Black conservative Candace Owens is responding after her name appeared in the alleged manifesto of one of the men accused of committing shooting massacres at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 49 people dead on Friday.
Local authorities believe the 87-page document, which is riddled with ironic and sarcastic statements as well as anti-immigrant and white nationalist sentiments, was penned by an Australian white male citizen before he carried out the attack at one of the mosques, according to Newsweek. Part of the massacre was reportedly also streamed online.
In the manifesto, the suspect names Owens, 29, a prominent right-wing activist and creator of the “Blexit” movement encouraging African-Americans to abandon the Democratic party.
“The person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens,” the accused gunman wrote. “Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness. Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes.”
Rather than condemn the shooter, Owens seemingly turned her anger toward “racist leftists” who she claimed had suggested she was to blame for the terrorist attack.
“FACT: I’ve never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam,” she wrote in a series of tweets Thursday, later adding: “The Left pretending I inspired a mosque massacre in New Zealand because I believe black America can do it without government hand outs is the reachiest reach of all reaches!! LOL.”
“AHA OMG you racist Leftists are taking your racism and crazy to a whole new level haha,” Owens continued. “‘Black people don’t have to be Democrats,’ now means mosque shootings in New Zealand? This clearly won’t stick but damn if I won’t grow
#BLEXIT highlighting your sheer desperation.”
In a follow-up tweet, she warned: “If the media attempts this ‘Candace inspired a mosque shooting in New Zealand’ bit—they’d better all lawyer the f*ck up. I will go full Covington Catholic lawsuit. Try me.”
Owens has spoken about Islam in the past, however, raising the far-right trope of Muslims as a threat to European civilization in a November 2018 tweet aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron: “If France wants to build an army to defend itself against anything, it ought to be the declining birth rate of its people. All signs indicate that it will be a Muslim majority country in just 40 years! Defend your culture first,
@EmmanuelMacron! We are your allies.”
Elsewhere in the manifesto, the shooter described President Donald Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” but made it very clear he in no way supports Trump as a policymaker or international leader. The suspect went on to laud those who stood against “ethnic and cultural genocide,” including Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and British terrorist Darren Osborne, who drove his van into a group of worshippers leaving a London mosque in June 2017. Twelve people were killed.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described Friday’s attacks as an “unprecedented act of violence” and called it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” So far, authorities have arrested a 28-year-old man in connection with the shootings.
The accused gunman is set to appear in a New Zealand court on Saturday morning.
Read more of the manifesto below:
— 🇺🇸🎆🗽 (@RealBensonBear) March 15, 2019