Cowardly Prejudice: Candace Owens and Lauren Chen’s Pathetic Defense of Kanye West

TRANSCRIPT:

Hello everyone. It has been a while. I hope you all are doing well. Today’s video, though delayed, is a response to Candace Owens and Lauren Chen, both of whom have played defense for Kanye West’s infamous anti-semitic tweets, all while cowardly hiding behind feigned ignorance. Through their deceptive attempts at playing innocent, Owens and Chen play into West’s racist views of Jewish people while taking none of the responsibility for said comments. 

While most of my audience is likely familiar with Candace Owens, there are some who may not be familiar with Lauren Chen. She’s a Canadian far-right commentator, youtube host, former BlazeTV podcaster, and a self-described Christian nationalist.

She has also been on various different conservative outlets, such as Tim Pool, and has previously interviewed and ran a defense for the infamous Neo-Nazi, Richard Spencer. To say she has a history of extremist politics is a massive understatement.

While Owens has not been so brazen as to interview Richard Spencer, she has previously made videos about slavery that I responded to last year, pointing out the many problems with her presentation of that incredibly sensitive issue. She has also made some horrific comments about black voters within the democratic party, insisting that they are on a so-called plantation.

 So, it is perhaps unsurprising that these two far-right figures have contributed to the defense of Kanye West and his anti-semitism. 

Far from merely defending West, Owens and Chen use evasive and downright deceptive rhetoric to not only provide cover for West, but also protect themselves from criticism and responsibility for their commentary. 

On October 8th, Kanye West posted a now infamous tweet in which he claimed that he was going to “go death con 3 on Jewish people” and that he couldn’t be antisemitic because Black people are the real Jewish people. The comment itself reeks of anti-semitic prejudice and Black Hebrew Israelite propaganda, which falsely asserts that African Americans are the true inheritors of Jewish heritage. 

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Such comments would merit condemnation from any decent observing the comments being made. That was not the case with Candace Owens, who released a video several days later where she defended him, arguing that no reasonable person would view West as anti-semitic for this post. She starts this by attempting to argue that talking about Jewish people and money should not be forbidden and that nobody can actively criticize certain business interests because of it.

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Moving forward from her initial framing, Owens connects her view of an individual Jewish person in her life being cheap with Kanye West’s tweet by arguing that she herself was misrepresented for her comments about Adolf Hitler and that such misrepresentation presents itself in how the media reacted to his tweet. 

Needless to say, whether or not her comments on Hitler were taken out of context is irrelevant. It is not exculpatory for West and it does absolutely nothing to change the nature and context in which West spoke about Jewish people as a group.

Mind you; West had previously accused fellow rapper Diddy of being controlled by Jewish people, comments which he proudly posted on his Instagram. That context is critical to understanding his comments as well as his previous forms of prejudice.

This was not the first time Owens misrepresented the nature of Kanye’s comments. For example, during her coverage of Kanye’s interview with Tucker Carlson, she deceptively framed Kanye’s commentary on the Kushners as being merely an example of him being harmed by his friends and not as part of a larger pattern of anti-semitism.

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What she did not mention in her review of West’s comments on Tucker Carlson is that West explicitly connected wealth to Jewishness, something that Carlson actively omitted from his work. Granted, this was released a few days after her video, but Owens never updatde her viewers about that information once it was revealed to the public, demonstrating that she was never truly interested in informing her audience. 

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Even worse, Owens follows this absurd framing by attempting to gaslight people by suggesting that, for some strange reason, the presence of genocidal intent somehow is required for something to be anti-semitic. Never mind that Kanye specifically targeted Jewish people in general and not individuals who allegedly wronged him. 

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The fact that Owens went through multiple levels of obfuscation and deception to hide the full extent of West’s bigotry should tell you everything you need to know about her commitment to honesty and preserving the dignity of Jewish people, as well as the dignity of her audience. 

Owens dedication to protecting Kanye and her unwillingness to acknowledge the full context of his racist commentary is just another example of how morally bankrupt she is. But when it comes to comparing her commentary to others, Owens does take some semblance of a stance on the issue. The same can’t be said for Lauren Chen.

Not long after Owens released her ridiculous comments, Lauren Chen released her own video, titled Should The Right Cancel Kanye? For some reason, she also needed to have the thumbnail say “The Kanye Question,” which totally isn’t an antisemitic dog whistle. 

Starting off her view, Chen, unlike Owens, evades the issue of whether or not the comments are prejudiced by effectively chalking it up to a difference of opinion, allowing her to protect herself from being labeled an antisemite herself. 

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Such an approach creates a false sense of equivalence between the two sides, which allows  Chen and others like her to establish themselves with a feigned sense of supposed centrism. It’s worth reiterating that Chen is the same woman who gave Richard Spencer a platform and did not push back on a single thing he said or did on her podcast. 

Moreover, Chen also went out of her way to bring Candace Owens back into the limelight, defending her lies about the nature of West’s comments and pretending that Owens’ commentary merely represented a desire to know more.

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As I pointed out earlier, the nature of Owens’ commentary is inherently deceptive because it implies a level of ambivalence into the nature of Kanye’s tweets and comments, as if there wasn’t the previous commentary by West that would show he had a prejudiced history against Jewish people. 

