Addressing Candace Owen’s ‘Brave’ Rant

Dear White Friends

Screen capture of Candace Owen in mid-rant

It’s only my white friends so far who have shared the Facebook posted “Candace Owen rant” (her word) with me. Every time it has happened so far it comes with a note about balance or fairness or the whole picture. I had never heard of Candace before so I watched the video. As I watched it I went through a spectrum of emotions from “this is crazy” to “this is sad” to “what the…?” I’m not going to post or link the video here because I find it so offensive INTELLECTUALLY and SPIRITUALLY.

But I will share some quotes from the 18 minute rant (her word) and some reflection on those quotes.

First though, let’s all make sure we are on the same page about Candace Owen. Who is Candace Owen? I had no idea. Do you? Am I the only person in America who has never heard of this young woman? Thankfully, Google is amazing at satisfying questions like this one. I encourage you to check her out. Let me say straight up that if you find Fox News “fair and balanced,” then you will definitely find Candace fair and balanced. She is a conservative pundit. She has recently written a book called, Blackout, in which she seeks to persuade African American Democrats to abandon that party in what she calls, Blexit, and join the Republican Party.

Wikipedia tells us that “She is known for her pro-Trump activism that began around 2016 after being initially very critical of Trump and the Republican Party, and her criticism of Black Lives Matter and of the Democratic Party. She worked for the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA between 2017 and 2019 as their communications director.” According to the US-Sun, she is married to “George Farmer…the son of a baron, Lord Farmer, a former Conservative Party treasurer in the UK. The couple became smitten after meeting at the Royal Automobile Club in London, and he proposed to Owen just two weeks later…The pair married at Trump’s Winery in Virginia in 2019, with their guests wearing “Make America Great Again” headwear.” https://www.the-sun.com/news/936564/who-candace-owens-what-say-george-floyd/

It’s helpful to know what kind of bias people might have when they rant and start selectively offering facts and statistics all mixed into an opinion salad.

Just like this blog post.

So what did she say?

She begins by saying she feels a lot of pressure to jump on the bandwagon to declare George Floyd a martyr according to the popular narrative.

I haven’t heard ANYONE call George Floyd a martyr. She may be confusing “martyr” with “victim of lynching” but they aren’t the same thing. I turned to the Googler and I couldn’t find anyone there but Candace claiming Mr. Floyd as a martyr. It could be out there somewhere but it isn’t the popular narrative. Second, it’s disingenuous of her to suggest she is facing pressure to accept this narrative. Anyone who knows who she is, and I do now, would expect her to do exactly what she does in this rant. This is her m.o., her brand, her schtick, her thing. If she felt pressure from her base it would be to get a rant like this out and promote her brand. This video isn’t going against the flow, this is precisely the very message she has been promoting for – literally – years. In other words, she isn’t brave, she’s giving her fans what they want.

Sadly, Mr. George Floyd’s death just became an opportunity to say what she has already said but generate a lot more clicks from people who…well, honestly this is still a mystery to me, I’m not sure what would motivate people to pass along this self-described rant. Mr. Floyd, killed, unarmed on the street in Minneapolis by police can’t be allowed to rest in peace. She feels compelled to make sure we all know that Mr. Floyd is far from the perfect person everyone is making him out to be. She insists that he is being made out to be a hero – but I can’t find those articles or posts. I can find people who actually knew Mr. Floyd say positive things about him – is that equivalent to saying he lived “a heroic lifestyle?”

Having followed this story and now having Googled about it, I can’t find any instances of posts claiming he was a perfect person. I can find stories from people who knew Mr. Floyd personally at various points in his life who had some very nice things to say about him, about his faith in Jesus, about the positive influence he tried to exert in the lives of others, but I never found any articles that ascribed perfection to him. But is perfection or even near perfection what it takes to prove your life had enough value it didn’t deserved to be choked out of you?

But I’m getting ahead of Candace.

Candace sets up the Straw Man argument: You say he was a martyr, I will show you he was no martyr, he was a scoundrel! And then she starts taking apart the Straw Man. Candace calls him a martyr and seems to define ‘martyr’ as a person of character who dies on behalf of a people group. From there she spends most of the rest of the video making sure we all know about Mr. Floyd’s past transgressions and his violent crime.

