Why are so many Black Americans loyal to the Democratic Party? Are Democrats actually keeping Blacks down?
With her book Blackout, Candace Owens is rallying the troops. She sees the Democratic Party as modern-day slavery and is calling on all Black Americans to walk out in a mass exodus.
Keep reading for an overview of this eye-opening book.
Blackout: Candace Owens’s Plea to Black America
In Blackout, Candace Owens gives the history of Black politics, reveals hidden oppressions, and demonstrates how the Democratic Party has been keeping Blacks poor and needy for their own political gain. Specifically, Owens claims that Democratic policies have destroyed the nuclear family, created government dependency, and encouraged Blacks to embody victim mentalities. The only way out, Owens says, is to jump ship and join the Republicans.
Candace Owens is a conservative author, activist, political commentator, and talk show host. A millennial Black American woman, Owens is best known for being an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump. During his presidency, she frequently made headlines for her far-right views that opposed many of the social movements of the time. Specifically, she proclaimed her disdain for and distrust of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. During the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Owens declared herself anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination, a stance that she still holds today. More recently, Owens has taken aim against transgender rights (in this book she says she does support gay marriage).
Owens was left-leaning until 2017, when, at the age of 28, she had a shift in perspective and became one of Trump’s most vocal supporters. In 2018, Kanye West tweeted, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” and her popularity with the far-right Republican Party skyrocketed.
Blackout was published in September of 2020, just before the presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. It was a New York Times best seller and has sold nearly half a million copies to date. Despite Owen’s controversial public image, the book has received primarily favorable reviews from readers of both political persuasions, with many claiming that Owen’s points are well-researched and well-argued. Critics say that Owens uses extreme examples to disparage leftist politics, which doesn’t fairly represent the Democratic Party.
We’ve organized this overview into three parts:
- Part 1: The History of Black Americans and the Democratic Party
- Part 2: Manipulation of the Black Vote
- Part 3: Systematic Destruction—How the Democratic Party Is Destroying Black Life
We’ll explore each of Owens’s arguments in turn.
(Shortform note: In Blackout, Owens doesn’t capitalize the ‘b’ in “black” or the ‘w’ in “white.” In keeping with the 2020 amended style guide of the Associated Press, we’ve chosen to capitalize Black but not white. It’s worth noting that Owens would likely disagree with this choice and we can infer that she would argue against the symbolic lifting of one race over the other. The topic continues to be debated, with some arguing that capitalizing the word black is more about virtue signaling than racial equality.)
Part 1: The History of Black Americans and the Democratic Party
Owens’s primary argument in Blackout is that for Blacks to thrive in America, they must depart from the Democratic Party. But how and why did the majority of Blacks become Democrats in the first place?
Myths About Slavery
While Owens doesn’t deny that the slave trade itself was horrific, she argues that there are several myths about the slave trade that affect current political policy—especially reparations. She insists that, if we have an accurate understanding of slavery, we wouldn’t support the Democratic push for reparations.
Myth #1: Slavery began in America with white men.
Truth #1: Slavery has existed everywhere in the world since humanity began.
Myth #2: Africans who were taken in the slave trade were living wealthy and sometimes regal lives before they were snatched and chained by Americans.
Truth #2: The descendants of slaves are better off now than if their ancestors had stayed in Africa.
Myth #3: Republicans owned slaves.
Truth #3: It was Southern Democrats who owned slaves.
Reconstruction and the KKK
After the abolition of slavery in 1865, Black Americans faced two new forms of oppression: segregation and violence. According to Owens, both of these were at the hands of Democrats.
Lincoln’s vice president, Andrew Johnson (a Democrat), had assumed the presidency and wasn’t doing much to further the rights of newly freed slaves. In response, Black voters contributed in large part to the 1868 election of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. Grant ushered in the era of Reconstruction (1865-1877)—a time period in which former slaves were given additional rights and new relationships were defined between whites and Blacks.
As Owens explains, various groups of Southern Democrats were still angry about losing the Civil War and their free labor, and they rebelled against Reconstructionist policies—often violently. The most notorious of these rebellions was the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
Blacks endured segregation due to local regulations that became known as “Jim Crow laws.” Beginning in the late 1870s, the South enacted local and state policies designed to suppress the Black vote and keep them segregated from whites in almost all facets of life.
And not only were Blacks kept separate from whites, but their facilities were also of lower quality. Owens argues that these were Democratic policies designed to keep Blacks “enslaved” while a Republican federal government worked to increase their freedoms.
FDR and the New Deal
In 1933, during the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) made a promise that persuaded Black voters to go Democrat—he promised financial stability for all Americans who were willing to work.
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) enacted several policies, including a minimum wage, that effectively barred Black workers from employment.
To help boost the economy through inflation, FDR enacted the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which paid subsidies to farmers in exchange for limiting the production of certain crops. The farms were owned by white people, who benefited financially from this arrangement. The workers were often Black people, who were laid off in mass numbers because of the decline in production.
Even though the New Deal caused Black Americans to be worse off than before, they continued to re-elect FDR. Owens says that a big reason for this was FDR’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor had become the face of the Democratic Party and was genuinely concerned about Black rights. Owens says that Black voters perceived the administration to be pro-Black, even though FDR actively protected discriminatory policies in fear of losing his white Southern constituents. Owens argues that this was the Democrats’ first major manipulation of the Black vote.
Part 2: Manipulation of the Black Vote
Owens’s primary thesis is that participation in the Democratic Party is modern slavery and, to be free and successful, Black Americans must escape.
