O, Candace! You’ve done it again. Ruffling feathers in places and spaces, not used to the likes of. . .you! Black American. Conservative. Republican. Supposedly, out of touch with the realities of many everyday, Black American, urban folk. You come from humble beginnings, yourself. I guess you forgot the memo handed out to Black America-passed around post-Civil Rights era, that you were expected to think a certain way. There was only one face of “freedom.” One party of hope for our people to go to. And in your audacity, you didn’t follow through. You uppity negress, you. How dare you ask questions and be a critical thinker? Thinking outside the box. Didn’t you know there was already a blueprint to follow through, and all of Black America is to follow suite? You bad Negress, you. And now, you’ve got others getting “uppity” and thinking to. How dare you?
Going through the media, I guess its safe to articulate the dominant perception of Republican conservative, author, and commentator, Candace Owens. Forget about her logic, thoughts, and what she actually says. If you’re Black American, Republican, and a supporter of current U.S. President Donald J. Trump, you better not think about showing up to predominantly Black American spaces, let alone Black American platforms, without being ready to be checked. And, as long as the terms Trump, Republican, or Conservative are tied to your name, nothing else coming from your mouth will be accepted. Well, unless the very same thing you said is repeated by a Black American man, Hip Hop artist-who gets a standing ovation, after articulating your very same points. Argh! Where is that Black American feminist/Womanist when you need her?
Hmm. . .that seems to be the highlight and silent rule in the recent Revolt Summit 2019, (September 14, 2019) sponsored by AT&T. A panel of Hip Hop artists, activists, journalists, and organizers, who took to stage with the purpose of addressing the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, while placing Black America as the focal point. Black America in front row seating, center stage, Baby! Our time, our voice! Yes? Maybe? Not quite.
Issues of economics, education, institutionalized racism, and numerous other subjects were brought to our table. Mediator and panelists went back and forth among each other. Sometimes jokingly, other times with heated passion and exchange. Different voices from varying facets. We can agree that there was diversity in the context of Black American identity. And, then, there was the audience’s reaction. My, oh my! It was a sight to observe.
Regardless of the attempts to bring balance, where each panelist receives respect, it was very obvious, that a side had been taken. Very few people in that audience had come to listen to any rational statements, articulated by Candace Owens. Remember, the very words-Trump. Republican. Conservative-already categorized her as “anti-Black American.” Guilty as charged. Addressing issues of dependency, de-stabilizing of Black American families, and the war against the reproductive well-being of Black American women and children meant nothing to this predominantly Black American audience.
Contrary to popular belief, during her panel discussion at Revolt Summit 2019, Candace Owens was actually addressing issues of psychological evolution and wellness within Black America. The traditional thinking for Black America’s loyalty to solely being for one party. This notion of the Savior complex, which has been paneled to one political facet. In delving further into Owen’s highlighting of such, we are pressed to ask particular questions. First and foremost, how has Black America battled with a dependency syndrome? Is Black America mentally dependent on one area, set of terminologies, and imagery when it comes to achieving political and economic power in the United States of America? These are very important questions. Based on reactions towards Candace Owens, its safe to say. . .yes! Otherwise her words would have been given equal respect as other panelists who shared the stage with her. Another major question to be asked is the following: What is the role of poverty, marginalization,and social inequities, in urban, Black American spaces, which causes a decline in mental wellness and health for certain members of the community? A decline which has gotten so terrifying that many have been manipulated into going into the same system, without questioning it out of fear of losing the “only hope” they have. Well, now that’s a mouth full, isn’t it? Whew! Allow me to whipe the sweat from my brow. Are you ready for the final question for our game of mental wellness jeopardy? Here we go. Has the phrase “people of color” served as a manipulation tool to con Black American people into believing in a faux solidarity, which does not exist, and only allows other groups, and movements, to freely benefit from Black America’s legacy, with ambitions of secretly taking her place? Oooh! Ice shivers. Now, that was COLD!