But friends, no one but Candace is calling him a martyr. And NO ONE is saying he was without sin, without issues, without a criminal past or present. NO ONE. People who personally knew him, which Candace did not, have said lovely things about him and had some beautiful things to say about how he had made a positive impact on the lives of others. Can both things be true? Can a person have a criminal past, done various stints of time in prison, had a change and lived clean and out of trouble for a time and then had a slip and gone back into his or her addiction? I’ve met a lot through AA for whom both parts of this story were true.

One of my best friends died of a heroin overdose. He was part of our church. He’d done some really horrible things in his life. He had also done some very beautiful things, helped people and cared about the well being of others. Some months he was clean and sober and worshipped right beside me in church. Some months his old dealer stopped by offering free samples and he just couldn’t resist. Finally, after his dealer dropped by with another free sample after a few months of clean and sober living, my friend taste tested and in 48 hours he was dead.

When I stood up to conduct the funeral for my friend and I eulogized him, I didn’t pretend he lived or died as a perfect person. But when I shared some of my favorite memories of my friend at his funeral I didn’t feel compelled to balance the picture by telling people about his rap sheet, the wrongs he had done, even dying in his addiction, because they did not change who my friend was or the love he had given or received during his life.

But if you watch Candace’s rant, she’s building the case that George Floyd was a bad dude: lived that way, died that way.  So…so what? So don’t mourn him? Don’t lament the loss of his life? Don’t cry out for the opportunity to get clean and sober again that he never got? Is the moral of our story really, once a criminal always a criminal? Not for Christians. It isn’t supposed to be.

But Candace Owen herself insists, “I want to be very clear what I am saying is not any defense for Derek Chauvin. I hope Derek Chauvin, gets the justice that he deserves to be implemented upon him and that the family of George Floyd deserves justice for the way that he that he died.” See how fair she is? Candace wants justice for Mr. Floyd, Yay, Candace! But she doesn’t want us to celebrate Mr. Floyd because he was a criminal through and through. Floyd was an addict. He was bad. He tried to use a fake bill to pay for something. “In my opinion,” she say, “he was a criminal.”

Whew! Thank you for clearing that up Candace. We can disregard all the positive things about Mr. Floyd now because drugs. We can ignore all the statements by people who actually knew him about his kindness and his character because he had a violent past. Why is this important? Because Candace wants to make sure we know that this person no one but her is claiming is a martyr and no one ever claimed was perfect had done some bad stuff and was high on something when his life was choked out of him.  Because that makes us all feel better cause addicts and criminals don’t deserve better. She doesn’t have to say that, all she has to do is create that impression – which she does – and now we feel…better.

As she states at the end of her video, “I’m a big believer that no matter what color you are you do stupid things you win stupid prizes.” This is her BAZINGA! It’s her catchphrase and it resonates with her core.

Jesus’ catchphrase was “as I have loved you, so you also ought to love one another.” Even the addicts, and criminals, and jerks, and people who rant about the rap sheet of the recently deceased on Facebook.

But as she gets us all whipped up with her rapid fire delivery of the character defects of George Floyd, let’s take a breath and be real for a second. There are no white hats and black hats. People are complicated. King David had Bathsheba brought up to his place for a little adultery and had her husband murdered to cover it all up. People are complicated and a scoundrel can also be a man after God’s own heart. If you’re a Christian and her portrayal of Mr. Floyd’s character makes any difference to you at all then you have completely missed the plot of the story we say we believe. Pick one – Peter, violent racist. Abraham, where should we start on his character defects? Paul, executioner of followers of Jesus. The one thing we have in common, being created as the image of God. It’s the one thing that we have going for us – my addictions might not be yours, my issues might not be shared by you but friends, everyone you know knows you got issues. Me too. Please, dear God, don’t have any of my children stand up at my funeral and list all the ways I failed them as a parent and a human being. I’ve seen the list. I wrote it.

The only other point she makes then is a rather big one which she attempts to use statistics to support. Her other big thesis: “so here are some numbers for you people that are still believing that police brutality is a real racially motivated police brutality is a real thing…” She insists racially motivated police brutality is not a real thing.

She offers statistics to prove her point.

Let’s see if we can do that too.