In 2013, Kanye West was on the Breakfast Club, where he said, “Let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money, and Obama and no money. People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people…” This is how he has thought consistently about Jewish people; it is only now that he is no longer holding back that ugly side has become clear as day. Chen could have done a modicum of research into West’s comments or even bothered to consider what Owens’ commentary actually implied. 

Instead, she created an absurd proposition of supposed controversy when the reality was clear as day. Kanye was being anti-semitic and has been anti-semitic for a long time.

What more does a person need to know about a person if they are actively tweeting that they are going to attack an ethnic group? What restraint should a person have when the group in question has an extensive history of subjugation and genocide? The burden is not on the rest of society to wait for West to clarify his absurdity. It is incumbent on him not to tweet antisemitic garbage. 

But I digress. Chen continues her bad-faith approach to this news by bringing in every far-right commentator’s favorite talking point, censorship. Pointing to the removal of the tweet West made, Chen argues that the removal of the antisemitic tweet constituted censorship and by extension, made it impossible for people to get to the truth of the matter about whether or not West is a bigot. 

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This moment is just an example of bold-faced lying and blatant gaslighting. Chen read the exact tweet in that same video mere minutes before she said this. She knew exactly what he said and why it was such a problem. 

This intentional obfuscation is nothing more than an attempt to portray West as a victim. Through Chen’s framing, removing or condemning West’s comments is portrayed as being part of some left-wing ploy rather than what it actually is, basic responsibility. People like Chen and Owens, who pretend that the hostile reaction to West is anything but reasonable, are contributing to the legitimization of unmitigated hatred of Jewish people. 

Finishing up, Chen finally argues that to attack Owens for her refusal to condemn West’s comments is nothing more than guilt by association, asserting that the right and, by extension, those who are considered close to it, should avoid such an approach.

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 The fact of the matter is that whether Chen or Owens like it, they are responsible for how they conduct themselves online and in their careers. It is not a mob mentality to suggest that two commentators with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and supporters should be careful with how they conduct themselves. And Kanye’s descent into anti-semitism should serve as a perfect example. 

Now that Kanye has been outed for praising Hitler, neither Candace Owens nor Lauren Chen should be in any way pretending that their original positions still hold.

And yet, both of them have gone out of their way to avoid discussing Kanye’s conduct or beliefs when it comes to antisemitism.

Going through Chen’s videos, I have found that she has not once uploaded anything since her initial response to the Kanye scandal. Owens, by contrast, has actively asked people to stop asking about Kanye West, not because he praised Hitler but because of a clothing company he associates with. 

If there was ever any doubt that these two commentators have little to no concern about antisemitism, it is gone now. Under no circumstances should their hesitation in condemning West’s positions be taken as anything less than a complete moral failing to defend their fellow human beings from prejudiced thinking.

At a time when antisemitic attacks are getting worse, condemning and fighting back against this disgusting prejudice is critical to ensuring the safety of Jewish people around the world. Through their cowardice, Candace Owens and Lauren Chen have done nothing to assist in that fight, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Though considering who they are, I sincerely doubt they know what shame is.

Bibliography

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Is Kanye West Anti-Semitic? | Ep. 21. 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YQlepGauyM (December 8, 2022).

Jacobs, Matthew. 2013. “Kanye West’s Bad Week.” HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kanye-west-anti-semitism_n_4390590 (January 2, 2023).

Kanye West Is Courageous. 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSsVD-oBuo8 (December 8, 2022).

“Kanye West Praises Hitler on ‘InfoWars’: ‘I Love Jewish People, but I Also Love Nazis.’” The Grio. https://news.yahoo.com/kanye-west-praises-hitler-infowars-174751576.html (January 2, 2023).

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“———.” Evie Magazine. http://www.eviemagazine.com/author/lauren-chen (December 21, 2022b).

“Lauren Chen on Twitter: “My Journey so Far: Libertarian Atheist Neo-C….” 2020a. archive.vn. https://archive.vn/iBcz9 (December 21, 2022).

“Lauren Chen on Twitter: “Separation of Church and State, Equality of ….” 2020b. archive.vn. https://archive.vn/9ehru (December 21, 2022).

Please Stop Asking Me To Comment On Kanye And Everything Else | Ep. 53. 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQtUTYPF8 (December 8, 2022).

“Post Politics Now: Schumer Downplays Impact of an Independent Sinema on Democratic Powers.” 2022. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/12/09/sinema-senate-independent-biden-pandemic/ (December 9, 2022).

Richard Spencer Interview | What Is the Alt-Right? (Pt. 1). 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlOv3BXSyJM (December 21, 2022).

Should The Right CANCEL Kanye West? 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRg9mgSz244 (December 8, 2022).

“Ye’s Twitter Account Suspended a Second Time after Swastika Post.” NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ye-suspended-twitter-swastika-post-rcna59741 (December 21, 2022).

Zimmerman, Amy. 2018. “Elon Musk Breaks Silence After Twitter Votes for His Resignation.” The Daily Beast. https://www.thedailybeast.com/elon-musk-goes-oddly-silent-after-twitter-users-vote-for-his-resignation (December 21, 2022).

———. “Meet Candace Owens, Kanye West’s Toxic Far-Right Consigliere.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/meet-kanye-wests-toxic-far-right-consigliere (December 21, 2022).

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