• Stephan Garnett

A Bigot's Dream

Photo Credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP. Right-wing activist Candace Owens is the founder of the BLEXIT Foundation.

Candace Owens doesn’t think Black lives matter.

If she did, she wouldn’t have taken hundreds of African-Americans to a germ factory to be lectured and lied to by Typhoid Harry.

A little perspective on Candace Owens: She’s the 31-year-old Black conservative who said George Floyd didn’t deserve the attention bestowed on him by the Black Lives Matter movement, because he had a criminal record. She called the hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh a “social lynching,” claiming there was no reason to “believe all women,” who say they have been sexually victimized. She’s been a featured guest on Fox News and has refused to criticize such extreme right-wing websites as Info Wars or its hosts.

She is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump. And just recently, she founded the group, “BLEXIT,” an organization she claims will “free” Black Americans from the Democratic Party. On Saturday, Owens took an estimated 200 African-Americans to the South Lawn of the White House to hear Donald Trump’s first public address since he was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after contracting the coronavirus. The event, called “BLEXIT Back the Blue,” was in support of law enforcement, because Owens doesn’t think Black Americans have enough respect for the law and the police officers who enforce it. If Owens actually believed Black lives mattered, she wouldn’t dismiss as whining victimization the atrocious deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina and at least a half-dozen other states.

If she believed Black lives mattered, she wouldn’t argue that police violence against Black people has nothing to do with systemic racism. If she believed Black lives mattered, she’d have a huge problem with the incontrovertible fact that white-supremacist groups support the same presidential candidate as she does.

If Candace Owens sincerely cared about Black lives, BLEXIT wouldn’t have paid for large numbers of the “Back the Blue” contingent to attend an event, which crowded them together during the midst of an exceptionally contagious pandemic, to hear the insincere promises of a man who could very likely have been a disease super-spreader.

Since the Sept. 26 Rose Garden affair to formally introduce Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, more than 40 people who attended that mask-less, highly social event have tested positive for the coronavirus. And one of those people was the president himself, who after a brief stay at Walter Reed, announced he was “cured” of the disease and ready to hit the campaign trail.

There is no known cure for the coronavirus, and though he is now allegedly testing negative, there is no proof that Donald Trump was not still shedding the virus the day of South Lawn rally.

But none of that mattered to Owens, as she ushered somewhere around 200 Black Americans to the South Lawn of the White House.

Since the start of the year, the coronavirus has swept across the nation and taken more than 215,000 American lives. But the pandemic’s hammering of America’s Black and Latino communities has been extraordinarily devastating. Among those aged 45-54, for example, Black and Latino death rates are at least six times higher than for whites. One in 1,000 Black Americans have died from the virus, and children of color make up 75 percent of COVID-19 deaths under the age of 21.

There are several reasons for those terrible statistics that range from occupational exposure, to larger households, to a greater prevalence of such co-morbidities as diabetes and high blood pressure. But one of the largest contributing factors is less access to quality health care, health care Donald Trump is working to deny to millions of Americans through his efforts to abolish the Affordable Care Act.

The United States of America might very well be entering a second wave of coronavirus infection. The positivity rate is approaching 50,000 people per day, and seven states have just recorded their highest rates of infection since the start of the pandemic.

And yet, as this pandemic worsens and more Americans get sick and die, Candace Owens wants Black Americans to stand behind the man who mismanaged that pandemic, lied to the public about it, called it a Democratic hoax, and flaunted the most basic safety measures until he contracted it and very likely spread it to others.

Owens wants Black Americans to throw their support to a man who seeks to dismantle their guarantee of affordable health care when they most need it. She is calling on Black Americans to help re-elect a president who has not only assailed the Black Lives Matter movement, but refused to condemn white-supremacist groups. She is asking Black Americans to vote for a man who intends to send poor women and women of color back into the hands of back-alley abortionists. Candace Owens is a bigot’s dream.

And Black America’s nightmare.