BLACKOUT: How Black America Can Make its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation
“Total fatigue” probably describes it best. Following the toxic 2016 election cycle, I was toast. Truth be told, I couldn’t stomach either major party presidential nominee. Despite the positive experience of being involved briefly with Florida senator Marco Rubio’s re-election campaign, by November 8th, I was ready to check out from the political world completely. And I did. I even deleted the years’ worth of lighthearted political content I’d written for my own website. I just wanted to disconnect from conflict — to merely sit at my favorite local coffee shop, decompress and read my Bible in pure non-partisan peace.
Fast-forward four years to the spring of 2020. The COVID crisis was revving up as America was shutting down. A 25-year resident DJ at a popular Florida nightclub / eatery, I’d just made my weekly payday deposit at an ATM on the way home following my Friday night shift. Earlier in the evening, I learned that as a result of the virus, the club would “temporarily” only be providing curbside to-go food orders. Entertainment would “temporarily” be eliminated from the club’s once-thriving business model. “Temporarily” would turn out to be a lot longer than most Americans expected. But I digress.
So, there I was, pulling away from the ATM, grappling with the reality of depositing what would be my last paycheck for an undetermined period of time. I was fumbling with my car radio dial, searching for any option other than the standard Journey-O-Styx-Wagon FM format when I came across a late night syndicated talk show. As a result of my newfound political naivete, I knew nothing about the woman who was being interviewed on the air, other than her unique ability to speak articulately on an array of current issues. Impressed by her passion, I Googled the gal upon arriving home a few minutes later. I was pretty sure her name was Candace Owens.
In short order, I discovered that Owens was a black American political activist and rising social media personality. It also became clear to me that Owens (oddly) was hated universally by the very legions of warriors who recently had become so super-charged in their pursuit of racial justice. To say that Owens was “hated” actually is putting it mildly. In fact, one left-leaning friend of mine described her to me as an “evil fraud.” Another free-thinking pal informed me that Owens was “human excrement.” And one of my all-time fave besties confessed to me that if she owned a gun, she’d use it to “blow Owens’ worthless ass off the face of the earth.” What? Wait! Why? Well, because as they all put it, Owens was a “hateful” person. Hmm. Conversely, folks on the “right” side of the “fence” seemed to agree universally that Owens was a truth-purveying princess — the great hope for America’s future. WOW! In my world, anyone who possesses a message so powerful that they can trigger AND inspire the masses in such a manner is someone worth investigating.
Shortly after first discovering Owens on the radio that night, she released her debut book. The title, BLACKOUT: How Black America Can Make its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation reflected her signature-style strength, confidence and conviction. Despite my intrigue, for various reasons, it took several months for the book to finally find a place in my personal backpack. Better late than never.
Owens says what she means and she means what she says. Hence, it should come as no surprise to anyone that BLACKOUT is far from a cozy feel-good, but rather an urgent call to order. In fact, I can’t imagine Owens being a whole lotta fun to have a beer with. However, if shit did go sideways while bellied up to the bar, I’d definitely want HER on MY side. While Owens’ reputation for shouting down enlightened students on college campuses across the country (with conservative debate sidekick Charlie Kirk) often is a less than flattering look, BLACKOUT serves as a more effective platform on which to present her personal positions.
One thing the “right” loves to do is spew stats — endless mind-numbing (frequently refutable) factoids — 60 percent of the 40 percent faction that believes 80 percent of whatever are 30 percent more (or less) likely to achieve 20 percent of blah, blah, blah. Ugh, exhausting. And that’s were BLACKOUT gets bogged down.
However, Owens’ “legs” are stronger and faster when she simply shares her personal story and loosens up on all of the sterile stats. As a black American whose grandparents were raised during the racial tension of the 1940s and ’50s, Owens grew up hearing all-too real accounts of the KKK. Refusing to be victimized, her grandfather slayed “the dragon” of racism by diminishing the hooded cowards to nothing more than, “those boys.” As a result, Owens refuses to accept victimhood herself. “Harvesting the seeds of her grandmother’s legacy,” she also promotes personal accountability and integrity while possessing a strong professional work ethic. Recognized by her teachers as an accelerated learner, Owens ignored current pop culture trends and temptations from an early age and instead embraced reading books and achieving good grades. For that, she was condemned by fellow classmates for “acting white” — an accusation she faces frequently to this day.
When Owens uses the term “Democrat Plantation,” she means it, and she makes no apology. She backs up her (oddly) controversial perspectives, encouraging black empowerment by unpacking boxfuls of American history — from the origins of slavery to the post-Civil War rise of the Democrat-created KKK to the pre-Civil Rights Jim Crow era to what she refers to as the “racist” policies of FDR and LBJ. “It is impossible to forge ahead while walking backward,” Owens writes. But how can the 1960s legislation (perceived as “liberating”) actually be perpetuating a modern-day “plantation” mentality? “Black victimhood is (politically) profitable,” she explains. “Freedom is a personal responsibility,” Owens maintains, as she challenges today’s new generation of black Americans to take up the fight for their own freedom.
From conservatism and socialism to faith, family and feminism, Owens addresses many of today’s hottest cultural bullet points. Whether her approach reflects tough love or intolerance is subject to the individual reader’s opinion of Owens. Personally, I “get” Owens and I admire her passion. But while I found BLACKOUT to be a worthy page-turner, I look forward to Owens focusing on more story-based narratives in her future book projects.