US News and World Report, June 3, 2020 headline read, “Deaths From Police Harm Disproportionately Affect People of Color.” The article states, “In fact, people of color were more likely to be the victims of this harm in 2019 than they were in 2014. In 2019, 54% of those who died as a result of harm from police and whose race was identified were people of color – including Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander individuals – compared to 50% in 2014.” It concludes with this observation, “Despite the increased attention, only about 1% of police officers involved with these deaths are charged with a crime and even less are convicted, according to Mapping Police Violence.”

And you’re like, but you can find a statistic to support anything.  And I’m like, right?

How about this one? Black Americans 2.5X More Likely Than Whites to Be Killed By Police. Headline on staista.com for June 2, 2020. Or maybe this one? Minneapolis Police Use Force Against Black People at 7 Times the Rate of Whites from the New York Times, June 3, 2020. That article, from the city Mr. Floyd was choked to death in, says, “About 20 percent of Minneapolis’s population of 430,000 is black. But when the police get physical — with kicks, neck holds, punches, shoves, takedowns, Mace, Tasers or other forms of muscle — nearly 60 percent of the time the person subject to that force is black. And that is according to the city’s own figures.”

I think Myth Busters would call this one CONFIRMED.

It’s funny what we can do with facts and statistics isn’t it?

So, to wrap this, what have I been trying to say? 1) We need to find out who is selling us and what they usually try to sell. Candace Owen’s rant appears to be coming from some young black woman with a “fresh” perspective. But this is her brand and it’s not new. 2) No one deserves to be choked to death, including George Floyd according to Candace Owen – and no one deserves to have their failures and addictions and criminal record trotted out after they’ve died when they will have no chance to explain, defend or express their remorse or repentance for what they did – says anyone with a heart and a brain. And more importantly, anyone who has sinned and fallen short like me. Finally 3) Statistics seem so real and factual but we really have to be careful when we hear people roll them out quickly without offering any counter statistics that might round out the picture of the situation we are trying to understand or references to where theses statistics come from.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Published by APastor'sStory

Trying to squeeze this life for all the juice I can get out of it.

26 thoughts on “Addressing Candace Owen’s ‘Brave’ Rant

  1. Good article and I agree with your first half 100%, but part of her argument was that the media misinterprets the statistics of police brutality and you still used media sources to try and disprove and I’m still left looking for hard facts from actual sources outside of the media. Can you find/include those instead? I’d love to share this article, but can’t until I get hard facts outside of media sources.

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    1. Here’s one: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793

      If you type in “scholarly articles concerning police targeting African Americans” into google you’ll find plenty. Also those media posts will often have links to the studies they’re summarizing so you don’t have to trust or even read their interpretation, you can just use them as a middle man to get straight to the study.

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    2. I wasn’t trying to disprove Candace’s statistics. I was trying to demonstrate that we can all source statistics and use them as we like. If you are interested in getting past the media filter, the statistics I refer to and the media they were posted in have information about the source of the stats and i’m sure you could follow the trail very easily to get to the original material.

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      1. I’m curious about your facts stating more people of color are persecuted by police than white people. When in fact she gives figures stating that they are also committing more crimes that’s why their numbers are higher

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The problem with all these statistics is that so many variables are involved and that nuance and specificity is lacking. A quick search of data will offer a number of recorded statistics that can then be presented in a variety of ways. We have to look at what the statistics leave out as much as we look at what the statistics reveal. Reading multiple sources is always a better approach then grabbing hold of one source that seems to affirm what we already believe. A little bit of research on the stats that Candace Owen offers (without sourcing her stats) will give you a more complete picture and will give you reason to doubt the numbers she gives.

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      3. So, let’s take that statistic. There are some questions we have to ask about it. Where did the statistic come from? Which crimes are being counted? What underlying circumstances may provoke criminal activity: extreme poverty, oppression, fear, depression, anger, feeling unheard? Is it possible that black people are often charged with crimes that white people committing the same offense are “given another chance” for? Do the statistics include black men profiled by police and stopped for being black who are subsequently arrested for “resisting arrest” or some other charge that never would have happened had the police officer not approached an individual who had committed no crime, was on private property or in their vehicle traveling and who did not respond to requests the way the officer thought they should but were not, in fact, legally obligated to? So many questions to ask and get answers for.

