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Some conservatives hate CRT for the wrong reasons

US conservative author Candace Owens speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2022 (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on February 25, 2022.
US conservative author Candace Owens speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2022 (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on February 25, 2022. | CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Not every conservative hates critical race theory for the right reasons. That’s why some so-called conservatives have become woke on Israel. 

It shouldn’t be surprising. Two people can hate the same thing for different reasons. For instance, Ibram X. Kendi and I hate white supremacy for different reasons. I hate white supremacy because I hate all kinds of racial discrimination. However, Ibram X. Kendi hates white supremacy because he hates some kinds of racial discrimination. 

This is why in his book, How To Be An Antiracist, he says:

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“If racial discrimination is defined as treating, considering, or making a distinction in favour or against an individual based on that person’s race, then racial discrimination is not inherently racist. The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist.”

In other words, he believes racial discrimination against black people is unjust, but racial discrimination against white people is justifiable.

So Kendi hates white supremacy for the wrong reasons. He doesn’t hate white supremacy in principle. 

In the same way, a vocal minority of conservatives like Candace Owens hate critical race theory for the wrong reasons. They don’t hate it in principle. That’s why they’re repeating woke talking points against Jews and Israel.

A few years ago I wrote an article about the relationship between antisemitism and social justice ideology. I explained that Hitler justified the holocaust by claiming Jews were parasites who had infiltrated Germany and in their greed, they oppressed “Aryan” Germans and forced them into poverty while Jews lived in privilege. 

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s precisely what pro-Hamas and pro-Palestine groups are saying about Jews. This is why pro-Palestine rallies are filled with Nazi sympathizers.

Since woke ideology is filled with antisemitic tropes that label Jews as oppressors, it’s consistent that woke activists have adopted an anti-Israel stance. It’s inconsistent, however, for anti-CRT conservatives like Candace Owens to mimic woke talking points against Jews and Israel.

Candace Owens has been one of the most vocal conservative critics of Israel since Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel last month. On her podcast and social media, she’s shared many of the myths about the state of Israel and its role in the conflict with Palestine. 

For instance, she’s claimed Israel is segregating Palestinians the same way America segregated black people. She mentioned the disparities between Palestinians and Jews in Jerusalem and said, “It just made me feel as a black American and knowing my own history that this isn’t freedom to me.”

That reasoning and rhetoric is straight from the woke playbook. She implied the disparities are probably evidence of discrimination and she mentions her “lived experiences” as a black American as if it adds authoritative insight into the conflict.

She’s also suggested Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians. In a tweet earlier this month, she said: “No government anywhere has a right to commit a genocide, ever. There is no justification for a genocide. I can’t believe this even needs to be said or is even considered the least bit controversial to state.”

That is disingenuous. Though this has become a popular anti-Israel myth, Candace Owens knows better. Israel isn’t committing genocide. People who say that are deliberately speaking lies. Every honest person knows Israel is defending itself against terrorist attacks.

After all, genocide doesn’t happen by accident. Casualties of war are not genocides. A genocide is a deliberate attempt to murder some or all members of an ethnic group or nation. Only one of Israel and Palestine has vowed to commit genocide — it’s not Israel. Only one of Israel and Palestine has intentionally killed civilians — it’s not Israel.

Candace Owens knows that. However, she refuses to acknowledge Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorist attacks. In that way, she’s just like BLM activists who believe white police officers do not have a right to defend themselves against black criminals.

In March 2020, a couple of months before the George Floyd incident, white police officers attempted to search Breonna Taylor’s home for drug trafficking. However, her boyfriend fired a gun at the police officers, prompting the police to shoot at the people in the home. 

Breonna Taylor was killed by the police, and since she’s black — Black Lives Matter and the media claimed that police officers weren’t acting in self-defense, they were just racist murderers. 

When the police officers weren’t charged for her death, Benjamin Crump, the infamous race hustler hired by Breonna Taylor’s family said

“This is outrageous and offensive to Breonna Taylor’s memory. It’s yet another example of no accountability for the genocide of persons of color by white police officers.”

At the time, however, Candace Owens, said: “They are now insinuating that police officers, even in a circumstance where they are being fired upon, where they are being shot, do not have a right to defend themselves. It’s abhorrent.”

She also said: “Breonna Taylor would be alive if her boyfriend did not fire at police …”

Meaning, Candace Owens believes police officers have a right to defend themselves when they’re being shot at but Israel doesn’t have a right to defend itself when they’re being attacked. And police officers shouldn’t be blamed for Breonna Taylor’s death but Israel should be blamed for the deaths of Palestinian civilians? 

It’s especially difficult to ignore the motives behind her inconsistencies when she’s defended Kanye West’s antisemitic words. That inconsistency begs the question: why does Candace Owens hate critical race theory?

Why is it that a vocal minority of conservatives despise anti-white rhetoric but they defend antisemitism? Why is it that some conservatives reject critical race theory but they’re open to conspiracy theories about Jews?

It’s simple: they hate critical race theory for personal or political reasons, not principled reasons. Meaning, they are Christless conservatives who hate some kinds of partiality, but not all of it. They hate critical race theory for the wrong reasons. They are not motivated by an objective hatred for sin. This is the same reason why conservatives like Candace Owens defend Andrew Tate. They are motivated by selfish ambition, not selfless righteousness (Philippians 2:3-4).

But this is the consequence of people who lean on their own inconsistent and depraved understanding—not the wisdom of God (Proverbs 3:5). That’s why woke people like Ibram X. Kendi hate white supremacy for the wrong reasons and it’s why conservatives like Candace Owens hate critical race theory for the wrong reasons.

In that way, Candace Owens and Ibram X. Kendi have a lot in common.

Originally published at Slow to Write. 

Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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