Before her days as the Black face of Trump’s conservative America, right-wing pundit Candace Owens was the CEO of an Internet magazine that regularly blasted the now president, a report by Buzzfeed News revealed.
Owens, 26, has enjoyed somewhat of a meteoric rise to fame among conservatives. It was 10 months ago that she posted her first politically–charged video to YouTube, in which she reenacted the moment she “came out,” as conservative to her parents. She now serves as the director of urban outreach for conservative campus group Turning Point USA and found herself rubbing elbows with the likes of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the dedication of the new U.S. embassy in Israel last week.
Even rapper Kanye West is a fan of Owens, whose ideas he praised on Twitter.
The new star of the American right wasn’t always so conservative, however. In fact, she headed an online publication called Degree180 that frequently mocked then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and bashed conservative ideals, Buzzfeed News reported. In a 2015 article, Owens allegedly wrote it was ‘good news’ that the ‘Republican Tea Party … will eventually die off (peacefully in their sleep, we hope).’
Another column featured on the site debated whether “Donald Trump Actually Has a Small Penis.” The author concluded that he probably did.
The publication’s left-leaning content, which included posts from contributors who said the thought of Trump becoming president “makes my skin crawl,” is a far–cry from the views held by the Owens America knows today. Buzzfeed News described the now-defunct site as “a mix of Thought Catalog–style personal essays, bloggy political musings, woke admonishments, and relationship advice.”
Many of the publication’s writers were also college students. One article from March 2016 argued that Trump could still be racist even though he’s married to an immigrant. Another questioned if the contested president was “a social experiment,” according to the report.
Since becoming a conservative, Candance has shouted down Black Lives Matter activists, lambasted Blacks for sticking with the Democratic party and accused the left of strapping African-Americans ” to this idea that they’re victims.”
“They do not want Black people focusing on their futures,” she told “Fox and Friends” last month. “ … They want Black people to focus on their past. They like Black people to be government dependent. They do not like to see Black people who are free thinkers and are independent … [and] I think that makes them very nervous.”
Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP, expressed shock at the news that Owens is now a conservative. According to Mic, Esdaile and the NAACP aided the then-17-year-old when a group of white teens at her school left several racist and threatening voicemails on her phone in 2007. The teens even threatened to kill Owens.
Thanks to the NAACP (which Owens now claims she hates), her family was able to settle a lawsuit against Stamford schools for nearly $38,000. A lot has clearly changed since then.
“We’re very saddened and disappointed in her,” Esdaile told Mic. “It seems to me that she’s now trying to play to a different type of demographic.”