Owens urges you to keep in mind that, wherever there is manipulation, there is someone profiting. In this case, she says that Black allegiance to the Democratic Party benefits four groups of people:
- Democrat politicians
- Mainstream media
- Guilty whites
- Irresponsible Blacks
Owens points out that the Black population tends to be much more aligned in their voting patterns than other races, and they generally make up 10-12% of the total voting population. Because of this, the Democratic Party virtually can’t win without them.
The Mainstream Media
Owens says that the mainstream media benefits financially from a liberal fanbase. According to Owens, the media deepens and expands its Democratic reach primarily by broadcasting stories that demonstrate white-on-Black racism. Owens argues that the media’s continued coverage and exaggeration of racism perpetuates fear, which ensures the audience’s rapt attention.
This is particularly evident in the media’s coverage of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Owens says that the narrative is intentionally misleading: When you look at the actual numbers, white cops are in far more danger of being killed than Black men are.
On Media Bias
Owens says that the mainstream media hypocritically vilify conservative figures and hold up liberal ones. For example, she points out that the media repeatedly lambasted former President Trump for his Diet Coke vice yet never commented on Obama’s smoking habit.
Owens contends that liberal news outlets exploit real tragedies by hijacking the given story and using it to push a political agenda. For example, when a school shooting happens, rather than focusing entirely on the events, the victims, and the healing, the media outlet will quickly pivot their stories to the issue of gun control. Owens argues that this tactic is manipulative and heartless.
The Benefit for Whites & Blacks
Owens says that the Democratic Party upholds a narrative of good guys versus bad, which benefits two types of people: whites who feel guilty for having privilege and Blacks who don’t want to take responsibility for their own situations.
According to Owens, white liberals have a hero complex. They feel good when they’re helping others whom they perceive to be beneath them. She argues that Blacks who find themselves stuck in poverty, ignorance, or addiction would rather blame an external evil than analyze their own choices and limiting beliefs.
Part 3: Systematic Destruction—How the Democratic Party Is Destroying Black Life
Black Americans’ steadfast Democratic allegiance is destroying Black families and keeping Black Americans stuck in generational poverty, Owens says.
The Dismantling of Black Families
According to Owens, during the time of slavery, spouses and children were separated as a way to keep slaves broken and compliant. Today, she says, Democrats still push a set of agendas that systematically destroy the fabric of Black family life. Two umbrellas that these programs mostly fall under are government handouts and feminism.
Democrats say that social safety nets are intended to help struggling individuals and families get back on their feet. Owens, however, believes that they are used by the government to accomplish two things: keeping Black mothers single and creating a reliance on their party.
From Owens’s perspective, social services keep Black mothers single because, if they can receive food, money, and housing from the government, then there’s no need to marry the man that impregnates them. This system feeds itself and keeps Black people at the most powerless levels of society.
The longer a person is on welfare, the more difficult it is to pull themselves out of it. And, if they were to vote a Republican into office, this hand that’s feeding them could very well disappear.
Owens argues that the feminist movement has historically been at odds with the liberation of Black Americans and that it continues to hurt the Black population today—specifically in the areas of suffrage, independence, and abortion.
Suffrage: Suffragettes were angry that Black men were granted the right to vote before women were. And Black women were angry with white women because they were essentially asking for both members of their household to have voting rights before even one member of a Black household did.
Hyper-independence: Owens, stressing the importance of an intact family unit, asserts that modern feminism encourages women to be “strong and independent” to the point where they emasculate or even replace men, thereby harming children who need strong fathers.
Abortion: Owens says that Planned Parenthood facilities disproportionately target Black neighborhoods. She believes that this is a feminist attack on the Black family’s religious foundations.
Conclusion: The Way Out
The time has come, Owens says, for Blacks to break free of the Democratic shackles and step into their own independence. Ultimately, she wants all Blacks to pledge allegiance to the Republican Party, but she also stresses the following actionable steps and mindset shifts.
- Avoid government handouts. They are disempowering, bad for your self-worth, and are a tool of the oppressor to keep you reliant upon the hand that feeds you.
- Vote for school choice. Don’t allow the government to tell you where you have to send your kids to school. School choice, or the voucher program, allows you to choose a school that is good quality and matches the values you want your children to have.
- Raise your children in a two-parent household. Allow your wife to be the woman or your husband to be the man. Raise your children together in a home based on Christian values and work ethic.
- Reject the “Black” culture of purposeful ignorance and crude music. This is a relatively new trend and is not part of Black identity. Your oppressor wants you to be dumb. Educate yourself, take pride in speaking well, and listen to music that reflects your true values.
- Vote against affirmative action. Affirmative action is designed to lift minorities up, but it really sets them up for failure. Time and again, Black students who are not skilled or educated enough for the rigors of a particular university, but are admitted because of a race quota, end up failing. Those same students could succeed if they were to attend schools that are actually at their level.
- Above all else, take personal responsibility. Your life is your own, and you have no one to blame but yourself if you fail. Knowing that success is up to you and you alone will empower you to find a way to succeed.
If these actions and mindsets are embraced, Owens says, Black Americans can claw their way out of generational poverty and disenfranchisement.
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Candace Owens's "Blackout" at Shortform.
Here's what you'll find in our full Blackout summary:
- How the Democratic Party has been keeping Blacks poor and needy for political gain
- How Democratic policies have destroyed the nuclear family
- Why Black Democrats should jump ship and join the Republicans