Candace Owens; Red Pill Black
Why would a working class black women from Connecticut become a conservative thought leader?
Candace Owens is an attractive, engaging, articulate young woman. Already a popular YouTube personality, Ms Owen is rapidly becoming well known in the larger culture as well. Candace is a vocal supporter of President Trump and promotes a modern conservative ideology. Candace is Black. The assumption that a well informed African American would embrace progressive ideals is dogma. Candace has rejected the dogma.
Candace grew up in Stamford, Connecticut and received a degree in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island. After college, Candace’s primary ambition was to pay down her student debt. She went to work in finance with a New York City based private equity firm. “I came from a family that doesn’t have any money whatsoever” is how she described herself on “The Rubin Report” on YouTube. “I am just a girl that makes videos”.
After her work in private equity, Candace began an “anti bullying campaign” assisted by internet technology. Ms Owens placed a three minute video presentation on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding application. Kickstarter’s mission is to raise funds for innovative start-ups and “help bring creative projects to life” (Wikipedia). In her video pitch, Candace said they would be “lifting the mask up off of trolls”. It was just a figure of speech. Apparently real trolls thought she was introducing technology that would identify anonymous internet commenters.
Ever hear of #gamergate?
Prior to watching Ms. Owens on The Rubin Report, I had a vague awareness of the #gamergate scandal from another salacious media meme about Steve Bannon, a former White House aide. Candace Owens had never heard of #gamergate until she posted her Kickstarter project alluding to unmasking trolls. She very quickly heard from Zoe Quinn, the central figure in the #gamergate story.
Zoe Quinn is a video game developer. She became well known in the tech world when she was mercilessly harassed by online trolls in the video game orbit. It was a nasty campaign having to do with Ms. Quinn’s personal relationship with another game developer and the insults they were exchanging after breaking up. Quinn became a rather famous victim of online abuse. However, there were many in the video game world — young people connected on several online communications apps — who believed Ms. Quinn’s harassment was a charade.
Gamergate supporters said there was unethical collusion between the press and feminists, progressives, and social critics. These concerns have been dismissed by commentators as trivial, conspiracy theories, groundless, or unrelated to actual issues of ethics. As a result, Gamergate has often been defined by the harassment its supporters engaged in. Gamergate supporters have frequently responded to this by denying that the harassment took place or by falsely claiming that it was manufactured by the victims. (Wikepida)
Quinn, who according to Owens was now working for Twitter, called Candace Owens. Quinn wanted Owens to pull her Kickstarter project.
Why would a woman victimized by internet trolls object to technology that would identify them?
Candace too was confused by this request but politely told Ms. Quinn that she would not cancel her anti-bullying project or remove it from Kickstarter. Ms. Quinn began to cry and said: “you will ruin everything”. Ms. Quinn also warned Ms. Owens that she was at risk for being trolled and harassed herself. “[T]hey will dox you”. ( Doxing is where internet harassers research and expose personal and family information).
Candace is no fool. Nor is she easily intimidated. She took Ms. Quinn’s teary warning as it was meant: a threat. Candace did not have to wait long for confirmation.
“Nigger! Nigger! Nigger! Die! Die! Die! Pull your project” is an example of the more than four thousand online threats that Ms. Owen’s received over the next two hours. What stood out for Candace was that all of the commenters were supposedly male, all of them. And they had idiotically contrived names such as “Trump or Die” “Trump 2020” and “White Man Behind Computer” The time frame here is just prior to the 2016 presidential election.
Candace posted the following on Twitter: “100% after speaking with Zoe Quinn, this girl was not being harassed she is doing the harassing”. The next morning Candace got calls from “The Guardian” “The Washington Post” and “New Yorker Magazine”. Can you imagine her excitement, a journalism major trying to get a startup off the ground? According to Candace, it all went “completely sideways”.
The New Yorker ran a story that was essentially “gaslighting”, describing Candace as naive and uniformed. The Washington Post, however, had a smear piece prepared; they were going after Ms. Owens’s funding trying to kill her project. After collecting evidence of the Washington Post’s duplicity and threatening to sue them, The Post dropped the story prior to publication. Candace describes the reporters as “journalist hit men” who go after a story that threatens them, “and then they kill it”.
Why would The New Yorker and The Washington Post feel threatened by a conversation between an unknown YouTuber looking for crowd funding and another young women with a sad story about nasty online comments?
