Conservative commentator Candace Owens made a set of bizarre and controversial statements at an event in the United Kingdom back in December, including explaining her belief that the main problem with Adolf Hitler was that he had goals that went beyond his own German borders.
BuzzFeed News reported on the details of that event earlier this week, and video of her comments — in which she tried to defend the ideals of nationalism — have spread online.
The event, which was promoting Turning Point, a conservative organization she’s the communications director of, also featured the group’s founder Charlie Kirk. The group’s aim, Kirk explained, was to defend “Western values.”
“All men are created equal but not all cultures are created equal,” Kirk said.
But his commentary wasn’t the most controversial. For many, it was Owens’s words on nationalism and Hitler that made them uncomfortable.
Here is video of Candace Owens' full answer on nationalism and Hitler pic.twitter.com/NfBvoH8vQg
— John Whitehouse+ (@existentialfish) February 8, 2019
Owens tried to urge members of the audience to rethink the idea of “nationalism.”
“I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism,'” Owens said. “I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want.”
Owens then suggested that Hitler was errantly labeled a nationalist because of his aspirations to expand his nation’s borders.
“Whenever we say ‘nationalism,’ the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler,” she said.
“You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine … The problem is that [Hitler] had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize.”
In trying to insinuate that Hitler’s authoritarian rule only started to become problematic in Europe after he tried to expand his empire, Owens is creating a gross retelling of history. Hitler began nationalistic programs removing democratic rights of Jews and other groups in Germany, for example, in 1933, almost immediately after he became chancellor, according to an article from My Jewish Learning. Attempts to expand the boundaries of Germany didn’t begin until years later.
Owens’s attempts to redefine nationalism — suggesting Hitler wasn’t one because of his attempts to go “global” — also ignoring the definition of what nationalism actually is. A person can be a nationalist and still have territorial aspirations, for instance. What makes someone a nationalist is a belief that a particular group of people is superior to others throughout the region or world.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.