate: blacklivesmatter.com
If you can’t donate, support the cause with your voice. You can even check out YouTubers that have made specific videos where all the earnings will go to the BLM movement, and watch those videos to do your bit. And most importantly, I keep saying this, but it is the most important: EDUCATE YOURSELVES.
This blog has seen me very positive usually, but it’s time I actually also start talking about things that matter, and you will be seeing more posts like this one. There are a lot of things that need to be talked about.