Candace Amber Owens Farmer (born April 29, 1989) is an American conservative author, talk show host, political commentator, and activist. Initially critical of United States President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, Owens eventually became known for her pro-Trump activism as a black woman, in addition to her criticism of Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party. She worked for the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA between 2017 and 2019 as its communications director. In 2021, she joined The Daily Wire, and hosts Candace, a political podcast.
In 2007, while a 17-year-old senior in high school, Owens said she received three racist death threat voicemail messages, totaling two minutes, from a group of white male classmates. Joshua Starr, the city's superintendent of schools, listened to the voicemail messages and said that they were "horrendous". Owens' family sued the Stamford Board of Education in federal court, alleging that the city did not protect her rights, resulting in a $37,500 settlement in January 2008. She has a TEDx talk on the subject.
Afterwards, she worked as an intern for Vogue magazine in New York. In 2012, Owens took a job as an administrative assistant for a private equity firm in Manhattan, New York, later moving up to become its vice president of administration.
In 2015, Owens was CEO of Degree180, a marketing agency that offered consultation, production, and planning services. The website included a blog, written by Owens, which frequently posted anti-conservative and anti-Trump content, including mockery of his penis size. In a 2015 column that Owens wrote for the site, she criticized conservative Republicans, writing about the "bat-shit-crazy antics of the Republican Tea Party," adding, "The good news is, they will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope), and then we can get right on with the OBVIOUS social change that needs to happen, IMMEDIATELY."
Owens launched SocialAutopsy.com in 2016, a website she said would expose bullies on the Internet by tracking their digital footprint. The site would have solicited users to take screenshots of offensive posts and send them to the website, where they would be categorized by the user's name. She used crowdfunding on Kickstarter for the website.
The original Blexit movement was started in 2016 by Me'La Connelly with the goal of achieving Black economic independence by encouraging Black Americans to leave the traditional financial systems that has historically disadvantaged the Black community. In late 2018, Owens launched a different Blexit foundation, which featured a social media campaign to encourage African Americans (plus Latinos and other minorities) to abandon the Democratic Party and register as Republicans with the promise of freedom. At the time, 8% of Black Americans identified as Republicans. Blexit, the term that Me'La Connelly originally came up with, is a portmanteau of "Black" and "exit" which mimics Brexit, the word used to describe the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. At the launch in October 2018, Owens said that her "dear friend and fellow superhero Kanye West" designed merchandise for the movement, but the following day, West denied being the designer and disavowed the effort, saying "I never wanted any association with Blexit" and "I've been used to spread messages I don't believe in"; however, after an apology West is still putting his support behind Owens.
By late 2017, Owens had started producing pro-Trump commentary, and criticism of liberal rhetoric regarding structural racism, systemic inequality, and identity politics – liberal rhetoric she herself had been publishing only a few months earlier. In 2017, she began posting politically themed videos to YouTube. In September 2017, she launched Red Pill Black, a website and YouTube channel that promotes black conservatism in the United States.
In response, people began posting Owens' private details online. With scant evidence, Owens blamed the doxing on progressives involved in the Gamergate controversy. After this, she earned the support of conservatives involved in the Gamergate controversy, including right-wing political commentators and Trump supporters Milo Yiannopoulos and Mike Cernovich. After this, Owens became a conservative, saying in 2017, "I became a conservative overnight ... I realized that liberals were actually the racists. Liberals were actually the trolls ... Social Autopsy is why I'm conservative".
Owens said she had no interest in politics whatsoever before 2015, but previously identified as liberal. In 2017, she began describing herself as a conservative Trump supporter. Owens has since characterized Trump as the "savior" of Western civilization. She has argued that Trump has neither engaged in rhetoric that is harmful to African Americans, nor proposed policies that would harm African Americans. She said in October 2018 that she had never voted and had only recently become a registered Republican.
Owens supports same-sex marriage. On July 28, 2017, Owens stated she was in favor of banning transgender individuals who are undergoing sex reassignment surgery from serving in the United States military, but said that she did not oppose fully transitioned transgender individuals serving in the military.
On November 21, 2017, at the MAGA Rally and Expo in Rockford, Illinois, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk announced that Owens had been hired as the organization's director of urban engagement. Turning Point's hiring of Owens occurred in the wake of allegations of racism at Turning Point. In May 2019, Owens announced her departure as Communications Director for the organization.
In 2018, Owens warned that "Europe will fall and become a Muslim-majority continent by 2050. There has never been a Muslim-majority country where sharia law was not implemented." She suggested that the United States would then be "forced to save" the British.
In April 2018, Kanye West tweeted "I love the way Candace Owens thinks." The tweet was met with derision among some of West's fans. In May 2018, President Donald Trump said that Owens "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!" She registered as Republican in 2018, after the hearings following Brett Kavanaugh's nomination as a Supreme Court judge. She objected to what she termed the "social lynching" of Kavanaugh, on the grounds that to "believe women" was the reason "our ancestors got lynched," she told a journalist from Philadelphia magazine. "No evidence, but believe all women".
Owens has appeared on fringe conspiracy websites, such as InfoWars. In 2018, she was a guest host on Fox News, and began to distance herself from the far-right conspiracy websites, although she refused to criticize InfoWars or its hosts.
