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From the Archives: Candace Owens meets Gamergate — and things get weird

Candace Owens: Has a thing for terrible dudes

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By David Futrelle

Candace Owens — self-proclaimed “Red Pill Black” conservative — is having a bit of a moment, hanging out with new Trump fan Kanye West, posing for selfies with Don Jr., getting an effusive Twitter shout-out from Don Sr,, threatening to sue people who talk about her in what she considers the wrong way.

A lot of people have been left wondering just where exactly Owens came from. Well, there’s a bit of a story there.

Long-time readers of this blog first met Owens back in the days of Gamergate, after Zoe Quinn criticized her ill-conceived plan for an “anti-bullying” site that would have basically doxed a bunch of teenagers. After Quinn spoke out, Gamergaters spouting conspiracy theories quickly abandoned their own critiques of Owens and  rallied around her. Owens began spouting conspiracy theories of her own, and, well, let’s just say things got very weird very fast, as they generally seem to do when Owens gets involved in anything.

In several posts, I tried my best to make sense of the whole surreal mess. I’m linking them here because I think they may illuminate a few things about Trump World’s newest heroine.

Social Autopsy founder Candace Owens channels GamerGate in bizarre attack on Zoe Quinn (APRIL 20, 2016)

This post describes what happened immediately after Owens first heard from Quinn. Trust me, the headline (and the snippet from the post below) don’t fully capture the weirdness of the story.

Instead of listening to Quinn, Owens declared war on her, spewing forth dozens of angry and accusatory tweets, charging that Quinn and fellow anti-harassment activist Randi Harper … were somehow the puppetmasters behind a barrage of abusive, threatening, and often blatantly racist anonymous messages that Owens (who is black) started getting not long after news of Owens’ plans hit Reddit and 4chan.

Owens quickly began to sound like every other internet crackpot who sees conspiracies in every Twitter mention.

SocialAutopsy-Turvy: Candace Owens’ Twitter Trainwreck, Part One
 (APRIL 24, 2016)

And quite a trainwreck it was. The story continued to get weirder, and at such a pace that I never had a chance to write part two.

In furious post, SocialAutopsy’s Candace Owens attacks a WashPo story that isn’t there APRIL 25, 2016

In this episode, Owens writes an angry diatribe against an article she imagined that Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey had written about her. No, really. She accused Dewey and her editor of attempting to libel her in an article that the Post never published and that as far as I know Dewey never even wrote.

Giddy Gamergater: Will Candace Owens show the world that we’ve been right all along? (APRIL 28, 2016)

Naturally, Gamergaters were thrilled to have such an, er, original thinker on their side.

NOTE TO READERS: Sorry for being MIA the last couple of days; I’ve been dealing with the double whammy of migraines and some really nasty lower back pain. Doing a little better today.

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littlem
littlem
2 years ago

I’m not ready for any of this. Just, you know, for the record.

PeeVee the Tired
PeeVee the Tired
2 years ago

Candace constantly looks for ways to re-invent herself to keep herself as relevant as possible. When this cycle of relevance falls out of favor, she’ll find some other bandwagon to hitch onto.

That’s about the only consistent thing about her, really.

Hexum7
Hexum7
2 years ago

Candace would be a real horror show if she actually seemed sincere.

, every pore of her act oozes show business.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

Remember when we thought 2016 was really strange and bad? Good times.

peaches
peaches
2 years ago

It’s okay David. I’ve been having a lot of pain too, and have surgery scheduled next Thursday on my ankle. I’m trying to keep still. Hope you feel better soon.

Eldridge the Cleaver
Eldridge the Cleaver
2 years ago

Original thinker. Rhymes with house n*****

Shadowplay
2 years ago

Hear you on the pain. Drove a spike through my hand Tuesday (and it HAD to be my smart hand, of course) – not exactly comfortable.

Take it easy and take care.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

My back has been really bad lately too. Maybe the Trump presidency is literally making the population sick.

Fluffy Spider
Fluffy Spider
2 years ago

Get well soon David! I know how awful migraines and lower back pain is
Hope all goes well, Fluffy Spider

Periphrase
Periphrase
2 years ago

She seems since then to be blaming the Social Autopsy thing on her having been a liberal at the time and definitely an example of the terrible things liberals want to do.

Bina
2 years ago

Hang in there, David. Hope you get all the health troubles sorted out soon.

Meanwhile, I knew there was a reason this particular troll’s name looked vaguely familiar. Of course I saw it here first! I had forgotten. But it just seems so…typical, somehow. When sellouts sell out, they have to keep selling out to somewhere. Gamergate has run its course, so now she’s latched onto ToiletPaperUSA. Which is also about to get flushed down the Great Crapper, now that they’ve been connected to actual Nazis in Charlottesville.

