There’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I think the best place to begin is with a thank you from my heart.
Yesterday, I covered the Kyrie Irving situation. And I felt a little trepidation in giving my opinion about his situation, because there’s a lot of tension in the air right now between the Jewish community and the black community.
I also knew by defending Kyrie Irving — which I felt was the right thing to do — some people would say, “Oh, there she goes defending black people and saying nothing about the Jewish community or about people now sharing anti-semitic remarks.”
I was so overwhelmed and thankful for the response to yesterday’s monologue. As I looked over the comments, I saw an outpouring of love and understanding. And I think that outpouring came, perhaps, because I did something yesterday I rarely do — I shared my heart.
Normally, I’m never a person to say, “As a black person I believe this…” or “As a black woman I think that…” But yesterday I felt I needed to come to you as a black person living in this society. And I was hopeful you would understand why.
I was touched by Kyrie Irving’s remarks, when he asked the press, “Where were you when I was a kid figuring out that 300 million of my ancestors are buried in America? Where were you guys asking those same questions when I was a kid dealing with learning about the traumatic events of my familial history…?”
I shared with you how it’s a weird thing to be a black person in society and not really know where you come from. I felt his pain. And I think you guys heard my pain, and you responded to it accordingly.
Now, obviously, there’s another subject that is getting snowballed into the Kyrie Irving situation.
In fact, I think this subject is part of the reason the media has been so harsh — despite Kyrie Irving really committing no crimes worthy of that harshness, worthy of the words used by the Brooklyn Nets regarding him — when all he did was share a link and then immediately offer apologies for what he deemed to be ‘falsehoods’ within the documentary.
But the other subject we’ve been avoiding is Kanye West. And when I say ‘us,’ I mean especially me.
Ye is my friend. I have been very, very clear about that. Ye is still my friend. And I don’t really like to talk about things or people who are personal to me.
A lot of times I sit back and I wonder why I have the platform I have. It’s a weird thing to sort of look through the lens of your life and to say, “Why am I here?” “What am I doing?”
As far as I’m concerned, all I’ve done is stand up and speak the truth — a lot of times.
Because we now live in times of tremendous turmoil, a lot of people depend on me to continue to tell the truth and not ‘sell out.’ I know what that means.
There’s been a lot of pressure on me from people saying, “Candace, don’t sell out to The Daily Wire,” because I work with them. Just like people used to say to me, “Candace, don’t sell out to Prager,” when I was with them.
People have this fear that the more success they have, it forces them to think I need to stay within a certain boundary and a certain line to maintain that success. Essentially, a lot of people trade their souls for money. That is true. I’m simply not one of those people. There is no amount of money that would cause me to say something I do not mean, there’s nobody that can make me ‘perform.’ I want to make that clear to everybody.
And I thought I was making that clear when I remained silent regarding Ye, someone who is my actual friend behind the scenes. But I’m going to do something rare today. I’m going to share with you some personal conversations I’ve had, not just with Ye, but with other people who are friends of mine behind the scenes.
With Adidas pulling out of their deal, essentially saying we want nothing to do with Ye, and GAP pulling out and saying, ‘We want nothing to do with him’ — with what feels like the entire world condemning him, a lot of people wonder what he is thinking.
How did he respond to losing $2 billion, as it was estimated, in one day? After a week of tweeting and saying things — everyone suddenly wants nothing to do with him? How do you think he’s feeling about that?
A lot of you guys might be thinking he feels very sad about all of it. I’m only going to tell you what he said to me last week, because I too was feeling sad about it.
It’s difficult for me to communicate what Ye means to black America. It’s difficult for me to communicate what he as an artist meant to me. For his entire life, Kanye West has made it possible for black Americans to know that the world can be ours. He let us know that it was possible to do the impossible.
Before I ever knew him, I shared my heart about him being my favorite artist, because his music let me know, as a girl who came from nothing, that I could break the barriers. I did not have to just be a victim, I didn’t have to care what the media thought about me. I actually felt empowered by his song “Power.”
And so in that regard, he has racked up a lot of credits in the black community. So when we are asked to dump him, because of his recent actions, it’s not easy for us to do that. Because he’s meant so much to us in our households, and in our personal spaces, and now as a friend, to see what’s happening to him, it’s been tremendously hurtful.
So I called and spoke to him. I expected he would be feeling hurt. But instead, after all of the cancellations, his first sentence to me was, “Now I’m finally free.” It almost made me cry.
It almost made me cry, because I realized how I felt so scared and so worried for him. And yet, for Ye, in a really bizarre way, he intentionally blew himself up — because he has been under so much pressure in Hollywood to be somebody he’s not.
