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Kirk, Owens Speak to LOU Community Advocating Conservative Ideology

Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Charlie Kirk, Candace Owens, and the executive board of the Ole Miss Turning Point USA. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss TPUSA.

As the 2020 presidential election approaches, President Donald Trump has been making his way across the country with “MAGA” rallies in hopes of being re-elected to the White House. 

The Ole Miss chapter of Turning Point USA (TPUSA) hosted two conservative speakers Thursday night at the Oxford Conference Center who actively advocate for Trump’s policies and diplomacy: Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens.

Kirk, founder and executive director of TPUSA, and Owens, conservative commentator and political activist, said he and Owens are grateful to live in a country that has freedoms to speak and assemble at events like Campus Clash.

“With people who have come from all over the world, [America] has coexisted peacefully in a really amazing way,” he said.

Kirk and Owens expanded the conversation to the Democratic hopefuls. Kirk said America’s most important document in history is the U.S. Constitution and that candidate Beto O’Rourke wants to abolish the document.

“You might know him by his fake name, Beto,” Kirk said. “He’s calling for the abolition of the U.S. Constitution.”

Owens continued the conversation on O’Rourke and said she disagrees with reparations for African Americans. She said it is insulting the reparations those candidates want to offer to the minority community.

Candidates that campaign on reparations for minority groups, such as African Americans, do not offer conversations or solutions to broken communities, especially those that are run by Democrats, Owens said.

“They do not want to talk about ideas or how [minorities] can seize the piece of the American dream that we deserve for being in this country so long,” Owens said. “Instead, they tell [minorities] they are victims.”

Owens said the term “victim mentalities” is cancerous. The thing that unites all Americans is a philosophy that a citizen can start from nothing. With hard work, he or she will be rewarded, she said.

An example of that philosophy is her grandfather, she said. Growing up on a sharecropping farm in segregated North Carolina, Owens’ grandfather picked cotton and tobacco, which he now owns the sharecropping farm. However, Owens said she never once heard her grandfather speak negatively of white people.

“Never in my life growing up in his household did I hear him say I couldn’t do something because of the color of my skin,” Owens said.

Kirk expanded the conversation from “victim mentalities” to the ideology of “victor versus victimhood mentality.” He said victimhood is far too often taught as a virtue.

“There is nothing virtuous about complaining about your current status,” Kirk said. “There is nothing virtuous about asking someone to give you something because something bad happened to you.”

In America, if citizens apply themselves and make good choices, he or she can overcome adversaries, Kirk said.

Community Applause

During Thursday night’s event, members of the Oxford community gathered to vocalize conservative ideology and share the experience of witnessing two prominent GOP speakers.

Oxford local Russ Jones said he thought the event was a great opportunity for likeminded conservatives to have a place to freely share ideas; however, he said it was unfortunate the event could not be on the University of Mississippi’s campus.

“I think it’s encouraging to see Candace Owens, a young African American embrace conservative values and be so articulate in a way that young people can relate to,” Jones said.

Jones said there are a lot of young conservative voices on campus that are often overshadowed by a more “elitist academic institutional system.”

Freshman Damien Harbin also attended the Campus Clash event Thursday night. He said he attended because he is a big fan of Kirk and watches his YouTube videos frequently.

“I like the message behind it…strong conservative message about free markets,” Harbin said. “We should all be equal under law.”

Hottytoddy.com intern Alec Keyzer-Andre contributed to this story

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