I shit you not, they really ARE.

And yeah, I’d love to see her pull a #NotYourShield on THIS one. She’s been nothing BUT a shield…to sexists, racists and now, actual FASCISTS.

peaches
peaches
2 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger

I think you might be onto something-we’re all under much more stress. My ankle problem stems from an old injury, but my health’s been generally poor.

Z&T
Z&T
2 years ago

Can’t make head nor tail of it either. Self and various pals are long time readers here, it do not make sense. I do think obfuscation is a favored tool of theirs.

David. Migraines. No, I’m not going to give you any advice. I feel for people who suffer with this, because I don’t. And of course I’ve had a few bad headaches here and there, so maybe I can kind of imagine what it’s like.

I will say: Allergies. And, or, one probably does not want a sinus headache on top of anything else. Sinus headache I can surely relate to, and am already chowing down allergy meds like candy.

Friends here are nodding along. We all have bad allergies, and the allergy drug adverts are already running non stop on TV.

If it’s really bad, one might have to go to like “hermetically sealed” and run the AC, to filter the air. There are all sorts of other air filters out there too.

And you have to keep things super clean. This is why our Miss T here was baffled and upset by being bit by a poison spider, because: “I’m super clean! HOW did this happen!?”

Well, you never know. It could’ve jumped on you, it might’ve been in something you brought home from a store.
She’s super paranoid about any and all bug now, and in fact was just asking us to “help her clean”.

Doing another “hard core cleaning” and is looking for people to…..
I guess stand guard with vacuum cleaners in case any bugs pop up?

I hate to tell you, but those bugs can fly and run a hell of a lot faster than me with a vacuum hose! 😀

Anyway, yeah, eliminate the allergens from your environment. But of course most people already know this. Or maybe not, so just some ideas.

Feel better soon, D! 🙂

Bananananana dakry: Short-Haired, Fat, and Deranged
Bananananana dakry: Short-Haired, Fat, and Deranged
2 years ago

@WWTH

Wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Lord knows this infestation in the WH has been stressing me and Mr. Dakry the fuck out.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, FemiNest Collective agent, Hell Toupee keeper & Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, FemiNest Collective agent, Hell Toupee keeper & Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

Did a fast search on the Turning Point USA thing to refresh my memory of who they were, and found that they share a name with more than a few local charities that also use ‘Turning Point’ in their names. Said charities being ones that focus on stuff like domestic violence recovery services and drug rehab. Hopefully the charities aren’t tarnished by having a similar name to the conservative teen group.

ETA:

@Bina: Which recent troll? The one in the Blankenship thread, or the ‘’Breakfast Soup’ Revolution’ one? Or is there another one I missed recently?

Bina
2 years ago

@Redsilkphoenix: Candace Owens is the troll. She’s been fronting for Gamergate and TP-USA.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, FemiNest Collective agent, Hell Toupee keeper & Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, FemiNest Collective agent, Hell Toupee keeper & Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

@Bina:

Ah. Had a brainfart there for a moment.

Sorry about that. :/

PeeVee the Tired
PeeVee the Tired
2 years ago

Eldridge the Cleaver,

No. Stop that.

Contrapangloss
Contrapangloss
2 years ago

Eldridge: WTF?

Don’t. Not acceptable, here or anywhere else.

Edit: Beat to it by PeeVee but the point very much still stands. Also dropping David a line,

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
2 years ago

I was just revisiting this strange series of events!

Awfully fucking strange how the figures of Gamergate are coming up in the face of politics, huh?

Honestly. This timeline is baffling.

Also, @Eldridge, to repeat the sentiment: that’s in no way appropriate. Yes, Owens is a PoS, but that doesn’t give anyone a right to slur her for being a PoC.

Luzbelitx
2 years ago

Sending you good vibes and wishing you get better soon David!

Chronic pain is the worst and migraines are one of the worsest pains, at least in my experience. But maybe it’s because when I get them they usually come with a side of nausea and dizziness.

I don’t know why this post reminded me of Cassey Jaye. I (don’t) wonder what she’s up to.

Also, do any of these Alices ever actually get to the bottom of the of their rabbit hole? Or do they keep falling into ever-lower lows?

Ben
Ben
2 years ago

Luzbelitx:

I think it’s the latter. It takes a lot of personal strength to admit that you were taken in by foolish or evil ideas and that you spent some of your irreplaceable time on this earth making the lives of others worse. I’m sure that there are people whose experiences could prove me wrong, but most people who fall in with internet Nazis because that’s who was flattering them lack that strength, and just flit to a new bandwagon of toxic bullshit to avoid a self-reckoning.

