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.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/09/trump-candace-owens-very-smart-thinker

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