If these journalists had done their job and simply asked Candace what she was developing, they would have learned Candace was not a threat. Her comment about unmasking trolls was metaphorical, not technical. These giant media outlets perceived a threat because they believed Candace had created a technology that can actually unmask trolls. As Candace put it:
think of what that would have done in the heat of the election…what if I could find out that the guy on Twitter saying ‘die, die, die, nigger, nigger, nigger’ was actually someone who works in Hillary’s campaign to create this environment. They were actually terrified that I created something that was going to ruin everything.(Owens)
This experience was Ms. Candace Owens’s Red Pill moment.
“Red Pill” is a meme that originated in the popular 1999 science fiction film: “The Matrix”. At the heart of this futuristic yarn is the notion that our consciousness is a result of a gigantic computer matrix. The matrix is controlled by evil robots seeking to maintain order amongst humans by electronically feeding them a false awareness of the world. There are a few humans who are aware of the real reality, as opposed to the matrix reality. To become aware of real reality, one must take a red pill.
Today in real life, taking the red pill has become a metaphor for folks who are not fooled by political, social and media suggestions. They are aware, they do not buy into dogma.
Based on her appearance and her story, I am guessing Candace Owens is under thirty years old. I am more than twice that. A difference between the young and the old is quickness of mind. Candace had a Red Pill moment. Mine took longer; it was more like Red Pill therapy.
I grew up in the sixties, a politically and socially turbulent time. I came of age recognizing that the political left and right were not monolithic entities. Life is not monolithic; it’s complicated. Two people arguing opposite sides of a political argument can both be right. Humans, however, are more comfortable when they can pigeon hole an idea and view it from a binary perspective: black/white; up/down; socialist/capitalist; democrat/republican. Our political culture has unfolded in a way where it takes advantage of our propensity for binary thinking by categorizing ideas, especially political ideas, in a binary way. That has always been a little too much abstraction for me. I never aligned myself with a political party. I made my voting choices and political stands based on how I thought any particular politician or movement was affecting my life. In the sixties and seventies I was most affected by the war in Vietnam, racial disharmony and a poor economic environment. I came to adulthood as a left leaning centrist politically. I hated racism, supported gender equality and most certainly did not want to engage in unnecessary wars, although I am far from a pacifist. I placed a lot of value on higher learning. A PhD following your name would impress me. Underpinning everything was the ability to work and support my family. Economics were at the base.
A caustic political climate was beginning to churn in 2016 as Donald Trump began to have success in the primary season. Things were getting rather terse for supporters of Mr. Trump. Early epitaphs directed at Trump supporters were usually about their lack of intelligence. Labels like misogynist, racist, homophobic and Neo-Nazi would soon follow.
I knew I was voting for Hilary. Toward the end of my tenure as a Lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department, Mrs. Clinton was a New York Senator. While working in the rubble of the destroyed World Trade Center, Mrs. Clinton’s voice was the first I remember hearing that was concerned about worker safety at the Trade Center site. Senator Clinton was pivotal in funding a program to monitor the heath of Trade Center rescue workers. To this day I undergo an annual physical that is part of a longitudinal study of the after effects from the World Trade Center. And today still, some of my old colleagues are dying from disease related to the attacks. Additionally, Mrs. Clinton displayed, in my opinion, competency as Secretary of State. She had my vote. The pre-election carnival was just a side show for me. However, I was becoming uncomfortable with the name calling from the left.
After Mr. Trump captured the Republican Party’s nomination, I remember reading about a politically influential conservative news editor who was close to Trump, Steve Bannon, the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. I asked a friend, a politically astute, brilliant academic, if he knew of Bannon and Breitbart. Without hesitation, my professor friend passionately told me Bannon was a dangerous man in charge of a racist, Neo-Nazi, online news platform. My friend made it clear it was unequivocally necessary to keep a threat like Bannon away from any real political power.
If my friend had simply told me Bannon was a conservative political personality with whom he disagreed, I most likely would have accepted his opinion without much thought. But a dangerous Neo-Nazi near a presidential candidate? That I had to research. What the hell are we coming to?
First, I discovered Steve Bannon was a former Naval combat officer. I rate Naval combat officers higher in the status hierarchy than PhDs. After Bannon left the Navy he went to Harvard and got a MBA. There goes the dumb meme. With his MBA in hand Steve became a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs where he analyzed the finances of media companies. Steve wound up as the Chairman of online news platform Breitbart News.
Does Goldman Sachs hire a lot of Nazis?
I moved on, looking for the dangerous Neo-Nazi, racist internet media platform Breitbart News. I discovered Breitbart’s Senior Editor was a homosexual Jewish guy who is now married to a black man, Milo Yiannopoulos.