When asked if it was problematic that white supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, support Trump, Owens answered that "Antifa" was more prevalent than the KKK. Owens has said that the media cover the KKK during Trump's presidency to hurt him. In a 2019 hearing on hate crimes, Owens referred to the KKK as a "Democrat terrorist organization". After the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Owens said that concern over rising white nationalism was "stupid". She has also called it "just election rhetoric" and "based on the hierarchy of what's impacting minority Americans, if I had to make a list of 100 things, white nationalism would not make the list." In 2018, Owens dismissed reports of a resurgence in hate crimes, saying "All of the violence this year primarily happened because of people on the left." On Facebook, Owens wrote "I proudly self-identify as an Uncle Tom".
In May 2018, Owens suggested that "something bio-chemically happens" to women who do not marry or have children, and she linked to the Twitter handles of Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler, and Kathy Griffin, saying that they were "evidentiary support" of this theory. Silverman responded: "It seems to me that by tweeting this, you would like to maybe make us feel badly. I'd say this is evidenced by ur effort to use our twitter handles so we would see. My heart breaks for you, Candy. I hope you find happiness in whatever form that takes." Owens responded, accusing Silverman of supporting terrorists and crime gangs.
In August 2018, Owens had a dispute with a Sam Lucas, cousin of Mollie Tibbetts, who had been murdered by Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 24-year-old Mexican illegal immigrant. Tibbetts' cousin said that Owens had exploited Tibbetts' death for "political propaganda". Owens responded by describing Lucas' criticism as a "strange" attack on Trump supporters. Later that month, the University of Iowa's chapter of Turning Point USA criticized Owens for "public harassment" towards a member of Tibbetts' family, and the executive board members of the chapter all resigned in protest.
In October 2018, during the mail bombing attempts targeting prominent Democrats, Owens took to Twitter to promote the conspiracy theory that the mailings were sent by leftists. After authorities on October 26 arrested a 56-year-old suspect who was a registered Republican and Trump supporter, Owens deleted her tweet without explanation.
At the launch of the British offshoot Turning Point UK in December 2018, Owens made comments about Adolf Hitler. She was responding to an audience member who asked for a "long-term prognosis" about the terms "globalism" and "nationalism", Owens said:
Following heavy criticism for her comments, Owens clarified them on Twitter and in a Judiciary Committee hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2019. Owens said that "[Hitler] was a homicidal, psychopathic, maniac that killed his own people" and "[Hitler was not a Nationalist, he] murdered his own people, a nationalist would not kill their own people". She said that the point of her comments was to say that there is "no excuse or defense ever for... everything that [Hitler] did". She also said that her comments were about Hitler's crimes against Jews.
During her April 2019 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the rise of hate crimes and white supremacists in the United States, Owens made the claim that the Southern strategy employed by the Republican Party to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans was a "myth" that "never happened". This was disputed by several historians who said that the existence of the Southern strategy was well documented in contemporaneous sources dating back to the Civil Rights era, with historian Kevin M. Kruse, who writes about modern conservatism, calling Owens's statement "utter nonsense".
Owens' comments about Hitler were played in April 2019 by Representative Ted Lieu during testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee about the issue of increasing hate crimes and white supremacy in America. Lieu said that he did not know Owens and was just going to let her own words characterize her, before playing the audio clip. Owens responded that Lieu had deliberately omitted an interviewer's question that provided critical context to her words, with the intent of misrepresenting them as an endorsement of Hitler, to smear her reputation.
In June 2019, Owens said that African Americans had it better in the first 100 years after the abolition of slavery than they have since and that "socialism" was at fault.
In early 2019, three weeks after they met, Owens became engaged to George Farmer, an English Oxford University graduate, hedge fund employee, and former chairman of Turning Point UK. His father is Michael Farmer, a life peer in the House of Lords. On August 31, 2019, she and Farmer married at the Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia. On September 6, 2020, Owens announced on Twitter that she was six months pregnant. Owens gave birth to a boy in 2021.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Owens frequently downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic. In February 2020, after referring to earlier predictions about war and climate, she said "... now we're all going to die from Coronavirus" and said that the left was becoming a "Doomsday Cult". In April, she said that COVID-19 deaths were overcounted; health experts said that it was more likely that COVID-19 deaths were undercounted.
In April 2020, Owens announced her intention to either run for office in the U.S. Senate or to be a governor, and that she would only run against an incumbent Democrat, not a Republican. She did not reveal which specific office she would run for, or in which election cycle.
In June 2020, Owens falsely claimed that George Soros paid people to protest the killing of George Floyd. Shortly afterwards, she argued that George Floyd "was not a good person. I don't care who wants to spin that." She said, "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me." Then-President Trump retweeted Owens's remarks about Floyd. In a Facebook video that garnered nearly 100 million views, Owens called Floyd a "horrible human being", citing his criminal record, and called racial biases among police a "fake narrative."
On November 14, 2020, in response to Harry Styles wearing a Gucci gown in the cover photo of the December 2020 issue of Vogue, Candace claimed in a tweet that "There is no society that can survive without strong men", that "The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence.", and ended the tweet by saying "Bring back manly men." After facing backlash from fans of Harry Styles, on November 15, Candace doubled down on her stance against men being feminine, tweeting "I’m impervious to woke culture. Showing me 50 examples of something won’t make it any less stupid".
In February 2021, Owens tweeted that she was considering a run for President in 2024.
During The Daily Wire's coverage of the 2020 U.S. Election, Owens announced she would be joining The Daily Wire and would be hosting her own show. Owens later said in a tweet, "The rumors are true. I'm moving to Nashville and joining the Daily Wire!! This was a tough secret to keep. I couldn't be more excited!!" Her podcast Candace premiered on the platform on March 19, 2021.