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Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democratic Plantation


Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democratic Plantation

Candace Owens

Simon & Schuster, 2020.

Review by Tadashi Hama

American political commentator Candace Owens elaborates in her first book her thoughts on what is wrong with black America. Owens had a very large audience before publication of this book—several hundred thousand YouTube subscribers and several million Twitter followers. It is difficult to tell how many of these really agree with her, but at the very least, if anyone has seen her speak, she is a force of nature. She will vigorously defend herself without pleasantries. Indeed, during a House committee hearing on so-called hate crimes, Owens, the sole black conservative invited to speak, much to the dismay of the Democratic majority, put aside niceties and gave committee members, including grim-faced Taiwanese Representative Ted Lieu who initiated the attack, an earful on their feeble attempt to smear her as a “nazi”.

Owens identifies as a conservative—a black American conservative. Those who feed exclusively on mainstream media will regurgitate the media narrative, in that conservatives are white capitalist, gun-loving Christians. Furthermore, according to conventional wisdom, American conservatives are anti-immigration and nationalist; the very definition of a “bigot” and “fascist”. People deeply seeped in the dominant media narrative, including people such as grim-faced Representative Lieu, unceasingly nag America of how horrible conservatives are and how these “bigots” and “fascist” are an imminent threat to American democracy, that is, the Leftist vision of “American democracy”. A black American identifying as a conservative, however, invites not only hate but derision—surely this black person is slightly mentally unbalanced!

It is imperative that commentators clearly state what is meaningful—and Owens clearly spells out what is important to her: true liberalism (i.e. classical liberalism ) based on “liberty and equality before the law”. True liberalism, Owens states, “pursues principles like the right to life, right to vote, freedom of speech” and so on. These principles in turn, “guarantee” a “society with more individual freedom.” Thus, if there is no “liberty” and no “equality before the law”, then there can be no conservatism (i.e. “true” liberalism), and she will have none of it.

To Owens, then, her enemies are Leftists, who despise liberty and “equality before the law”—Leftists seek “to infringe upon individual liberties in [their] demand for a higher moral good.” She points out the obvious, that “moral goodness is of course, subjective,” but to Leftists, their idea of “moral goodness” is the only one that matters. One cannot miss the dichotomy between conservatives and Leftists unless one has been sleeping in a cave during the so-called coronavirus pandemic of the past two years. Leftist government bureaucrats in every liberal democracy, aided by a thoroughly compliant media, demanded businesses shut down, everyone wear a face mask (then two), get treated with recombinant mRNA not once but up to four times and to stop socializing under penalty of imprisonment. These are the bitter fruits of the Leftists’ pursuit of a “higher moral good”. Furthermore, true to form, government bureaucrats in liberal democracies treated those who questioned fundamental scientific and moral bases of their dictates, those who actually value liberty and equality over so-called moral good, as thought criminals. Owens does not touch on the socioeconomic disaster that characterized the liberal democracies’ response to the coronavirus “pandemic” in her current book, but she may yet do so in her next book.

While embracing true liberalism, Owens also rejects “the victim narrative,” in that one’s life is entirely based on the whims of some vague externality that appears every single time. For example, the Left claims that today’s black Americans are a “permanent underclass” due to “institutional racism” and “oppression”. The Left further claims that today’s blacks are still feeling “the lingering effects” of black slavery, which ended 160 years ago. A corollary to this is that today’s whites are responsible for pain and suffering caused by their slave-owning ancestors, from over 160 years ago, and are therefore liable for reparations. Owens believes that the only way blacks can advance themselves, is for them to assume responsibility over their own lives, and to reject “the victim narrative”. This piece of trenchant advice, of course, applies to all American ethnic groups—people should stop dwelling in a past that no longer exists and build for the future. However, in America, and perhaps in other countries with minute ethnic minorities, the victim narrative has taken root like a particularly insidious weed and it will take herculean effort to get rid of it.

As Owens points out, it is Leftists who exclusively “glorifies” victimhood. Indeed, Owens further states that the Left, as personified by the Democratic Party, manipulates American blacks by harping on their alleged eternal victimization at the hands of whites, that as long as they are a “permanent underclass” only the Democratic Party can save them. The Democratic Party is the “political group that champions leftist solutions…” and claims that only it can “rescue” black Americans. Owens points out that the so-called progressive polices of the Democrats, rather than helping, ends up harming black Americans. Owens states that blacks need to get out of the “Democratic plantation” by rejecting the Democratic Party’s characterization of blacks as eternal victims and assume more responsibility for their lives. Only then will black Americans rise above their current state as a “permanent underclass”. Indeed, Owens has started a movement, BLEXIT (“black + exit”) to get blacks to reject the Leftist dogma and the Democratic Party and to embrace conservative principles.

Owen’s book is engaging at times but other times lacking. She points out that Native Americans were truly savage, practicing cannibalism, enslaving and torturing captured enemies, well before the appearance of Europeans, which is rarely stated by the media, for fear of offending Native Americans. However, she goes on at length, as others have, on how “racist” the Democrats were and how Republicans were saviors of black people at the end of the so-called American Civil War. In fact, the Radical Republicans used black militias to terrorize blacks and whites in the devastated South during the Reconstruction era, with the overall objective of keeping themselves and their big business cronies in power. We read elsewhere that the Democratic Party of the 1800’s was actually the party that believed, as Owens does, in “true liberalism” and that the Radical Republicans quashed the rights of Southerners in order to achieve their own “higher moral good”.

Owens is nonetheless extremely proud of being a black American—she is fully aware of the horrible standards of living are in black African countries—and chides those who lament how hard it is for black people in “racist” America—non-whites continue flood “racist America”, in ever increasing numbers, nonetheless.

With respect to immigrants wearing faux indignity on one’s sleeve, and sometimes on a face mask, Haitian-Japanese-American tennis player Naomi Osaka was “ranked second in the world before entering the 2020 Tokyo Olympics” and a proud supporter of Black Lives Matters and George Floyd, both of which Owens despises, with reason. The Japanese media of course fawned and tripped all over themselves in welcoming Osaka as one of their own, as a step-sister, to the Tokyo Olympics. After Osaka’s less than stellar showing in Tokyo, as a representative of Japan, and in tournaments thereafter, the Japanese media has apparently quietly moved on, looking for its next step-child. Nonetheless, Osaka smiles down upon her partially genetic kin, from advertisements at subway stations and in subway cars in Japan. One wonder what Owens thinks about all this?