Candace Owens, who has turned heads in the past with her controversial comments supporting President Donald Trump and stating that African Americans have a “victim mentality,” released a video about George Floyd‘s death on June 3 in which she said the idea of him as a “martyr” for the Black community is “b******” and said racially motivated police brutality does not exist.
Protests erupted around the country after a video of Floyd’s death showed then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of his neck for seven minutes as a handcuffed Floyd begged for help, told him and other officers that he couldn’t breathe and eventually became nonresponsive. The four police officers on the scene — Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — have been fired and charged with second-degree homicide and the FBI has started an investigation into the incident.
However, in her video, Owens shared a different perspective, saying, “I do not support George Floyd and a media depiction of him as a martyr for Black America,” which she said was evidence of the black community’s tendency to “blame white people” and take no “personal accountability.”
Owens Called Black Culture ‘Broken’ & ‘Embarrassing’
Owens said she had felt pressured to stay quiet but was unable to contain her annoyance at what she called the depiction of Floyd as “a martyr” any longer.
“We are unique in that we are the only people that fight and scream and demand support and justice from the people in our community that are up to no good,” she said. “You would be hard-pressed to find a Jewish person that’s been five stints in prison that commits a crime and dies while committing a crime and the Jewish people champion and demand justice for,” repeating the statement for white Americans and “even Latinos.”
She also said the response to Floyd’s death is representative of a “broken Black culture” that is quick to “celebrate criminals.” She said, “We are embarrassing in that regard. This is why we have a cycle and a toxic culture because nobody wants to tell the truth and Black America. It is so easy to be effective it is so easy to ask white people to bow down and apologize and do all these things for us. It is crap.”
Owens also expressed disbelief that Floyd was trying to turn his life around and spent several minutes reviewing his entire criminal record and how much prison time he served.
“We shouldn’t be buying T-shirts with his name on it,” she said.
“He was a violent criminal,” she said of Floyd. “Just because he was a criminal does not mean you deserve to die at the knee of a police officer. I can’t say it enough, no, he did not deserve to die in that manner.”
However, she said, “Racially motivated police brutality is a myth” and went on to claim that more white people are killed by police.
BBC News journalists, however, reported that they found African Americans are disproportionately killed by police after they examined U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Justice Statistics data:
The figures that are available for incidents in which the police shoot and kill people show that for African-Americans, there’s a much higher chance of being fatally shot relative to their overall numbers in the US population. In fact, in 2019, although African-Americans made up less than 14% of the population (according to official census figures), they accounted for more than 23% of the just over 1,000 fatal shootings by the police.
A paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences studying those killed by police between 2012 and 2018 also found that black men in the U.S. were 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police. That study concluded that “Police homicide risk is higher than suggested by official data. Black and Latino men are at higher risk for death than are white men and these disparities vary markedly across place.”
Owens Called the Protesters & Their Message ‘Election Fodder’
Owens, an ardent supporter of Trump, has said that she does not support Black Lives Matter because it makes police reluctant to respond to calls for service in predominately black neighborhoods.
“It is just election fodder: white versus black because it is an election year, not because black Americans are suffering at the hands of police officers more than white Americans,” she said, at times pivoting to talk about black-on-black crime.
Owens did not mention statistics from the FBI’s uniform crime report that reflect that all races tend to commit more crimes against their own race than others (as was reflected in the statistics for 2016 homicides, where 82% of white victims were murdered by white offenders and 90% of Black victims were murdered by Black offenders).
However, she did continue to bring up Floyd’s criminal record as what she described as a “bottom-feeding narrative”:
I’m not going to stand for this continual bottom-feeding narrative (about someone who) had five, six, seven stints in prison and then pretending they were upstanding heroes to our community. It is bulls**t. I am tired of it.
I want to be very clear, this is not any defense for Derek Chauvin; I hope Derek Chauvin gets the justice that he deserves to be implemented upon him and that the family of George Floyd deserves justice for the way that he died. … But I will be damned if the rest of us upstanding black citizens have to suffer because of this incident that rarely ever happens in America.
Owens Has Received Heavy Criticism & Some Praise For Her Video
Accidentally witnessed an acquaintance post a Candace Owens video and now maybe I won’t sleep. Dear god how repulsive
— Chris Luquette (@tangograss) June 4, 2020
In the video, Owens acknowledged that some people would be upset by her point of view and even said she was prepared to hear herself referred to as an “Uncle Tom” and other derogatory slurs.
This woman must hate the mirror.
— Trey Songz (@TreySongz) June 4, 2020
Many who said they agreed with her message were criticized and argued that Owens’ recitation of Floyd’s criminal past was irrelevant and “disgraceful”:
If you've watched the video then you should know that his criminal background had nothing to do with what happened to him.
That's why it's disgraceful to bring it up.
— Finesse1 (@uuw78321) June 4, 2020
— TheReal Truther (@thereal_truther) June 3, 2020
Despite anticipating the backlash, Owens ended her video by saying she was unapologetic about what she said: “Anyway, this is just a rant because I have been feeling super, super annoyed by these depictions in society. I have no apologies here to make. George Floyd: that’s not my martyr, he can be yours. That is all I have to say.”