Kanye West Says He ‘Loves’ How Conservative YouTuber Candace Owens Thinks

Kanye West is showing support for black conservative YouTube personality Candace Owens.

“I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” read Ye's tweet from Saturday morning. Owens has been compared to Tomi Lahren for sharing controversial views on racism. This includes claiming “white guilt” should stop, calling Black Lives Matter protestors “whiny toddlers,” and saying the “color of a person's skin should not determine what issues they are allowed to care about.”

Owens has since responded to West's tweet by asking for a meeting and revealing that “everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music.” She also asked for his help to “wake up the black community.”

This isn't the first time 'Ye voiced support for conservatives. Two years ago, he told the audience at his Saint Pablo tour that he would have voted for Donald Trump.

“I told y’all I didn’t vote, right?” he said. “But if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted for Trump.” He also added, “We live in a racist country. That is a fact. This world is racist, OK? Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much.” Ye also met with the then-candidate.

West has also claimed classism as a major issue as opposed to racism.

“I wanted to take this step to say we got this new thing called classism. It's racism's cousin,” he said in a 2013 interview with Zane Lowe around the 6:00 mark. “This is what we do to hold people back. This is what we do. And we got this other thing that's also been working for a long time. It's called self-hate. It works on itself. It's like real estate of racism.”

He later continued: “When someone comes up and says, 'I am a God,' everybody says, 'Who does he think he is?' I just told you who I thought I was. A god. Would it have been better if I had a song that said, 'I'm a Gangster' or if I had a song that said, 'I'm a Pimp,' all those colors fit better on a person like me, right?”

Since Ye's tweet, he's received support from other notable conservatives, including Roseanne Barr.

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MLK Wasn’t Very Popular When He Was Alive—Why That Should Give You Hope

The very name “Martin Luther King, Jr.” conjures up uniformly positive associations in most people. He's a national hero, a fighter for equality. Someone so beloved that he has his very own national holiday, an honor only given to the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. There are movies about him, songs about him, statues of him. His name is synonymous with freedom and justice.

At least, it is now. But when the civil rights leader was alive—and his movement was in full swing—that was far from the case. In fact, a majority of white people disliked King and the civil rights movement.

Public opinion polls from the 1960s show that large numbers of people disapproved of the Freedom Riders (61%), sit-ins (57%), demonstrations (73%), the March on Washington (60%), and King himself (50%). That is, large numbers of white people. African-Americans were on the side of King and the movement in overwhelming numbers.

mlk march washington
Image via Getty/Bettmann

King's deification happened very slowly. As recently as the 1980s, during the struggle to make his birthday a national holiday (a practice that wasn't accepted by all 50 states until 2000!), Senator Jesse Helms was against the idea because he said King was an advocate of “action-oriented Marxism,” whatever that is. To this day, several Southern states give a middle finger (or, more properly, a white power hand sign) to King by celebrating his birthday alongside Robert E. Lee's.

The fact that public opinion on King changed after historic goals were accomplished should not be discouraging, though. If anything, it should provide inspiration to people invested in the success of current movements for racial justice. The Black Lives Matter movement has popularity levels similar to, if not better than, the civil rights movement in its heyday. A 2017 survey showed that 57% of voters surveyed had an “unfavorable view” of BLM. A 2016 Pew survey of Americans (not just voters) showed the movement faring even better: 43% support, almost identical to the 2017 poll. However, in this sample, only 22% of people were in opposition. In a marker of how big a constituency is still in play, about 30% of people either were unfamiliar with the movement or had no opinion.

So this incarnation of the movement for racial justice is actually starting from a comparable, if not better, position in terms of public support than the fight to end segregation and ensure African-Americans the right to vote. It seems likely that the Movement for Black Lives can make similar strides in today's fights against racist police violence and incarceration policies and for economic justice.

St. Louis demo
Image via Getty/Michael B. Thomas

The dirty little secret about popular movements is that you don't actually have to be that popular to get things done. When victories begin to happen in earnest, plenty of people will join the winning side—often with no acknowledgement that they were ever missing.

This is true even of wars. When the American revolution started, only a third of the people in the colonies were in favor of it. The rest were evenly split between being against it and being indifferent. Many of those people (at least those who didn't move to Canada) were patriots by war's end. It is easy to imagine a similar quiet opinion shift over time on, say, the Michael Brown or Sandra Bland cases. 