Rattus
Rattus
2 years ago

Hope you feel better soon. I’ve been having severe lower back pains the past couple of weeks so I bought an exercise ball to stretch over and a Homedics Thumper. They are really helping.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

Thanks for those archives, David, and take care.

Owens tweeted a day or so ago that she’s planning to take down The Guardian (on what grounds she didn’t really specify). This at the same time Trump suggested removing credentials from media outlets that were critical of him.
No wonder they get along so well.

For everyone not feeling 100% right now, here is Mei-Mei reading one of my Montaigne books (she has excellent taste):

http://i67.tinypic.com/2cpdilj_th.jpg

Bina
2 years ago

@Redsilkphoenix:

Ah. Had a brainfart there for a moment.

Sorry about that. :/

‘sawright. I was worried that I hadn’t been entirely clear myself!

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

Boo another parasite intent on dismantling our democracy for attention and money.

anon
anon
2 years ago

Im just gonna say, food for thought… if Eldridge is Black, and you arent, you maybe might not get to tell them whether to use terms like that; so maybe slow down on the assumptions… Just sayin.

anon
anon
2 years ago

PS: to clarify, Ive only ever heard Black folks use that term. It has a specific meaning, & if you arent familiar, you prob arent Black.

Hippielady
Hippielady
2 years ago

@anon–I do understand where you’re coming from and I know what the term means. Although I am not a PoC, I grew up with many. That being said, this forum has rules of engagement, as it were, and one of them is the use of racial slurs. We don’t use them, simple as that.

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
2 years ago

Cool. Thanks for the update David!

My apologies to Eldridge for the snap judgement.

Anon, I know the way your referring to the phrase being used, and it’s awesome that the only time you’ve heard that particular two word phrase is in the activist community.

…but, in my limited experience as a white person living in a pretty darned white state, the few times I’ve heard it used it’s been exclusively by racist white folks with a different connotation. It’s only been a couple times, but enough to be memorable.

I really appreciate your comments, though, and will definitely try to keep that in mind moving forward! Thanks for sharing, and I’ll try to do better.

Back to lurking, for me!

BD1
BD1
2 years ago

Thanks for this, and I hope you get well soon, DF.

Owens has always struck me as a total flake who needs a bright light shined on her.

Haise, the husky puppy
Haise, the husky puppy
2 years ago

Whew, havent been on here in a while. I hope everyone is doing well! Take care of yourself, David!

@Bina
Shes a troll but I wish that grown adults like her would stop “trolling” for a job or just stop hiding behind that as an excuse to be dispictable.

Um, so sorry OT question but has anyome been keeping up with The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu? I started later but finally got caught up. ( need to read the novel it was based on) Something that shouldnt disappoint me yet still does are the reactions from some folk who side with the men in Gideon and pity the wives like Serena Joy while demonizing handmaids and others. Granted, I havent seen much of that but it does come up every now and then on various sites

Bina
2 years ago

@Haise:

Shes a troll but I wish that grown adults like her would stop “trolling” for a job or just stop hiding behind that as an excuse to be dispictable.

Me too, but first of all, the Kochtopus (and all those other rich right-wing funders of troll factories) need to stop dangling all that cash for crapaganda. It’s just amazing how many takers they find who are willing to doff their dignity and spout utter bullshit for a few thousand bucks…

PeeVee the Tired
PeeVee the Tired
2 years ago

I follow you on Twitter, David, and I still do not believe that what Eldridge the Cleaver said was cool. Shrug.

Luzbelitx
2 years ago

I have a regular massager vibrator thing with a super-long handle that I use on my back and neck but it’s maybe a little bit too powerful? Or maybe that’s good?

I have one of those as well and works good for me, but it works even better if I get someone else to use it on me (usually my mom or my kid)

You can’t fully relax your back when your’re holding something big and kinda heavy in one hand. Oh wait, maybe I can’t.

Anyway, if it’s possible for you to get someone to assist you, I’d suggest that. I know not having someone for that is the main reason we tend to acquire such massagers, though.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

So we can throw around slurs if we follow you on Twitter? I’m not really seeing the connection, there.

Flora
Flora
2 years ago

@everyone noticing health troubles getting worse:

I’m sorry you feel awful and hope that it feels better soon, or at the very least you are able to develop coping mechanisms to make the awful less burdensome

The thing is that hostile environments do make you sicker, faster. The term typically used is the social determinants of health, which encompasses all the way the world around you makes you healthier or less healthy. Feelings of powerlessness, lack of a social safety net, discrimination, being unable to afford to meet your own needs or access health care, etc all contribute. Having a healthy environment and community also makes the impacts of illness and injury far less dramatic. Your president’s administration, of course, believes none of this, but the data doesn’t lie.

