Trump praises controversial pundit Candace Owens as a ‘very smart thinker’

Owens has found herself in the spotlight after defending neo-Nazis and calling police killings of black men trivial on TMZ with Kanye West

Donald Trump tweeted praise for conservative YouTube star and TV pundit Candace Owens Wednesday morning, calling the controversial commentator part of an ever expanding group of very smart thinkers.

Candace Owens of Turning Point USA is having a big impact on politics in our Country, the president said. It is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going on … so good for our Country!

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Candace Owens of Turning Point USA is having a big impact on politics in our Country. She represents an ever expanding group of very smart thinkers, and it is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going on…so good for our Country!

May 9, 2018

In an increasingly-divisive debate at the intersection of race and politics, Owens has thrust herself into the political spotlight over the past several weeks after rapper Kanye West began speaking publicly about his support for Trump and citing Owens as having informed his opinions. The two seemed to become instant allies in ultra-conservative inflammatory language and style. Owens accompanied West in a now infamous TMZ interview special where the rapper said he thought 400 years of slavery was a choice for black Americans.

The inflammatory Owens used the TMZ appearance to come to the defense of neo-Nazis and call the police killings of black men a trivial issue. She insisted that Trump has neither proposed harmful policies nor made offensive remarks towards African Americans.

This, despite Trumps frequent ill-informed tweets and comments about inner city violence, his reported use of the the phrase shithole counties in speaking about immigrants from black and brown nations and a bizarre 2017 interaction with White House reporter April Ryan where he asked if the Congressional Black Caucus were friends of hers. Trump also inserted himself into the debate over sports stars kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against police violence and wider entrenched racial bias in society, started by football player Colin Kaepernick.

Owens comment also comes amid a slew of proposed budget cuts to entitlement and social spending programs which are disproportionately relied upon by black Americans, and regulatory rollbacks that studies show will affect poor black communities more than others.

On her YouTube channel Red Pill Black, Owens frequently chastises black Americans for what she calls a victim mentality and riffs on the popular black conservative meme of African Americans being controlled by the Democratic party plantation.

Victim mentality is not cool. I dont know why people like being oppressed. Its the weirdest thing I ever heard, Owens says in one episode.

In addition to her video blogging, Owens also serves as the communications director for Turning Point USA, a conservative youth-oriented not-for-profit organization that says it works to educate students about true free market values.

Owens credits West with helping her build the confidence to promote her conservative commentary platform. I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music. I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community, she tweeted at the rapper after he wrote: I love the way Candace Owens thinks.

In return, West, who has boasted in the past about the fact that he does not read, deferred to Owens as his policy advisor of sorts. Candace can give you the facts better than that, he said after explaining that Trump has done a lot of things to actually help business owners be able to go past all these fake laws and rules.

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Unlike Hillary Clinton, I have never wanted to be someones wife

After writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grilled the former US presidential candidate about why the first word on her Twitter bio is wife, Clinton said she would think about changing it. Why do women still let their domestic roles define them?

Hillary Clinton: Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, Flotus, senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate. To be clear, this is not how Wide Awoke would describe Clinton. Its her own Twitter biography and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writer, Nigerian, feminist, woman screw it, lets just go with writer, like Martin Amis does is not happy that the first woman in history to have had a shot at the US top job is leading with wife.

I have to confess that I felt just a little bit upset, Adichie admitted during an interview with Clinton at the PEN World Voices festival. And then I looked at your husbands Twitter account, and the first word was not husband. Of course, it wasnt. His bio is: Founder, Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States. Because thats who he is and how he is valued. We live in a world where presidents are men and their wives are first ladies: a job so inherently sexist it demands the women sorry, ladies who acquire it to abandon professions and opinions of their own in order to further their husbands careers.

There is nothing wrong with being a wife or mother. Some of the greatest joys of being alive come from your relationships, with partners and children as opposed to, you know, acing it at an appraisal. But I have never wanted to be anyones wife. I am civilly partnered to a woman, and the mother of two children. Neither my partner nor I would dream of calling each other wife any more than we would call each other husband (to be fair, I cant stand that word). These roles define my life but they dont define me. I dont mind belonging to other people (as long as they belong to me too), but I dont want it to constitute my identity or worth.

Describing women as wives and mothers is often used as lazy, misogynistic shorthand to diminish their other achievements. Who can forget when the Associated Press referred to Amal Clooney as an actors wife instead of a world-class human rights lawyer? Consider how often the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is called upon to provide a running commentary on her uterus. And notice, always, the double standard: while society insists on reducing women to their domestic roles, how little are we genuinely valued in the daily performing of them?

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid sorry for ‘hateful’ blogs she does not believe she wrote

Regarding blogposts from when she was covering Florida politics, TV host says hired experts have not proved she was hacked

The MSNBC host Joy Reid, under fire for allegedly using homophobic language in old blogposts, apologized on Saturday for any comments that belittled or mocked the LGBT community and said she had not been able to verify her claim her account was hacked.

Reid opened her weekend show AM Joy by acknowledging she had said dumb and hurtful things. The person I am now is not the person I was then, she said.

But she was unable to explain blogposts from a decade ago that mocked gay people and individuals who were allegedly gay. Reid has denied posting the remarks but said she had hired security experts found no proof she had been hacked.

I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me, she said. But I can definitely understand, based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past, why some people dont believe me.

