Conservative pundit Candace Owens will appear before the House Judiciary Committee next week where she is scheduled to testify on white nationalism and hate crimes.
Owens has addressed the issues on social media somewhat controversially and through Turning Point USA, where she serves as a communications director.
The Washington Examiner reports Owens “has built a personal brand around her attempts to pull African Americans away from liberal movements and into conservative circles, will be on the House minority’s witness list in next Tuesday’s hearing.”
The House Judiciary Committee explained the purpose of the hearing is to “examine hate crimes, the impact white nationalist groups have on American communities and the spread of white identity ideology. The hearing will also foster ideas about what social media companies can do to stem white nationalist propaganda and hate speech online.”
The Washington Examiner adds:
Owens will be joining Eileen Hershenov of the Anti-Defamation League, Eva Paterson of the Equal Justice Society, and Neil Potts, public policy director of Facebook, as witnesses.
Her efforts, which she has dubbed “blexit,” gained notoriety among conservative grassroots activists after rapper Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian received backlash last year for their support of President Trump. At the time, West lamented that African Americans were expected by society to think and vote a certain way, repeatedly saying that he felt a sense of freedom by supporting Trump.
The Hill reports:
Owens rose to national prominence by garnering a large social media following, promoting her idea that the Democratic Party takes black voters for granted and that they should leave the party in a “Blexit,” a play on words of Brexit.
She has increasingly found herself in the Republican mainstream, appearing in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where President Trump as well as a string of Republican senators and administration officials also spoke.
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The Hill also reports Owens faced some scrutiny for comments she made about “nationalism” and nationalist socialist leader Adolf Hitler. From the Hill:
“If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well — OK, fine,” she said after she was asked about the word “nationalism.”
“The problem is he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German,” she said.
Owens took to Twitter to defend her comments, saying “Nationalism is sort of conflated with, for some reason, Hitler. …That’s really, really wrong and we have to almost correct the record on that.”