There’s certain to be a day when “Black Lives Matter” becomes as iconic—and uncontroversial—a statement as “I Have a Dream.” Let’s hope we get there soon.

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Post Malone Says Justin Bieber Has Given His ‘Culty’ Church $10 Million

Post Malone’s recent feature in Rolling Stone was very revealing. We learned about his love for the Olive Garden, his extensive—and wildly expensive—loafer collection, and his “super religious” past.

In addition, we learned Malone's feelings about another super-religious person, his “genuine friend” Justin Bieber. The “Rockstar” rapper said that Bieber is “a fucking awesome, great dude,” but is concerned about the pop star’s relationship with the controversial Hillsong Church. 

“It's a total cult,” Malone said. “He's already given them, like, $10 million.” (A “source close to Bieber” denied that figure to RS.

On top of everything else, we found out that Malone is a gun-obsessed conspiracy theorist who might be preparing for the apocalypse. The 22-year-old rapper discussed his arsenal of weapons after writer Jonah Weiner noticed a copy of Guns & Ammo on his counter.

“I love shooting. The feeling is pure…inebriation. It's like hitting a punching bag to let off steam,” he said before showing off his collection of firearms, including an M14, a .44 Desert Eagle hand cannon, an M1911 pistol, and a couple of Glocks. “[…] They're fun, they're practical, and bad shit happens. If you hurt me, I'm gonna hurt you back […] The world is going to shit. They're taking away a lot of our rights. We have a shitty thing going on in the White House—I don't like Trump. But I don't think it's just him. Something's coming.”

His paranoia isn’t too surprising considering his interests in “alternative news” and “conspiracy shit.”

“There's crazy shit that goes on that we can't explain. Chemtrails and shit,” he said. “Like, they have a gun that gives you a heart attack, and they can't tell the difference.”

Malone also discussed his experience as a white rapper and the criticism he’s faced from the hip-hop community. He specifically addressed a 2015 incident in which Charlamagne tha God suggested he wasn't doing enough to help the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I wish I'd said, ‘What are you doing for Black Lives Matter?’ Some sassy shit to shut him up. Like, maybe my music's not the best, but I know I'm not a bad person, so you're just being a hater,” Malone said. “He's not a good person. He hates me because I'm white and I'm different.”

You can read the full interview at Rolling Stone’s website

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Memo Reminds NBA Players Must Stand During National Anthem, Outlines Ways Players Can Effect Change

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum sent out a memo to all 30 teams Friday instructing players and coaches to stand during the national anthem. Although there was no mention of punishment should players choose to kneel, he expressed that the league has a rule in place disallowing players from sitting or kneeling during the anthem. 

In the memo, obtained by Complex Sports, Tatum asked that teams use their season openers “to demonstrate your commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community.” The memo continued: 

If you have not done so already, we suggest organizing discussions between players, coaches, general managers and ownership to hear the players’ perspectives.

One approach would be for team leadership to review existing team and league initiatives and encourage players to share their thoughts and ideas about them. Following those conversations, teams could develop plans prior to the start of the regular season for initiatives that players and senior leadership could participate in, such as:

  • Hosting Community Conversations with youth, parents, community leaders and law enforcement about the challenges we face and our shared responsibility to create positive change.
  • Creating “Building Bridges Through Basketball” programs that use the game of basketball to bring people together and deepen important bonds of trust and respect between young people, mentors, community leaders, law enforcement and other first responders.
  • Highlighting the importance of mentoring with the goal of adding 50,000 new mentors to support young people through our PSA campaign.
  • Engaging thought leaders and partners.  A variety of experts, speakers and partner organizations are available to players and teams as you continue these conversations and develop programming.
  • Establishing new and/or enhancing ongoing team initiatives and partnerships in the areas of criminal justice reform, economic empowerment and civic engagement.

Teams are urged to show videos prior to tip-off in their efforts to exemplify unity. It was also recommended that a player or coach address fans directly if a message is to be conveyed. 

Earlier this month, NFL players across the country took a knee during the anthem in protest of police brutality and in honor of Colin Kaepernick's decision to spearhead the gesture. This collective demonstration roused a response from the president, causing something of a sociopolitical tidal wave. NBA players Lebron James and Steph Curry both spoke out in support of NFL players’ decision to take a knee, and publicly criticized Donald Trump for claiming they should be fired for doing so. 

More likely than not, individual NBA players or entire teams are going to express their solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement (something their counterparts in the WNBA have been at the forefront of), whether that be in the form of kneeling during the anthem or not. And it's not because they don't have respect for the NBA or the white men who run it. It's because they should have the right to take a stand against the bigotry and racism that continues to plague this country. 