I have not been exempt for being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly sorry.

The posts that came to light in December were written for The Reid Report, Reids blog when she was covering Florida politics a decade ago. In posts, she refers to the then Florida governor Charlie Crist as Miss Charlie and suggests he was ogling the male waiters on his honeymoon after marrying his wife, whom he has since divorced.

Reid questioned whether the Crist marriage was a sham by a gay man who thought it would help him politically.

Reid apologized, saying her remarks were insensitive, tone deaf and dumb. On Saturday, she apologized also to the conservative commentator Ann Coulter for using transgender stereotypes to describe her.

This week, Mediaite revealed a set of other supposed blogposts. In one, Reid supposedly notes that most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing and writes that she could not see the movie Brokeback Mountain because she did not want to watch two male characters having sex.

Another supposed post says that a lot of heterosexuals find the idea of homosexual sex to be gross and that there are concerns that gay men tend to be attracted to young, post-pubescent types and want to bring them into the lifestyle.

Reid has said the posts were fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology. She reiterated that on Saturday but acknowledged she has made hateful comments and has hopefully grown as a person.

I look back today at some of the ways Ive talked casually about people and gender identity and sexual orientation, and I wonder who that even was, she said. But the reality, like a lot of people in this country, that person was me.

After reading her five-minute statement, Reid then led a panel discussion on gender stereotypes and issues facing the LGBT community.

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Trump gets flamed: robot prints and burns president’s tweets

Twitter users warm to a robot that replies to presidents tweets by replying with a clip of his thoughts printed and set alight

A robot that prints out Trumps tweets and burns them has caught the imagination of Twitter users.

The account @burnedyourtweet appeared on Tuesday, first responding to a Trump tweet about Fox and Friends:

Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet)

@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.

March 28, 2017

The robot prints off a tweet, cuts it and then drags the paper over to a lighter before discarding the ashes. Since it began tweeting, it has amassed almost 20,000 followers.

From yet another swipe at the New York Times

Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet)

.@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.

March 30, 2017

to rants about fake news:

Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet)

.@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.

March 28, 2017

No Trump tweet is safe. It has has had the seal of approval from Simone Giertz, the queen of shitty robots, who tweeted: This is the most amazing thing Ive ever seen.

Simone Giertz (@SimoneGiertz)


March 29, 2017

The jury is out on whether the robot is some sort of publicity stunt. New York magazine noted the robot followed some accounts of people working in creative and advertising agencies.

As of yet, the robots creator has not come forward. The Guardian has contacted @burnedyourtweet for comment.

The replies to Trumps tweets have become prime social media real estate. And @burnedyourtweet follows a tradition of automated accounts based on his 140-character outbursts although these tend to be Twitter bots rather than feats of mechanical engineering.

Earlier this year, an advertising company created the Trump and dump bot, which automatically trades stocks based on his negative tweets about companies.

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Singapore teen blogger who criticised government wins asylum in US

Amos Yee left the city state with the intention of staying in US after being jailed for several weeks in 2015 and 2016

A teenage blogger from Singapore whose online posts blasting his government landed in him jail has been granted asylum to remain in the United States.

Amos Yee, 18, had been detained by federal immigration authorities since December when he was taken into custody at Chicagos OHare International airport.

But on Friday immigration judge Samuel Cole paved the way for his release, which attorneys said could come as early as Monday.

Yee has met his burden of showing that he suffered past persecution on account of his political opinion and has a well-founded fear of future persecution in Singapore, Cole wrote in a 13-page decision more than two weeks after Yees closed-door hearing on the asylum application.

Yee left Singapore with the intention of seeking asylum in the US after being jailed for several weeks in 2015 and 2016. He was accused of hurting the religious feelings of Muslims and Christians; Yee is an atheist. However, many of his blog and social media posts criticized Singapores leaders. He created controversy in 2015 as the city-state was mourning the death of its first prime minister and he posted an explicative-laden video about prime minister Lee Kuan Yew just after his death.

Such open criticism of political leaders is discouraged in Singapore. The case, which raised questions about free speech and censorship, has been closely watched abroad.

Cole said testimony during Yees hearing showed that while the Singapore governments stated reason for punishing him involved religion, its real purpose was to stifle Yees political speech. He said Yees prison sentence was unusually long and harsh especially for his age.

Officials at the Singapore embassy in Washington DC have not addressed the case and messages left Friday were not immediately returned.

Yees attorney Sandra Grossman said her client was elated with the news.
Hes very excited to begin new life in the United States, Grossman said.

Yee said in a phone interview from jail this month that he feared returning to Singapore. But he said he would continue to speak out and had already planned a line of T-shirts and started writing a book about his experiences. I have an infinite amount of ideas of what to do, he said.

Department of Homeland Security attorneys had opposed the asylum bid, saying Yees case did not qualify as persecution based on political beliefs. It was unclear whether they had appealed the decision or if Yee would have to remain imprisoned if they did. Attorneys have 30 days to appeal.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said he hoped the US government would let the ruling stand, saying that Yee had been a marked man in Singapore since criticising the government.

Singapore excels at creating a pressure cooker environment for dissidents and free thinkers who dare challenge the political, economic and social diktats from the ruling Peoples Action Party. Its clear the Singapore government saw Amos Yee as the proverbial nail sticking up that had to be hammered down.

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