The family of right-wing firebrand Candace Owens told DailyMail.com today that laughing at the massacre of 49 people at a New Zealand mosque was ‘not proper’ and ‘not how she was raised.’
Her grandfather, Robert Owens, told DailyMail.com: ‘This is the first time I’m hearing about this but this is not my granddaughter’s behavior.
‘Why would she be laughing at it? That doesn’t seem proper. She is a religious person and we taught her. She has family all over the world. Members of our family and her grandmother’s family are all over the world in many nations. We just don’t do that. We’re not that type of people.
‘I know how she was raised and the things we taught her. And no, that’s not our character. We had a lot of influence on her life as a child and we try to be close to our grandchildren.’
The black Republican activist was unwittingly embroiled in the tragedy when terrorist Brenton Tarrant named the conservative activist as his biggest influence in a rambling 74-page manifesto, ‘The Great Replacement‘, which one blogger referred to as ‘sh*t-posting’: ‘[t]he act of throwing out huge amounts of content, most of it ironic, low-quality trolling, for the purpose of provoking an emotional reaction in less Internet-savvy viewers. The ultimate goal is to derail productive discussion and distract readers…’
In the document, the white supremacist said that Owens helped ‘push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness’ – but claimed some of the ‘extreme actions’ she called for are ‘too much, even for my tastes’.
Candace Owens, was slammed on social media for using a laughing emoji on a tweet about the New Zealand mosque massacre after being named in the terrorist’s manifesto
Candace Owen’s grandfather Robert Owens (pictured together in a childhood photo) tells DailyMail.com that laughing at the New Zealand mosque massacre was ‘not proper’ and ‘not how she was raised’
The black Republican Trump supporter (pictured with the president) was unwittingly embroiled in the tragedy when the terrorist named her as his biggest influence in a rambling 74-page manifest
Shortly after posting the manifesto on Twitter, Tarrant, 28, live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch at 1.30pm on Friday. The terror attack, and another at a nearby mosque, left 49 people dead and another 48 injured.
But it was Owens’ apparent callous reaction to the news that led many to question her response.
‘LOL! [Laughing emoji]. FACT: I’ve never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam. The Left pretending I inspired a mosque massacre in…New Zealand because I believe black America can do it without government hand outs is the reachiest reach of all reaches!! LOL!’
Candace Owens was eviscerated by other Twitter users for using the laughing emoji and repeatedly saying ‘laugh out loud’ as she denied inspiring the terrorist’s murderous Islamophobia
Sleeping Giants, a campaign established to fight bigotry and sexism, immediately replied: ‘Yes. A violent massacre is so funny. Hysterical.’
Mr Owens said he believed his granddaughter to be accepting of many viewpoints and that people can often ‘misinterpret’ the way things come across but admits that he wasn’t aware of all his granddaughter’s political positions.
‘I don’t know too much about it because I don’t follow the news as closely. From time to time when I find that that she’s on, I try to listen,’ he said.’But if people know her way of living, it tells you that she is very flexible in her views. Sometimes you can say things and be taken the wrong way.
‘I was a very good follower of Martin Luther King. I listened to him and some of the things he said, I disagree with and then some things he said, it brought tears to my eyes because I knew it was so true.
‘Sometimes she might come over to some people one way in some of the things she’s saying. I’ve listened to Donald Trump and some people hate what he says and I listen, and dig out the history of America, and say, you know what? Donald Trump was right.
‘But I loved JFK and Bobby K, I loved those Kennedy boys. It brings tears to my eyes that they’re dead.’
He added: ‘I want to emphasize to you, Candace is not that type of an individual. She was brought up with all kinds of people and they were all in my yard playing with her.’
Mr Owens recently returned to North Carolina, where he was raised, after selling his home in Connecticut where he ran a dry-cleaning business for 35 years with his wife, Nola, who passed away in 2013.
‘I sharecropped on this farm and I bought the land. That’s the difference in life. I bought it from the man that I sharecropped with,’ he said.
Mr Owens said that his family and his wife’s family had connections all over the world and had mixed heritage. ‘A lot of my family is American-Indian, black-Americans, white Americans, Koreans and Chinese,’ he said. ‘My wife’s brother spent many years in Nigeria and many different countries preaching.
‘Candace herself is international. Candace is in the middle and she can accept everybody, that’s the way she was brought up from a child. She was brought up in a predominantly white neighborhood and people told us not to move up there because we weren’t going to be accepted.
‘I’m from the South and I was born and mostly raised in North Carolina and I know how it was. My father was attacked by the Ku Klux Klan back in the day and he put me under the bed because of all the bullets that were coming into the house. When I peeped out, I saw was people in black clothes and riding horses. Naturally, I grew up wondering who those people were that were riding those horses and shooting at us.
‘It happened but it didn’t make me try to teach my kids to be that way. They are just like Candace – they have white friends, black friends.’
Gunman Brenton Tarrant from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, described Owens as his biggest influence, and said she helped ‘push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness’
But Tarrant claimed some of the ‘extreme actions’ she calls for are ‘too much, even for my tastes’. The terror attack, which was the deadliest in New Zealand’s history, killed 49 people and left another 48 injured
Mr Owens said he was on the fence when it came to politics.