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  2. “Statistics seem so real and factual but we really have to be careful when we hear people roll them out quickly without offering any counter statistics that might round out the picture of the situation we are trying to understand or references to where theses statistics come from.” — Agreed. Critical thinking is essential, especially when such information is used in decision-making. Thanks for taking the time to offer and broaden the discussion to include compassion.//mm

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  3. I don’t agree with Candace’s rant either. But I can’t help but notice one thing. It would have been one thing if you simply deconstructed Candace’s arguments. But you felt the need to Google her (since you neither know her not have ever followed her) and pull up what you perceive at the sins of her past to cast her in a negative light, with no regard for her humanity or God’s grace. In other words, you’re doing the very thing to Candace that she seems to be doing to George Floyd. That is hypocrisy. Now, if this were simply a political blog, I’d probably just look the other way, since political bloggers are often hypocrites. But if you’re using the title of a pastor, you have a moral obligation to listen to the Holy Spirit when teaching. And the Holy Spirit is no hypocrite. So I’d encourage to check your heart on this issue. Just like Candace Owens’ personal biases have gotten in the way of her seeing George Floyd’s humanity and God’s grace, your personal biases have prevented you from seeing the same in her.

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    1. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I’m sorry, but you are completely mischaracterizing my post. I did Google Candace Owen to find out who she is. I did not call her a criminal or a sinner or come up with a list of things she has done that I called bad, wrong, illegal, sinful or evil. I made no commentary on the details of her past and shared the public details in order to create context. I was not trying “to cast her in a negative light” just cast some light on who she is because context matters. Make no mistake though, I am a hypocrite who is being saved by God’s grace. I get it wrong all the time, as I alluded to in this post. I would hate to have anyone go over my record of wrongs when I die the way Mrs. Owen did in her rant about Mr. Floyd. Perhaps you could reread my post and if there is a specific instance you could point out where I did what you are accusing me of you could point them out. I do take my faith seriously and happily repent whenever I need to. Cheers!

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      1. You set up in the first couple of paragraphs the idea that she’s a conservative journalist and use that as a weapon against her as if that’s something that discredits her on its own. You spend two paragraphs near the beginning grabbing the worst possible intentions behind what she says and presenting them as facts. You don’t even reference actual statistics she uses in her argument, but simply tell us to assume shes manipulated them for her own personal gain. Every word you say about who she is as a human being casts her in a negative light. You don’t have to say the word “sinner” to remove any and all grace from the conversation. You say you were just putting her words into context. For the record, that’s the excuse she’s going with too.

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      2. If Candace had sited the source of her statistics I would have been able to address them specifically. I found contrary statistics and presented those with references for those who wanted to investigate. I did not present the information about her context in a negative way and did not intend for it to have a negative connotation. It was presented for those who, like me, had no idea who she was. First, I reference her as a conservative pundit and author who is promoting something she calls Blexit. I don’t criticize or editorialize that. My reference to Fox News that precedes that comment is editorializing and was intended to locate her in the spectrum of political pundits. In the next paragraph I share two quotes, one from Wikipedia – again, without commentary or editorializing. It’s like a snapshot of her cv. Then i gave a quote from the US-Sun, again without commentary or editorializing. These are all facts and part of her public record. They help to locate her in the context she works and lives in.

        Again, without her referencing the stats that she quotes it seems impossible to me to take them on in any other way than presenting the other studies I offered with references for readers to follow up on.

        Every word I say about her may cast her in a negative light for you but I was offering the public context of Mrs. Owen. Does she own a puppy? Does she give 10% of her earnings away to help fund scholarships for students in need? Please feel free to offer the public information that would put her in a more positive light. But saying “she speaks the truth everyone else is afraid to say” is not a fact and it is not helpful – I’m not suggesting you have said that but it is a common response I have received.

        Statistics, when presented, are always manipulated and within my post I tried to underline the obvious – i was doing the same thing. To find a raw data to support an argument isn’t hard. There is a lot more work to be done when it’s time to interpret the data. This is where her bias shows AND it shows my bias as well.

