This video by Candace Owens has been getting a lot of attention. It is being forwarded by thousands of otherwise sensible people to their liberal friends with almost missionary fervor — as if they had just heard Galileo prove that the Sun doesn’t go around the Earth and couldn’t wait to rush next door to share this amazing news with their neighbors.
For the first few minutes this video is compelling — so honest, so reasonable, so heartfelt. But as it progresses, so loaded with deceitful poison.
Candace Owens is a well known conservative Republican Black commentator who has become prominent because she is an anomaly – a Black female supporter of Donald Trump in the mold of Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs. Although she bases her reason for this video on a valid point, she only uses the point to manipulate the viewer into accepting what does not logically follow from her point.
When constructing a piece of deceptive propaganda, it is always advisable to start out with an uncontestable bit of truth – in this case (1) that George Floyd was not a Boy Scout, had 9 prior arrests including some for armed robbery and drug dealing, and, as lab reports show, was high on fentanyl and other drugs when apprehended by the police. (2) That the media and the entire Black community in America have closed their eyes to these facts and mythologized George Floyd into a saintly figure symbolizing the noblest embodiment of the African American man.
Both (1) and (2) are true, and immediately set up the listener to unconsciously nod in agreement. That is the key. Once you get the listener silently saying yes to himself, it is much easier to keep him saying it. And Candace does a good job of exactly that — right up to the midpoint of her video, when she very subtly begins to inch away from her truthful facts about George Floyd and begins presenting questionable facts about the protest marches against police racism, finally veering into outright falsehood.
Candace is a star, no doubt about it. She is focused, articulate and polished. No hesitations. No “ers” and “uhms”. No circling back or repeating a thought in different phraseology to nail it better, as even experienced orators sometimes have to do when speaking extemporaneously. So one might almost fail to note the precise moment when she subtly begins to switch from discrediting George Floyd for being a Bad Person (her opening truth) to discrediting the claims of protest marchers that U.S. police departments are racist and brutal in their treatment of African Americans. Candace dismisses Black Lives Matter and the entire Left as misguided and malicious perpetrators of dishonorable mythologies and double standards.
To do this she points out that, although Black men have been killed by cops, White men have also been killed by cops (another useful truth). But she deliberately neglects to point out that the White men killed by cops were usually armed and in the process of committing a crime. Whereas the Black men killed by police were not committing a crime and were not armed when they were shot, choked, or kneed to death seconds after police arrived on the scene (watch one of many such videos here). Compare this with how cops confronted an armed and aggressive White man waving a loaded shotgun and threatening to use it (watch the video): He was gently talked down by sympathetic White cops for twenty minutes or more, until persuaded to give up his gun. Can you imagine a Black man with a gun being gently talked down – not for 20 minutes – but for even 20 milliseconds before being torn apart with hundreds of bullets from half a dozen police revolvers?
Candace’s video is scary because it is so subtle and so good. Whoever is, or are, behind it will be the ones to watch out for in the coming months as a flood of divisive right-wing assaults are unleashed on the woefully flabby minds of the American public, no matter on which side of the Fox-CNN-MSNBC fake news spectrum they claim to be on.