Contrapangloss
Contrapangloss
2 years ago

I am misbehaving , and coming back after I said I was going to go back to lurking.

I took David’s post to be more a confirmation that Eldridge wasn’t here to race bait, and their usage was more in line with what Anon was getting at.

I still am personally deeply uncomfortable with the slur and it is still against the comments policy of this site, as someone else brought up earlier in the thread.

But, it did feel like I need it to acknowledge the fact that I did immediately jump to conclusions, and I need to do better.

In lighter stuff, sorry I haven’t been around as much and I am kind of sort of out of the loop of who all’s a regular now. Just finished the semester, but I am starting a internship next week and I am busy as all heck.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
2 years ago

Hope you feel better soon, David. <3

(BTW, I'm still here too, just total burn-out on politics in general. The only Nazis I have any intention of seeing this week are the ones in Wolfenstein.)

dslucia
dslucia
2 years ago

Chiming in as also uncomfortable with letting the slur go through like that. It’s not policing anyone’s right to say what they want; there are strict rules about the language that’s acceptable here, and that shouldn’t be waived because of extenuating circumstances most of us have no way of knowing about. They’re still completely free to use whatever language they want anywhere else on the internet.

EDIT: Like, if it’s being used to connote a specific meaning, they could just say the larger meaning which the phrase is supposed to encapsulate. That would also provide much greater context for all of us here who may be unfamiliar with the way it was being used in the first place, rather than just dropping what most of us know as a racist slur in a throwaway comment.

IBH Ardipithecus
IBH Ardipithecus
2 years ago

Well I’m as lilly white as they come, and possibly in danger of falling for the “I went to African American History museum two weeks ago so know what it’s all about” ism.

But holy hell – comparing political affiliation to slavery.

http://www.collinsho.me/pics/CO-HT.png

IBH Ardipithecus
IBH Ardipithecus
2 years ago

Having said that – I’ve just watched a couple of her videos, and I’m finding I quite like her. Not necessarily in agreement with all she says, but…

IBH Ardipithecus
IBH Ardipithecus
2 years ago

And then I read her twitter feed and go off her again.

Damn.

Who?
Who?
2 years ago

In the meanwile Zoe Quinn is nominated in this years Hugoaward (Best related work).
Good luck to her, and even if she is not succesful it is (now again) a big honour to be nominated.

Eldridge the Cleaver
Eldridge the Cleaver
2 years ago

I seriously could not care less about people telling me that using the term house [] (there I said it) is out of line.

I am black, and I am abso-fucking-lutely tired of Uncle Toms like Candace Owens pretending she’s somehow a deep original thinker while in reality she’s simply a [] who repeats the same kind of derogatory welfare queens myths that have been common since the 80’s.

Turning Point USA is a racist, classist hate group who’s director if Charlie Kirk, a typical conservative broflake who, despite being white, male and having inherited a shitload of money, thinks he’s the most oppressed person in America because universities don’t want to hear his opinions on why poor people are scum and how POC are whiners.

The fact Owens does business with these people indicates to me she’s a sell-out.

Do not tone police me. I’m tired of having to deal with all the racism and transphobia shot my way.

@contrapangloss

No worries!

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
2 years ago

@weirwood
So chronic low grade stress will definitely take a chunk out of your health, but I know for a fact that there’s one health-related thing the trump administration has caused.

So, one of the cognitive-behavioral therapies for stuff like anxiety disorders and things like that is teaching you to carefully pick apart your worries so you can see how irrational or unrealistic they are.

Many, many therapists have been reporting that this no longer works, because most of their clients with anxiety, when they lay out the things they’re anxious about, the therapists are basically forced to admit “yeah okay everything you’re freaking out about is realistic and perfectly rational to be freaking out about”.

It’s been a legitimate serious problem in the community, because a lot of CBT folk aren’t sure how to handle it when people’s overwhelming anxieties are actually perfectly reasonable and well-founded.

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

Hey there, Contrapangloss. Good to see you again.

I’ve been really bummed out recently. First, one of my friends has started bringing up xenophobic dog whistles, while insisting that she only intends the surface meaning of them. I’m trying to talk her around but it’s fraying at my patience. I’ve lost too many friends to the far Right recently, and I can’t go on like this.

Then, the British judiciary decided that torturing a pregnant woman was perfectly acceptable. I’m South African, I was born during apartheid, I’m accustomed to the courts defending the worst excesses of a racist police state rather than risk damaging the apparatus of state violence; but I expected better from Britain. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been optimistic, but I was, I went and marched and protested and everything, and now I feel like a fool.

I’m so tired, and every day there are more things to fight about.

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