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Philadelphia Police Union President Calls Black Lives Matter Protestors ‘Rabid Animals’

John McNesby, the president of a Philadelphia police union, called Black Lives Matter protestors “a pack of rabid animals” and “a racist hate [group] determined to to instigate violence.” He made these remarks at a “Back the Blue” rally held on Thursday night to support the police force in response to a Black Lives Matter protest outside the house of Ryan Pownall, the police officer who shot and killed David Jones at a traffic stop in June.

Back in June, Pownall stopped Jones, who was driving a dirt bike, for reckless driving. According to police, Pownall felt a handgun in Jones’s waistband as he pat him down. After a struggle, Jones did allegedly grab his gun, and Pownall fired, but it jammed. This is when Jones began running away, and Pownall fatally shot him in the back.

This is the second black man Pownall has shot in the back. He shot Carnell Williams-Carney, who is now 36 years old and has been in a wheelchair ever since, in 2010.

The rally was held at the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) headquarters, of which McNesby is president.

“When you go to work each day, you shouldn’t have to worry that a pack of rabid animals will suddenly show up at your home and openly threaten your family,” McNesby said. “These are not activists, they are racist hate groups determined to instigate violence.”

Last year, McNesby defended a police officer who appeared to have a large Nazi tattoo on his forearm. When photos of officer Ian Hans Lichtermann popped up on Twitter with what many believed were symbols from Hitler’s Nazi party, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kinney called the tattoo “incredibly offensive.” McNesby, on the other hand, said, “It’s an Eagle. Not a big deal.”

Asa Khalif, a Black Lives Matter activist active in Philadelphia, said neither she nor fellow protestors were deterred by McNesby’s words. “We will not let words stop us,” Khalif told NBC. “The only words we’re using is justice for David Jones, and we will not be sidetracked by the bullying tactics of the FOP.”

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Colin Kaepernick Items Will Be Added to Black Lives Matter Collection at Smithsonian

Items associated with Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protest during the 2016 NFL season will be included in the Black Lives Matter collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Damion Thomas, the museum’s curator of sports, informed USA Today Sports in May that the exhibit would put Kaepernick's game-worn jersey and cleats on display. 

“The National Museum of African American History and Culture has nearly 40,000 items in our collection,” Thomas told the paper. “The Colin Kaepernick collection is in line with the museum's larger collecting efforts to document the varied areas of society that have been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement.”

On Friday, there were rumors that an entire exhibit dedicated to Kaepernick was in the works. 

However, Thomas shot that down, saying, “There are no current plans for an exhibition on Colin Kaepernick.”

Kaepernick rose to prominence in the Black Lives Matter movement after sitting down during playing of the national anthem as a form of protest towards the social injustice going on throughout the United States. Following the 2016 NFL campaign, Kap has failed to find a team that would take a chance on him, which has led to the belief that he's being blackballed by the league

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

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Officer Wounded in 2016 Baton Rouge Shooting Sues Black Lives Matter Leaders

Friday, a Louisiana police officer wounded in the 2016 protests sparked by the killing of Alton Sterling filed a lawsuit against Black Lives Matter activists DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometti. 

According to reports by both MSN and Reuters, the unnamed officer is seeking at least $75,000 in damages. The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. district court in Louisiana, and it alleges members of Black Lives Matter incited the violence and failed to condemn illegal behavior that ultimately led to the deaths of three other officers.

In July of 2016, officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake apprehended Sterling outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store. The officers were reportedly responding to a 911 call about a man making threats with a firearm. Footage shot by a bystander shows Salamoni and Lake tackling Sterling to the ground. A voice off-camera could be heard yelling “he’s got a gun!” during the encounter before the officers opened fire and killed Sterling. 

Witness accounts initially varied on if Sterling had a weapon, and tensions ran high in Baton Rogue as Sterling became the latest in series of black men killed during encounters with police officers. During local protests, former U.S. Marine Gavin Long shot six police officers, killing the three aforementioned Baton Rouge officers during his rampage.

Court documents linked Long with the Sovereign Citizen Movement, but no connection with Black Lives Matter was found.

In May, the Department of Justice declined to press federal civil rights charges against Salamoni and Lake for the killing of Sterling. 

