By Anuli Phillips

Candace Owens reveals the most violent truth about the nature of racism in America: It becomes internalized and reproduced by those it seeks to destroy. It is so prevalent, so putrid, so comprehensive that when left to its own mechanism, and gone unchecked, it rots the very souls of its victims. The engulfed burn through layers of themselves while the perpetual flames give birth to a race of suicidal half-dead predators.

I have personally witnessed how racism is internalized. I was one of maybe five Black students in my Stilwell, Kansas high school. My senior year, I was featured in a newspaper, The Kansas City Star, for planning a school-wide Black History Month Program, the first of its kind. It was also the year that our SGA had elected its first Black president. Initially conceiving the idea, I went directly to him. However, he assured me that neither the students nor the administration would be interested. In retrospect, I knew that he would not support it. In all my years of knowing him, he never sat with other Black kids, never once looked our way. In fact, in passing, he would instinctively divert his gaze. I held no contempt for him. He, I assumed, had been trying his whole life to fit in, at this White school, and wanted nothing to do with an opportunity that may make him stand out, specifically on the bases of race. As I watched his face on the day of this historic inaugural program, I felt sorry for him. Even in that moment, with the entire school clearly captured by the presentation, he was the most uncomfortable person in the room. This was my first time witnessing the murder of Black self-esteem.

Candace Owens (YouTube)

Considering Candace Owens’ recent comments on the George Floyd murder, clearly, she fully promotes these racist narratives, to align with movements that are overtly anti-Black. Owens’ morbidity is evident in the fact that she intentionally denigrates the Black community. Perhaps when younger, she learned that it was unacceptable for Blacks to speak about other Blacks in the way that she truly desired. But she will stifle herself no more! Thus, she endorses every bigoted outburst from Trump, unlike other self-respecting Black Republicans, because she is attracted to it. It gave a name to the self-contempt that she formed inside, long before Trump had ever arrived. For Black people like Candace, it is the disdain of everything non-White that feeds their soul, their emptiness inside, their double-consciousness imploded, their veil opaque black as midnight. Whatever consumes her, sets her on a trajectory to prove to the racist ideologues, that she can be of value.

Peddling to their base, she enriches herself, both economically and symbolically in spaces of discourse. In this post-Trump Republican Party, “Candace” is the embodiment of self-hate. Nevertheless, I was taken aback by the infantile way that the comedic genius, Dave Chapelle, known for his social commentary, attacked her during his recent stand up special. He did so by throwing fifth-grade sexist epithets at her, like a child; his hate confounding his intellect.

But, a “Candace” is nothing to hate. She is something to mourn, this world killed her long ago; proof of just how evil racism is. Indeed, when placed in its proper context, it is nothing short of a miracle that she happens to be the overwhelming, super minority in the Black community. To be woke means that you are in a constant state of resisting the racist messaging that permeates every sphere of our society. In such a repressive system that corrodes the mind, the spirit, the heart, a “Candace” is the easiest thing to be. It requires no search for truth, no resistance, no journey inside. It simply requires that one does, and acts, and thinks exactly as the machine has designed one to do. This racist system needs a “Candace” to say the things that they cannot; thus, they will continue producing and promoting droves of Black zombies as an integral part of their hyperreality. Of course, we should repel the lies that she tells. But while we are doing that, we must also resist our feelings toward her, recognizing that she is but a victim in racism’s ugly war, the most sought-after prey. Our attacks, thus, must remain substantive! Resist those base responses and engage her with your highest intellect yet.

Fight on! Fight her! But, remember that we are, inherently, fighting on behalf of every past, present, and future “Candace” too!

Anuli Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Spelman College. An Orlando, Florida high school teacher, she is currently pursuing her master’s in education from the University of Central Florida, and recently received her Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and Leadership from UCF.

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