Cornel West responds to Candace Owens’ version of black history: ‘You gotta get your history right’

Candace Owens, conservative commentator and former communications director of the far-right group Turning Point USA, believes that black people in America had it better in the first 100 years after slavery ended than they have it presently.

She also said that the supposed decline for African Americans was due to government aid programs that aim to help those in poverty.

Owens made the audacious claim in a debate this Tuesday on Fox News with Harvard professor Cornel West that centered upon welfare programs and the black community.

“You know, in our community, after the first 100 years…after slavery, the black community was doing better,” Owens posited.

The idea may seem preposterous to some, and rightly so: one only needs to consider the number of Jim Crow laws that were enforced during that 100 years of American history to dispute her beliefs. Those laws, in fact, hurt African Americans in more than just social ways, but economically, too.

A black student who was forced to go to a separate but (un)equal public school due to racist segregation policies, for example, tended to have less worker skills than white students who went to better-funded schools.

That’s just one example, according to reporting a few years back from The Atlantic, of how Jim Crow made things an economic nightmare for blacks in America at the time — and that’s not even including the fact that laws at that time did not prevent employers from hiring or firing workers based on their race.

Then there’s the widespread violence that occurred in that time period. During the years 1882 to 1968, there were nearly 3,500 documented incidents of black individuals being hanged, according to research from Ferris State University. Thousands of African Americans were also tortured, burned to death, or mutilated during those years, according to the Black Holocaust Museum.

Owens is not unaccustomed to getting historical facts completely wrong. Earlier this year, while still working at TPUSA, she also suggested that Adolf Hitler wasn’t a nationalist, claiming that his biggest problem was that he tried to take over more territory, implying that he was a good leader within Germany alone.

“[I]f Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine,” she said, according to reporting from BuzzFeed News, apparently oblivious to the plight countless numbers of people within the nation’s borders in the years prior to the start of World War II.

Watch the video below, via Fox News:

Featured image via screen grab

Chris Walker

Chris Walker is a freelance news and opinion writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. With more than 15 years of experience, Chris has published work that spans three separate presidencies. In his free time, Chris likes to pretend he can play guitar.