        I am well aware of how she is presenting her argument. I’ve tried to point out that she is using a number of logical fallacies to make her point including a straw man argument and an appeal to authority. But again, thank you for reading and engaging.

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  4. I was weary about her spouting statistics, like where were they coming from? But I feel like treating someone like a martyr goes just as far if not farther than calling them one. All the “I can’t breathe” quotes and using his name and story for the face of the protests– that can be considered treating him as a martyr.

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    1. If we change the definition of the word “martyr” I suppose so. As a Christian, that word has a very significant meaning for me and I do not see anyone marching using “martyr” according to the accepted meaning of that word. It’s also an evocative word and Mrs. Owen uses it knowingly so that she can contrast the accepted meaning of martyr with the personal details of Mr. Floyd’s criminal past/present and diminish the cause by diminishing the man.

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  5. This guy doesn’t understand anything about statistics and clearly had some selective listening during the rant. The articles he cited do not account for the fact that black people commit crime at higher rates. Candace literally clarified in her rant that any article citing racial disparity do not account for disparity in rate of crime. This is in fact true. Of course more black people have more FOIS when they commit homicide and violent crime at a much higher rate. It’s a shame this “pastor” won’t address the true brokenness in black communities and refuses to seek real change. I suggest you pray for a backbone to stop writing theological hit pieces on a woman who makes no claim to Christianity and man up to the truth, sir.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. I agree, neither my blog post or Candace’s video rant try to tackle the important questions about why. Why do black people have a higher crime rate than white people in the US.? This is one of the nuances that the statistics do not reveal and are not meant to. That’s what makes it so sad when people grab these numbers and feel like they are making an important point with them. Context always matter. I did not intend my post to be a “theological hit piece” but rather and response to the steady stream of white Christian friends who were sharing her rant without engaging (or so it seems to me) in any critical thinking about her content and context. Systemic racism and the oppression of black people continuously over 400 years here in America, slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, voter suppression, the KKK, Confederate monuments intended to intimidate black people in the South, the new Jim Crow, mass incarceration and the inequity of sentencing of black bodies for harsher sentences than white bodies for the very same crimes, daily experiences of prejudice, economic disparity that comes centuries of legal systems intended to keep black people from owning their own homes and/or keeping them in a ghetto, the dehumanization of black men by white culture and even the talk of being “color blind” by sympathetic white people have all contributed to damage we have done to our black brothers and sisters. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m still learning.

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      1. PASTOR, I THINK SHE WAS TRYING TO SAY, “DO NOT MARTYR A BROKEN MAN.” HE HAD BEEN IN AND OUT OF PRISON. HE HAD THREATENED THE LIFE OF A PREGNANT MOTHER AS HE AND SEVERAL OTHERS ROBBED HER. HE SERVED TIME FOR THAT, AND THEN GOT OUT, GOT BACK ON METH, MARIJUANA, FENTANYL, AND WAS STARTING A NEW LIFE OF CRIME.

        I THINK PASTOR, WHAT SHE REALLY WAS SAYING, “YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS!”

        CERTAINLY YOU HAVE MENTIONED THAT FROM THE PULPIT NOW AND AGAIN.

        READ HIS CRIMINAL HISTORY, READ THE ACCOUNT OF “HIS THREATENING THE PREGNANT MOTHER, AND READ HIS AUTOPSY OF THE CHEMICALS HE HAD INTRODUCED INTO HIS OWN BODY. AND, AFTER READING IT ALL, AND RECALLING “YOU SHALL KNOW HIM BY HIS FRUITS”. AFTERWARDS, I PERSONALLY THINK YOU OWE CANDICE OWENS AN APOLOGY!” FOR GOD IS NOT MOCKED PASTOR. YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS.

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      2. Hi, thanks for reading my post and taking time to reply. She is a professional and presents and debates often. I don’t think she needs anyone to explain what she was trying to say. BUT I did look more closely into his criminal record and it turns out that Candace both exaggerated his record and made more of his condition at the time of his arrest than was true. There is no evidence that he threatened the life of a pregnant mother. What chemicals were in his system have been exaggerated and he was not behaving erratically at the time of his arrest according to witnesses. We will indeed know them by their fruits.
        I would encourage you to read this article for help: https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/06/12/george-floyd-criminal-record/

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  6. You said and I quote, “Systemic racism and the oppression of black people continuously over 400 years here in America, slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, voter suppression, the KKK, Confederate monuments intended to intimidate black people in the South, the new Jim Crow, mass incarceration and the inequity of sentencing of black bodies for harsher sentences than white bodies for the very same crimes, daily experiences of prejudice, economic disparity that comes centuries of legal systems intended to keep black people from owning their own homes and/or keeping them in a ghetto, the dehumanization of black men by white culture and even the talk of being “color blind” by sympathetic white people have all contributed to damage we have done to our black brothers and sister”.

