During a Friday congressional hearing, Candace Owens continued to dismiss the growing concerns about hate crimes and white supremacy in America, suggesting the left wing was stoking these fears as part of a political strategy.
The conservative activist and commentator told lawmakers that the most pressing issue facing U.S. minorities was not white nationalism, but rather the rates of black-on-black crime, which stem from absentee fathers.
"Based on the hierarchy of what's impacting minority Americans, if I had to make a list of 100 things, white nationalism would not make the list," she said during a House Oversight Joint Subcommittee hearing. "We don't see hearings on those bigger issues ... black-on-black crime, the breakdown of family I think is the No. 1 thing that's contributing to that. We never hear anybody talking about what happens when you remove a father from the home."
She continued: "In fact, I would argue that right now, we have a social environment that is hostile towards men and does not inspire masculinity or being a man and what it means to be a father figure in the household. Black-on-black crime is a huge issue in America right now, but people don't like to talk about that ..."
Owens, who recently clashed the T.I. over her support of Donald Trump, got into a heated exchange with fellow panelist Kathleen Belew, an assistant professor of U.S. history at the University of Chicago. Belew called out Owens for downplaying the threat of white nationalism, saying it reminded her of one of Owens' tweets involving the Christchurch mosque shootings. The tweet in question was in response to the shooter's manifesto, in which he named Owens as one of his biggest influences.
"This feels a lot like your reaction to being named in one of those manifestos," Belew said. "You're, of course, not responsible for somebody writing that document. But I do think that laughing at it is a real problem because these are real families who are impacted by this violence. Our efforts toward talking about this have to start from a place of mutual respect."
"The audacity of you to bring up the Christchurch shooting manifesto and make it seem as if I laughed at people that were slaughtered by a homicidal maniac is in my opinion absolutely despicable," she said. "I think that we should be above that. To try to assign responsibility or any meaning to a homicidal maniac writing a manifesto, which, by the way, also cited Spyro the Dragon, the child’s cartoon; he also cited Nelson Mandela as a source of inspiration. I don’t think that Nelson Mandela has inspired mosque shootings; you can correct me if you think I’m wrong."