Twitter temporarily suspended Candace Owens’ account today, over tweets in which she quoted Sarah Jeong directly, but replaced the words “white people” with “Jewish people”. After the New York Times’ controversial decision to hire Sarah Jeong, many have held her tweets as an example of the double-standard that exists regarding racism in the West, and Owens’ word-swapped tweets have proven just how prevalent that double-standard is.
Amid voluminous backlash on the platform, Twitter soon after reversed the suspension, but the damage had been done. The social media platform made an example of itself.
Candace is no stranger to controversy. Her original claim to fame was her intention to create a website called SocialAutopsy, a short-sighted attempt to combat online bullying by exposing private information that could be obtained about abusive individuals in order to hold them accountable. This made her the enemy of many alt-media pundits, including this author, who take a firm stance against doxing. But whatever your opinions of Owens, her simple subject-swapped tweets echoed sentiments which have been shared by President Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., as well as many others across the political spectrum, about the political and social bias that plagues mainstream media.
Owens stated that she actually agrees with Twitter’s declaration that such language is hateful conduct, saying, “It begs the question — why was it okay when the hate was directed at White people? Why are her tweets still up? In every way imaginable — Twitter has just proved my point. Racism in this country has been sanctioned against white people.”
But jobs are lost, when a person is accused of racism, Nazism, fascism and misogyny — as long as those accusations are made against those in the “wrong” political spheres. Sarah Jeong was not ruled out for hiring at the New York Times for her hundreds of bigoted and prejudiced tweets spanning back years; however, a single tweet from Roseanne Barr was enough to cancel her show and see her livelihood ended, which the New York Times asserted was the correct thing to do.
The New York Times has even go so far as to defend their hiring of Sarah Jeong, which shows a deep hypocrisy on the part of what some would call the most important news outlet in the world. As for Jeong, she made a statement regarding her tweets, in which she said, “I engaged in what I thought of at the time as counter-trolling. While it was intended as satire, I deeply regret that I mimicked the language of my harassers. These comments were not aimed at a general audience, because general audiences do not engage in harassment campaigns. I can understand how hurtful these posts are out of context, and I would not do it again.”
The tweets in question are not replies to another user, however; most of them are open statements made publicly. Her statement, while an apology, attempts to blame others for her actions and ignore her agency in the matter. While I do not think Sarah Jeong should be fired for her blatant racism and bigotry — no one should be fired for what they think — statements like these have earned Jeong and the New York Times the backlash they are rightfully receiving.
In closing, I will leave you with a selection of Jeong’s tweets, so you are able to decide for yourself what kind of person you think she is.