‘I’m very split when it comes to voting,’ he said. ‘Sometimes I listen to the Republican guy and I don’t disagree with him and sometimes I listen to the Democrat and I might disagree.’
He said that when he was starting his business, he had attended an event in New York where Donald Trump was the speaker. ‘I’m a very liberal person and there’s a lot of people say bad things about President Trump. I met him 40 years ago. He came into the place and he said something that didn’t go over too well but at the end of the day, we were all shaking hands, laughing and talking.
‘Some look at him as a very serious conservative and some look at him as a very serious racist but that’s not him.
‘I’m not an average Democrat and I’m not an average Republican. I’m more neutral. I can see the good side of some things and I agree with him, and some things I don’t agree with him.’
Mr Owens said that he was proud of his granddaughter but worried about her work.
‘I’m scared of the work that she does. We have a very intelligent world in America but we also have a lot of sick people out there. Some of them are so conservative they can’t accept the liberals and vice-versa.’
Owens, whose controversial views include that the Democratic party is racist and oppresses black Americans, was quickly inundated with tweets about the gunman’s admiration of her comments about white birth rates in the US and Europe.
She has spoken in the past of her opinion that Europe will be a Muslim majority continent by 2050 but has never condoned violence against any groups.
Owens (center) is a vocal Trump supporter, pictured with Donald Trump Jr (right) and has spoken in the past of her opinions that Europe will be a Muslim majority continent
But rather than distance herself from his views or even condemn his violence, she tweeted ‘LOL!’ followed by the emoji.
She went on to argue that she was not responsible for inspiring the attack and fumed that ‘racist white liberals’ were trying to blame her for it.
‘I’ve never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam.
‘The Left pretending I inspired a mosque massacre in…New Zealand because I believe black America can do it without government hand outs is the reachiest reach of all reaches!! LOL!’ she said.
Owens is known for her controversial remarks on both the second amendment and Islam in addition to her view that the Democratic party is racist.
She has come under fire in the past for making questionably complimentary remarks about Hitler.
On Thursday night and Friday, she continued to tweet that she refused to be blamed for the massacre.
When followers pointed out the impropriety of her response, she was indignant and argued back with them but failed to make a single solemn or sympathetic remark about the shooting or its dozens of victims.
‘Laughter is not the response one would expect after these murders,’ one follower said.
Owens shot back: ‘No. But a bunch of racist white liberals flooding my mentions is almost exactly what one would expect. You guys will never de-platform me.’
Owen was eviscerated by followers for her ‘tone deaf’ posts. She argued back with them afterward and claimed she was the victim of a ‘bunch of racist white liberals’ but failed to make a single solemn or sympathetic post about the shooting itself
Others pointed out that she had in fact shared her views on the second amendment and Islam in the past, sharing screenshots of recent tweets.
One of her previous tweets was directed towards Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, in which she claimed ‘Europe will fall and become a Muslim majority continent by 2050’.
Another, aimed at French president Emmanuel Macron, again warned against the declining birth rate.
When questioned what she was laughing about in the tweet, Owens replied: ‘White liberals attempting to beat black conservatives into submission with absurdity… again.’
Owens has in the past described Black Lives Matters protesters as a ‘bunch of whiny toddlers’ and has said that Hitler would have been ‘OK’ if he’d contained his plans to Germany and not tried to take over the world.
‘I actually don’t have any problems with the word nationalism. Globalism is what I don’t want.
‘Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think of at least in America is Hitler.
‘He was a national socialist but if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK fine.
‘The problem is he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize, he wanted everybody to be speaking German,’ she said.
She was condemned for her comments and later clarified her stance that Hitler’s massacring of millions of Jews was not ‘OK’.
Of the 49 fatalities, 41 were killed at the Al Noor Mosque and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. Three were outside the mosque itself. A 49th died in hospital.
WHO IS CANDACE OWENS?
Owens, 29, is the communications director for Turning Points USA, a conservative youth organization.
She has made a name for herself by making controversial claims about race relations in the US and through an alliance with Kanye West.
Owens extreme views include her belief that the Democratic party is racist and oppressive
Owens’ beliefs include that former president Barack Obama is to blame for disintegrating race relations in America and that Kanye West is one of the ‘bravest men’ in the country for lodging his support with Trump.
She has appeared in the past on Fox and Friends where she shared her extreme belief that black Americans are being held down by the Democratic party.
The young activist gained attention when Kanye West tweeted that he ‘liked the way she thinks’ last year.
Owens grabbed attention last April when Kanye West tweeted his support of her
Earlier this year she was condemned for saying Hitler would have been ‘fine’ if he had contained his plans to Germany
She is an active Republican who regularly attends party events . Above, with Donald Trump Jr.
She replied desperately asking him for a meeting and telling him how much he inspired her.
In addition to working for Turning Points, she runs a YouTube channel and show where she interviews guests and discusses national issues.
The 29-year-old is shown with her British fiance George Farmer
Owens notoriously dislikes Black Lives Matter, which she labels as a group of ‘whiny toddlers’.
Among her recent guests was Roseanne Barr who was fired by ABC last year for writing a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett.
Owens gave her a sympathetic ear as the pair discussed the #MeToo movement and Barr labeled some of the women who have come forward to say they have been the victims of sexual harassment and assault in work as ‘hoes’.
She is engaged to Turning Point UK operative George Farmer and is understood to live in New York City.