News and Commentary

Candace Owens: Playing The Race Card

Communications Director for Turning Point USA and YouTuber Candace Owens hosts a new video from PragerU in which she addresses “playing the race card.” In the video (below), Owens takes on identity politics and the Left’s victimhood agenda, which she slams as counterproductive for those who really want to progress and succeed.

“You’ve heard about the black card, right? No, not the one from Visa or American Express. This one is much more valuable,” says Owens. “There are entire organizations that have been built upon it. And individuals that have used it to acquire both wealth and influence. If this sounds like something you might wish to own, you should know that there is only one way you can get your hands on it: you have to be born with black skin. That’s the only requirement. Really. You can be poor, middle class, or rich—it doesn’t matter. The black card will still confer upon you an entire history of oppression, even if you’ve never been oppressed.”

She continues: “Play the black card expertly, and you can win awards, make millions, all the while claiming that the people who got you there somehow hate you. With a black card, you can sell books full of indecipherable prose. Because with a card that powerful, who cares if your words make any sense? You can call yourself a ‘civil rights leader’ and shake down multinational corporations, or you can torch your own neighborhood because you didn’t like the outcome of a grand jury verdict.”

Owens goes on to contrast the victimhood mentality promoted by the Left with her grandfather’s refusal to perceive himself as anything but a man with agency and his commitment to raising her as someone who could determine the direction of her own life.

“He raised me from the time I was 9 years old,” she said. “Born in 1941 in rural North Carolina, he started working at age five, laying out tobacco to dry on a sharecropping farm. Jim Crow, separate drinking fountains, and the KKK were ever-present realities. He was 17 when he married my grandmother. He made a living cleaning homes and office buildings until he saved up enough money to open his own cleaning business. The thing is, he never played any card. Nor did my grandmother. If they had problems, they didn’t blame anybody. They just fixed them. And they raised me to do the same.”

Chores, Bible study, and discipline were required in her grandparents’ home. When she struggled financially after college, the worldview of her grandfather steered her life in a positive direction.

“I could have dug deep into my history and declared myself a natural product of ancestral oppression. I could have played the black card and absolved myself of all responsibility for my own stupid decisions,” she said. “Except, I didn’t. Because it would have destroyed my grandfather’s legacy. I am proud that he had the fortitude to turn nothing into something; and I have no intention of reversing that something back into a nothing.”

Owens points out that in the current climate in America, her attitude does come “with a price.”

“Because if you are born black and you don’t accept your natural status as a victim, then the validity of your blackness is immediately called into question,” she says. “Well, so be it. If believing in myself, if accepting the responsibility for my failures somehow disqualifies me from owning an imaginary card, then let me be the first to declare that I don’t want one. I also don’t want Cornel West, Al Sharpton or insert-anyone-else who uses their skin color to game the system as a role model. I already have my grandfather.”

She concludes by pointing out that her grandfather has since retired with her grandmother in the house they built on a plot of land in the “very same sharecropping farm that he worked on as a small child.”

“His story is unique. His story is beautiful. Because it’s American,” she concludes. “And that’s the only card I’ve ever been interested in playing.”

Watch the video below:

This video was co-produced with Free To Think and Turning Point USA.