Candace Owens has a place in the America First movement. She is a vibrant and energetic voice. A little humbling up might do her some good.
By Jacob Engels
Let me start by saying that I enjoy the energy and vigor of people like Candace Owens. No matter your political leanings, being in the arena should have your respect. Turning Point USA and Candace Owens have done a great deal to promote President Trump’s policies among college campuses over the past two years.
However, there seems to be something lacking in the quality control department at TPUSA headquarters. In what should have been a monumentally successful entreaty to young blacks, their BLEXIT campaign headed by Owens has been a hot mess aside from a tangentially related Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House.
Within days of launching and claiming Kanye’s participation in the design of the BLEXIT branding, West publicly stated otherwise. He explained that he referred Owens to someone who helped her with the design and did not want to be credited. In turn, Kanye stated that Owens must have instead used his name.
But she didn’t just use his name when she knew he had nothing to do with it. She created an elaborate backstory and solidified the lie through several tweets and media appearances before walking it back.
Why the hell would you say as much if you didn’t actually have the design work done by Kanye or have his permission to use his name in the stead of a designer who wanted to remain unknown? A thirst for attention, t-shirt sales and delusions of grandeur I assume.
Next, we found out that the original term “BLEXIT” was not an original concept by Owens as she had insinuated. She even attempted to apply for a trademark of the term. The real-BLEXIT was in fact a campaign by Black activists started in 2016 following the Philando Castile shooting that encouraged blacks to bank with black-owned banks.
The founder of the real-BLEXIT movement, Me La’ Connelly eventually called out Owens and is currently pursuing legal action, though she has never applied for a trademark either.
So that’s two instances of Owens either not doing proper research before inserting foot-in-mouth or blatantly disregarding the truth in pursuit of an elevated profile in the conservative movement.
This reminds me of a French saying about things happening three times… “Jamais deux sans trois”, which means… never twice without a third time. Another saying you might recognize about three times… “Do something once and it’s an accident. Twice, a coincidence. If you do it a third time, then it’s a natural law“.
Alas! We have come to the third occasion of Ms. Owens thieving. When I began thinking about this article I started researching similar movements to BLEXIT to see if there were any instances where Owens might have engaged in similar behavior. Not surprisingly, jamais deux sans trois… there was a third indeed!
Kara Bustos, a breakout star from the ground up #WalkAway movement, had garnered quite a lot of attention on social media with her video testimonial describing why she had abandoned the Democratic Party. On YouTube alone, her video has reached over 100,000 views on the official profile for the #WalkAway movement.
Surprisingly enough, or not really, Owens lifted this video and featured it on the official BLEXIT website, framing it as something Bustor did for the BLEXIT movement launched by Owens and Turning Point USA. Bustos, a fellow black woman, told us via email that she was initially supportive of the BLEXIT campaign as a “good bridge” for Black Americans to join the Walk Away movement.
Recent screenshots show Bustos’ video and other #WalkAway members still featured on the BLEXIT website. They are framed as organic actions inspired by Owens’ Blexit campaign.
“I quickly learned that the BLEXIT movement was shrouded in controversy, the first being that the brand “BLEXIT” had already been in place by another organization as early as 2016. Then Kanye West made it clear his name had been incorrectly aligned with BLEXIT. At this point I became very concerned with the sincerity of the movement. It was then brought to my attention that my original “WalkAway” video had been acquired from the #WalkAway Campaign YouTube channel and was featured on The BLEXIT YouTube channel without out mine or The #WalkAway Campaign’s permission. I have only given permissions in writing to The WalkAway Campaign to you use my video. I was never contacted nor have I ever given any written or verbal permissions to BLEXIT, Candace Owens or Turning Point USA to use my video or likeness. I have sent a cease and desist of using my video and likeness to BLEXIT to no avail. I am a principled person and I find the business dealings of BLEXIT to be questionable”, bUSTOS TOLD cfp.
This is where it becomes clear that Owens is tarnishing the Turning Point USA brand by playing fast and loose. Why not just remove this ladies work product as requested? You don’t own her voice or her message. In fact, that’s what BLEXIT is supposed to be about is it not? Empowering blacks to leave the Democratic Party and progressive movement for the prosperity of the America First policies of Donald Trump?
Maybe this is an example of poor oversight from the brass at Turning Point USA or maybe Owens has become so big they simply have to put up with these faux-pas. Neither of those answers is beneficial to other Turning Point USA leaders like Charlie Kirk and Joshua Thifault, who have escaped controversy thus far in their parallel efforts for TPUSA.
Candace Owens has a place in the America First movement. She is a vibrant and energetic voice. A little humbling up might do her some good. Give credit where credit is due, respect the wishes of people who are making simple requests, and don’t lie about Kanye.
You will figure it out!
Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, Fox News, and Australia’s New Dawn Magazine. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.