Mckesson also filed a class action lawsuit against Baton Rouge over the arrests of demonstrators during the Baton Rogue protests. Mckesson’s suit sought no damages but called to recoup money spent on what he deemed unlawful arrests.

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Edward Crawford, the Ferguson Protester Captured in Iconic Photo, Found Dead

Edward Crawford—the man best known for being photographed while hurling a canister of tear gas during the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri sparked by Darren Wilson’s killing of Michael Brown in 2014—was found dead in his car on Thursday. Crawford was scheduled to meet with his attorney Jerryl Christmas that day to discuss a plea deal tied to the charge he was given for “interfering” with police during the protests in Ferguson. Crawford is the third prominent protester involved in the events in Ferguson to die within the last three years, and his death comes under similarly controversial circumstances.

Deadre Joshua was discovered shot and burned in his own car in November 2014. News of Joshua’s killing came in conjunction with headlines revealing that a grand jury declined to convict Wilson for killing Brown.

In September 2016, police declared the death of fellow Ferguson activist Darren Seals a homicide after his corpse was found in a burning vehicle. Seals was reportedly shot before his body was found.

Crawford, whose death comes just shy of his 28th birthday, was one of hundreds of Ferguson protesters charged by St. Louis County for assault and interfering with a police officer in the wake of protests surrounding Brown’s killing. The now-iconic photo of Crawford lobbing a teargas canister won the the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2015. The aforementioned charges stem from a belief Crawford was throwing the canister back at police officers, but Crawford repeatedly maintained he was throwing the canister away so it wouldn’t affect nearby children.

Much like Joshua and Seals, Crawford was shot in a vehicle. However, the cause of his death is under investigation after initially being ruled a suicide. According to police reports obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Crawford was in the rear seat of a car occupied by two women.

“The women told police that Crawford had started talking about how distraught he was over 'personal matters,'” wrote Post-Dispatch reporter Kim Bell. “They heard him rummaging for something in the backseat, and the next thing they knew he shot himself in the head.”

Crawford’s father has gone on the record and said he doesn’t believe the police account of his son’s death. It should be noted that this is the same police force that was the subject of a 2015 Department of Justice report noting that 67 percent of African-Americans in Ferguson accounted for 93 percent of the city’s arrests made from 2012 through 2014. The report went on to add that the disproportionate number of tickets, arrests, and use of force stemmed from what was deemed “unlawful bias” and not black people committing more crimes.

It’s unclear where Crawford’s body was found. He leaves behind four children. Community leaders and those associated with the Black Lives Matter movement publicly expressed their condolences upon hearing of Edwards’ death.

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Geraldo Rivera Responds to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn,’ Says Rap Is Damaging Young People

One of the most-talked about moments from Kendrick Lamar’s new album Damn was when he called out Fox News and Geraldo Rivera on “Yah”: “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage […] Somebody tell Geraldo this nigga got ambition.”

The lyrics were in response to Rivera’s criticism of K Dot’s “Alright” performance at the 2015 BET Awards. Rivera accused the Compton rapper of spreading an anti-police message at time when tensions were high between the black community and law enforcement. Kendrick also sampled the journalist’s 2015 remarks in Damn’s opening track “Blood” as well as “DNA.”

Shortly after the project dropped, Rivera addressed the lyrics in a Facebook video. He insisted he “has no beef with” the artist, and considers him the most talented rapper today along with Drake; however, he doubled down on his criticism of Kendrick and the  rap genre as a whole:

“I think too much of hip-hop, too much of rap in the last couple of decades has really portrayed the cops as the enemy, as the occupying army in the ghetto, in the inner city, in the urban centers,” he explained in the video. “It’s an us against them where this very popular, powerful art form, this poetry, is being used to really set young people, young minorities—black and Latinos, principally—against the officers who are sworn to protect them.”

Rivera said many rappers have perpetuated the anti-cop message over the years—before Kendrick was on the scene. He claims to understand why minorities are fearful when it comes police interaction, but states police brutality “pales in comparison to the ghetto civil war that’s being waged.” Rivera said lyrics like Kendrick’s do not help his communities biggest problems, and suggested people remember Marvin Gaye, “not the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac and the rest.”

“It’s the most negative possible message,” he said. “And what’s the point of it? I mean you sell records, I get that. I get that this stuff is popular, but it avoids the central reality, just as Black Lives Matter avoids the central reality […] The message that needs to get out there is that if you work hard, you can succeed despite the handicaps that you have.”

You can watch the full 18-minute video below. 

 

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