If we are thinking clearly, and listening to the point made by Candace Owens, during the Revolt Summit 2019, these questions are hidden gems in her statements. Are they relevant questions? Through the panel discussion, Owens highlights the collective status of Black America’s present-day, psyche. The use of specific terminologies (i.e. race, racism, White supremacy) as tools for emotional manipulation, in order to dismiss deep-thinking and thought-provoking content. Is the whole of Black America psychologically entrapped, and enslaved, to political ideologies and methodologies regarding authentic liberation, which in turn, prevents the elevation of mental wellness and mental health in Black American communities, nationwide?
Hmm. . .Think On That For A Minute!
At the heart of the matter Candace Owens is challenging Black America to re-assess our present psyche patterns, as it concerns our general political alliances, and if it is beneficial for our well-being. Has it ever truly benefited us, collectively, and what does it articulate about our current perception of self and self-esteem if we continue to support them; especially, if they have not elevated Black American people and communities?
A lot more is to be taken and further assessed from Day 3 of the Revolt Summit 2019.
A final, pivotal observation, which comes from the audience’s reaction to Candace Owen’s presence is her very presence, alone. Double standards are placed on Black American women, who seek support for their communities from the perceived “enemy.” “The evil, White man.” This in no way dismisses the reality of institutions of White American racism and it’s terrorism of Black American men and women. Hence, the use of the word and, as too often Black American her/history is dominated from a male gaze; presenting Black American men as the sole and most important (and main) image of Black America. Kindly be reminded that institutions are not represented by one individual. In addition, the fact that Candace Owen’s husband is White, from the United Kingdom, adds more “speculation” about her authenticity in truly caring about the state of Black America, by those Black American men, and women, who see her as a traitor to Black American masculinity. Simultaneously, Black American male entertainers and athletes, who have supported, married, or dated (even giving their wealth to non-Black American communities) non-Black American women are tolerated, and even celebrated if they join causes, organize for, or give money to Black American societal movements. Often giving resources to types of women, who could care less about Black American people. Entering Black American gardens with sly, racist notions of superiority against Black American women; enjoying the feeling of subconsciously “replacing” Black American women in their own, cultural gardens. Raping and ravaging the gardens, without acknowledging the women of that culture. Despite such abusive auras, Black American women are expected to “stay loyal” in such hostile circumstances. Intra-racist, colorist, and sexists behaviors go unchallenged and unquestioned. In the eyes of many, Owen’s is seen as a “traitor.” It was another unspoken agreement, for her presence at Revolt Summit 2019. These judgements against her are clearly unfair and hypocritical. They are even tactics of manipulation and control. Nevertheless, they exist.
Despite the fact that Candace Owens doesn’t consider herself a feminist, and sees the whole of feminism, as irrelevant to Black American communities, what took place on the panel, were definitely issues of gender. Race and gender in the context of Black American feminism and Womanism. Two areas of political studies, which centers the lives of Black American women, in relation to their communities (and relationships with the men of them). The one-sided, limited, middle-class, White American feminist perspective (which dominated mainstream, women’s liberation movements in the United States) is why Black American women feminists and womanists created their own spaces. Centering one’s image as healthy and feminine, in a society that rendered them unfeminine (thereby, physically treating them as men), is a form of mental therapy for Black American womanhood and identity. That’s all for another assessment. Yet, what must be articulated is how the audience’s reception, favored more to the male panelists, moreso than their female counterparts. This especially rings true for entrepreneurs, social organizers, and Hip Hop stars TI and “Killer Mike.”
Time and time, people will re-watch this event. They will observe it over again, and may have a second opinion. Part 2? Who knows? Yet, what it does allude to is that a challenge has been placed on the floor. Not in the way you think. A mental health and therapeutic challenge has been brought to our table. Mentally, and emotionally, is Black America in the right mind frame? How are our voting patterns a reflection of such? And, are we ready to see a new lens in the current state of our psyche? If it doesn’t look as pretty as we have painted it to be, are we ready to change it, so that true progress happens?
O, Candace, its been done before! I guess some people just want a little more. You’ve shot the bullet. Jaws dropped to the floor. Time will tell of what’s in store. I just hope our people will demand. . .so much more!