He has since shared that what started all of this was a series of text messages from one Jewish person. And it’s important to say one Jewish person — not the Jewish community, not the entire Jewish world.
A text message from a guy basically saying he would ‘put you back in the hospital again, if he wanted to,’ and that he would ‘never see his kids again.’ So he was feeling hurt, and he hurt people. He hurt a lot of people. And he owned that.
Ye himself said on Piers Morgan that his remarks were anti-Semitic, and they were racist. And then he apologized for those remarks and acknowledged that he hurt people.
And so, I was a bit confused as to why, despite him taking ownership over his own words, people were still coming to me, and asking me to say something bad about him in public. I just didn’t want to take that bait, because this is actually my friend.
But I realized that a lot of people come to me because they see me as a leader. And I guess in that regard, they hold me in a higher view than I hold myself. Again, I’m just somebody who is speaking the truth and calling things as I see them. And what I realized is that while I have been a very strong and vocal friend of Ye — and I’m going to continue to be that — I haven’t yet been a vocal friend to some people who have been tremendous friends to me.
Just one example is Dennis Prager. You guys know I worked for Prager University for two years. At Prager University, if we ever had anything that we needed to discuss, I went directly to Marissa Streit, the CEO, who is Jewish.
I said, “I think I should make more money.”
She said, “We never want this relationship to be about money. We just want you to take it, take whatever you want. We never want to have to go back to the contract.”
I’ve said this publicly before, and I will say it again, the most productive working relationship that I’ve ever had in my entire conservative career was with Prager University. Dennis Prager is a wonderful human being, Marissa Streit is a wonderful human being — they are wonderful people who happen to be Jewish.
And Dennis Prager, when I called him, he wanted to discuss the situation with Ye. I didn’t even let him get a word in. I just yelled at him. Honestly, I was very harsh.
I said to him, “I’m not playing this game with the Jewish community again.”
Because people were starting to say, ‘Well, if Candace doesn’t condemn Ye, then she, too is anti-Semitic, it means that she’s also anti-Semitic by association.’
“I’ve wrongly been smeared and labeled as anti-semitic in the past,” I said. “You were there for that, Dennis, you were one of the lone voices that stood up for me when BuzzFeed intentionally pulled out a clip of me to make it sound like I was defending Adolf Hitler. And despite that, I was gracious and understanding.”
I said, “This is the second time, the second time, you guys are gonna come at me with smears of anti-semitism. Now, I’m not doing it, I’m not playing the game with you guys.”
Dennis did not push back at all. He said he understood. And he published an article in my defense.
So essentially, what Dennis did was he heard how I felt hurt by the Jewish community, and how I was feeling hurt again by the Jewish community. And rather than argue with me on it, or rather than say, “Well, Candace…” No, he heard my hurt and he published an article in my defense. It was an incredible act of friendship.
I want to be remembered not just as a formidable enemy to the Left. I am that of course.
I do not want to just be remembered as a formidable enemy to any institution that seeks to harm my children. I am also that, of course.
The most important thing that I want to be remembered as is a formidable friend, because I am that. I am a good friend to Ye. And I am a good friend to Dennis Prager, Marisa Streit, and many other Jewish people who have been amazing to me. But I haven’t been vocal in that friendship. And so I want to do that today.
I want to say to those individuals who have been out there defending me, while I have been silent, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has meant the world to me.
I don’t want to make a habit, by the way, of defending myself against a baseless smear. It is a bad game. But I think right now is a rare occasion where there are very high tensions between the black community and the Jewish community. And so I think it’s important for me to state the obvious: I, of course, am not anti-Semitic whatsoever. I’ve never had an anti-Semitic bone in my body. Actually, before I married my husband, I almost married a Jewish man.
I do think it’s important to say that, because I’ve made it abundantly clear publicly that I’m standing by Ye as he weathers this tremendous storm. But I also recognize that I need to make it abundantly clear that I’m standing by Dennis Prager as well, and all of my other Jewish friends and supporters who are speaking out for me, and who have endured what may have felt like a very heavy silence from me.
And so I want to again say thank you, to all of you for understanding and knowing that the hurt that is coming from the black community, which I can speak on, is this feeling that we have all been emotional slaves — the spiritual slavery that Kyrie Irving talked about. Feeling like you have to choose between who you actually are, and a paycheck.
Sometimes we push back on that in the wrong way. Ye has been clear that he did it in the wrong way. Sometimes we push back on that in a certain way that is determined to be wrong, like Kyrie.
My hope is we all learn to push back in the right way.