Candace Owens, an idiot, was for some reason invited by the Republican Party to be a witness at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the rise of white nationalism in America on Wednesday. Owens has become a star on the right through her work for the conservative student organization Turning Point USA and her willingness to publicly say ahistorical garbage with such conviction that she sounds as if she knows what she is talking about.
It was some of that garbage that Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) used to draw her ire at the hearing. Lieu played for the committee some statements Owens made at an event in Britain recently, in which she said that Adolf Hitler would have been perfectly fine if only he had stayed in Germany. Listening to those comments again in the hearing, Owens looks as if she wanted to jump out of her seat and throttle Lieu:
.@RepTedLieu plays recording of Candace Owens: “I don’t know Ms. Owens. I’m not going to characterize her. I’m going to let her own words do the talking. So, I’m going to play for you the first 30 seconds of a statement she made about Adolf Hitler.” pic.twitter.com/xiilLBUIwF
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 9, 2019
Owens was playing a cute semantics game, in which she tried to graft our current understanding of the words nationalism and globalism onto the context of the 1930s. Hitler was not a globalist in the sense that the right means it today, as a descriptor for people who believe in liberal democracy and free trade. And to say he would have been “fine” if he just stayed in Germany would certainly be of cold comfort to the minorities in Germany, particularly Jews, gypsies and gays, that Hitler exterminated for not fitting into his conception of what Germans should be. Which is not unlike the nationalism of Donald Trump, in which he gets to decide who is a real American and who is not.
A minute later, Owens got a chance to respond:
Candace Owens: “I think it’s pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid and will not pursue the full clip…That was unbelievably dishonest…I’m deeply offended by the insinuation of revealing that clip without the question that was asked of me.” pic.twitter.com/UioMSZK93d
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 9, 2019
“A nationalist would not kill his own people” misses the point, which is that nationalists of Hitler’s ilk have conceptions about who is allowed to belong to his nation and who is not. For Hitler, it was Aryans without a drop of Jewish or other minority blood. For Trump and his followers like Owens, it is immigrants.
Another amusing part of this defense is when Owens tells the committee she works for Prager University, “which is run by an Orthodox Jew.” This is supposed to be a defense against charges that she is an antisemite. But as Lieu’s follow-up question to another witness illustrated, he was not saying Owens is an antisemite, just that she is historically illiterate. And it is that historical illiteracy that concerns him because it gives comfort to today’s white supremacists.
Also, Prager University is an online organization run by conservative Dennis Prager and known for creating videos that teach history from a conservative perspective that misleads and outright lies. A lot.
Owens also tries to defend herself against the implications she is antisemitic by bragging that she flew 18 hours to the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. This is meaningless virtue-signaling. The majority of American Jews oppose the embassy being moved to Jerusalem. Like Donald Trump, Owens reveals a soft bigotry in her apparent inability to understand that Jewish people might have other concerns, and are not Israeli nationalists.
Other than all of that, she did great.