    However, all of those things have lost their power over the Black man and the Native American man (who by the way seems to just get left out in the war of Racism). To be unwilling to celebrate how much has changed is so unforgiving!! I am Native American! Google Henry Berry Lowery. He is my Ancestor. He was an Indian outlaw and took a lot of matters against white people into his own hands and he broke the law to do it, but there were few standing up for our people. I will never wear clothing with his picture on it or share his actions in light of heroism. My people taught me prejudice against the White and the Black race. I grew up angry because of this and had an “outlaw mentality”. I came to know Jesus at 19 years old (thanks to the Christian White man, who came to America and shared the Gospel and fought for the Freedom, of all). Yes, it was the White men willing to go against there own race that allowed many other races to come out of the oppressions and tyranny sought by the evil White people, who wanted to keep us down. I understand the anger and the hurt, but I can’t understand why we keep allowing our children to grow up ungrateful and angry instead of saying, “LOOK HOW FAR WE HAVE COME! WE ARE NO LONGER VICTIMS, BUT VICTORS!!” As a Christian we must accept a whole other prospective and that is, evil will always exist until Jesus comes back and takes us home. We have to fight the evil with Spiritual Warfare and teach our children to fight that same Spiritual fight or else we lose more of the ones we love to senseless acts of violence! I am a Family Nurse Practitioner now, WOW….talk about what Natives can become nowadays!! I remember growing up thinking I would always be too dumb to accomplish anything (my own people put that in me, unknowingly). I just watched the ending of the video of Mr. Floyd. I didn’t have the heart to really look at the video until someone shared this portion of it. Over 18 years I have been in the medical profession. I have watched my colleagues and I have disliked Paramedics/EMTs attitudes, but I have never seen and I mean NEVER seen them take death as final until they have made every attempt to bring the person back. Look at that video again, if you can and notice, if those men were EMT/Paramedics: where was the equipment to help save their patient? Why did they drag him onto a gurney without assessing his status and securing him? No CPR! No ambu-bag! No C-spine technique! No getting an IV started! As Christian minorities we have to be aware of Satan’s devices!! He can take what we think are our strengths and use them as a weakness. Someone is playing games with peoples lives and the justice we seek has to be on a much greater level than what meets the natural eye. I can agree with Candance on the overall issue, which is, “WE CAN ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS IN AMERICA NOW!!” This is what we must teach our children!
    Love in Christ Jesus

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    1. Help me out. Which part of what I wrote are you finding disagreeable? It seems to me a lot of people are more than willing to “acknowledge” they agree with Candace. I’ve received a video rant as a direct message from several of my white Christian friends or posted on their wall with an invitation to listen to her perspective. My post was intended to respond as a pastor to some of the key elements of her rant: her context and agenda, her straw man argument about Mr. Floyd being venerated as an upstanding moral example and martyr and her selective use of statistics without the necessary consideration of context or nuance in interpretation of the data. Statistics give us raw information but the way that information is presented is hardly ever without bias. To disagree with what someone says doesn’t mean there is an unwillingness to acknowledge truth. Thanks for stopping by and reading what I’ve written and responding.

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  7. just FYI “The martyrdom of George Floyd gave the American experience a moment of national anguish, as we grieve for the black Americans killed by police brutality,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

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    1. So do you think that means that Mrs. Pelosi was listening to Mrs. Owen? Or is one of Mrs. Owen’s super powers time travel? 5 days ago she said the protesters were calling Mr. Floyd and today Mrs. Pelosi does the same. Sadly, both of them don’t seem to understand what the term means. Mrs. Pelosi is wrong to use it in this context and Mrs. Owen was wrong to use it in her’s.

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