Milo is an outrageous millennial pop media personality, kind of a modern day court jester. Milo describes himself as a troll.
Another top Breitbart writer and editor at the time was Ben Shapiro. Ben is now host of a very popular, conservative blog and YouTube talk show called The Daily Wire. Ben is a lawyer, graduate of Harvard Law Shcool, a prolific writer and an orthodox Jew. Ben often jokes about his “funny hat” a yarmukle he wears all the time.
I want to know who gave Milo and Ben their Nazi IDs?
Bannon, and Milo have little, if any, influence on my social and political ways of thinking. They are provocateurs, something I dislike. Ben Shapiro is brilliant. I like listening to his debates and opinions. But Ben too would not get my vote if he ran for office. I am not a conservative. This Breitbart crew are indeed all conservative on a number of issues. But characterizing them as dangerous Neo-Nazis is ridiculous.
What leftie critics of Breitbart do is they look at the comment sections of articles on Breitbart, an unapologetic conservative news platform. When leftie critics discover a politically incorrect comment, they conflate the nasty comments together with Breitbart, Bannon and anybody who associates with Bannon, such as Trump. If you do not denounce Bannon, you’re a Nazi supporter. This tactic is wrong on its face. If what Candace Owens discovered about troll plants in the media is true it is more than wrong, it is a dangerous and coordinated campaign of misinformation. Meanwhile, people like Milo and Bannon were among the first people around who really understood what was going on with trolling, and other such tactics, during the presidential campaign. Their insight very well may have helped swing the election. Ironically, Milo Yiannopoulos was Breitbart’s editor covering the #gamergate scandal.
I saw Donald Trump’s election victory as a long overdue challenge to academic social dogma, the root and genesis of growing PC culture. Author and Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker coined the phrase “academic social dogma” in “Blank Slate; The Modern Denial of Human Nature”, Pinker’s book about innate human tendencies. Since the terrifying and obscene master race theories of the real Nazis during the first half of the twentieth century, academics, especially in the social sciences, have condemned any suggestion of social or psychological pre-dispositions. I recall vividly in the seventies, feminists were declaring that all behavioral differences between men and women had a social genesis. Larger hips in women, different brains and totally different endocrine systems be damed, all differences in behavior between men and women were learned. Nothing was innate. This false belief system is fostered still today in some Universities.
The United States has a history of slavery. And racial discrimination was rampant and nasty when I was growing up. The civil rights movement was a heroic movement, empowering black Americans like never before. President Johnson signed needed legislation to protect voting rights and remove barriers for black Americans. Now, a second generation of dark skinned Americans like Candace Owens are coming of age in a country where we have had two black Secretaries of State, two women Secretaries of State and a black President. I am not naive, unfair discrimination still exists, but the legal and social barriers against people of color and women are mostly a vestige of a darker time.
Activist and academics achieved social status in the sixties and seventies aligning with the Democratic Party. After enrolling in easy, non-science college courses, to avoid military conscription, Hippies grew up, cut their hair and went to work in the arts filling newspapers, television production centers and Hollywood with social and political progressives. They sent their kids, today’s Millenials, back to the same colleges. Now, in a political climate where oppression is not what it once was, this matrix of the academy, media, entertainment and Democratic politics are all still dancing to the same rhythm, defending social justice, labeling any and all political opponents as misogynistic, racist, homophobic, ignorant, white oppressive louts. And if you do not actually fit into those categories, paid trolls can still make you look like you do. Just ask Candace Owens who got four thousand harassing messages in two hours after pissing off a weepy hacker at Twitter.
Donald Trump’s election win in 2016 was an embarrassment for the established media. They all got it wrong. And then most of them continued to embarrass themselves predicting economic collapse. The media’s ineptitude continues on a host of subjects. Broadcast media are in a death spiral. If one wants valid information theses days, you have to do your homework. Be skeptical of everything and reserve judgement. You may find as Candace and I have that we have been misled by a social, political network of academics, reporters, movie stars, politicians and more who are on a cultural Kamikaze mission. We are in a new paradigm. Old status hierarchies are crumbling beneath the weight of technological innovation. Many are holding on with all their might to the old ways. Often they are willing to slander and misinform in order to keep their place. There is a lot of information available to you from many sources, around the world. It is conveniently available on your phone. Be skeptical of everything. Find you own answers.
Take the Red Pill.
(All quotes attributed to Candace Owens are from “Red Pill Black”)