Candace Owens vs. Cornel West: Joe Biden and Race, Socialism and African-American Vote


FNC: Harvard philosophy professor Dr. Cornel West and Blexit Movement founder Candace Owens weigh in on Joe Biden's support among black voters.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS: Now, many are saying that Joe Biden has a past that should threaten his prospect with black voters. But for some reason, his support among them is soaring. A brand new Quinnipiac poll revealing in a head-to- head match-up Biden leads Trump 85 percent to 12 percent among black voters.

Now, since Trump has been in office though, we have record low unemployment for African-Americans, he signed criminal reform bills, and has done a host of other things to benefit the African-American community.

But, what about Biden? Well, he opposed busing, botched the handling of Anita Hill's testimony about Clarence Thomas according to liberals, not according to me, but - and supported a crime bill that many minorities feel was way too harsh.

Well, that doesn't sound so good. Joining me now is Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy at Harvard, and Candace Owens, conservative commentator and founder of the Blexit movement.

Dr. West, should African-Americans maybe look twice about their support for Joe Biden, given some of these past issues?

DR. CORNEL WEST, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well, I think one that brother Biden is no dummy. He's got fine energy, but his big problem is that he is a dye-in-the-wool backward-looking neoliberal with little vision and even less courage. And so, in that sense, he represents a past, and I know he's got the Obama halo, but that is going to decline.

And I don't see Barack Obama, I don't see brother Barack breakdancing in support of Biden either. So, I think we really got to take a look at my brother, you got a look at - take a look at Bernie Sanders, vision, courage, consistency, and you'll see tomorrow the way in which the legacy of FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, all of those great--

INGRAHAM: Oh my God, anyone else?

WEST: --human being.

INGRAHAM: I mean, (inaudible) oh come on.

WEST: Oh yes, Norman Thomas.

INGRAHAM: Thomas Edison.

WEST: Michael Harrington, Barbara Ehrenreich, Talia Rabinowitz (ph), we can go on and on, yes indeed.

INGRAHAM: But I think Cornel makes an interesting point here, because we were just talking about vitality and age, and people age in different ways and so forth. But Bernie Sanders, who's 77 to me, and putting aside looks and all that, to me seems a lot younger than Joe Biden.

I mean, he's charging, he's like out there, I mean you can't help but watch Bernie Sanders when he's out there. Candace, it's an interesting point though, because Biden is way up over Trump among black voters. Does the Trump team need to sell their achievements better, what can they do to make up some of that difference, let's say Biden does get the nomination?

CANDACE OWENS, FOUNDER, BLEXIT MOVEMENT: You know, I definitely always think that you can communicate the points better and definitely this Administration can talk about what they're doing better, but I'm -- you're not going to find disagreement right now with me and Dr. West when it comes to Joe Biden. I think that his history and race has been absolutely abhorrent and Trump should hit hard on that.

We know exactly what he's done in the past. We know that he championed the crime bill of 1994; he really pushed that through. We also know that we see a lot of black Americans talking about the disparities in terms of sentencing when it comes to crack versus powder cocaine, and that was also championed by Joe Biden. This information isn't out enough and that's part of the problem, and we need to make sure the Trump Administration does get that information forward.

Now, of course, we always do have to disagree. Dr. West and I would disagree with you in terms of thinking that Joe Biden is a candidate that we should be going for. I mean, yes, he is a more enthusiastic character than Joe Biden, but he's talking about socialism and we know that that is something--


OWENS: That has, yes, Bernie. That has absolutely destroyed and decimated the black community socialist policies like in terms of the welfare. So, a little bit of agreement here, but mostly--

INGRAHAM: Yes, but Cornel, you think that, that Bernie Sanders is going to deliver what a better economy than Trump for African-Americans because I haven't heard that argument for Bernie. I've heard a lot about giveaways, but how is he going to raise the actual standard of living, the wage earning capacity of all Americans, including African-Americans, who have been disproportionately hit by open borders and the lowering of wages because of a huge influx of indigenous workers?

WEST: Oh, but no, my dear sister, you ask the workers at Walmart who are of all color, so we're talking about humanity, we're talking about Americans across race at this point. You ask the workers at Walmart whether they will be able to live a life of more decency under Sanders Administration as opposed to a Trump Administration, he was just there in Arkansas standing with the workers, McDonald workers too -- he stands with working people and poor people. That's his connection to Martin King; that's his connection to FDR; that's his connection to Fannie Lou Hamer.

And so, my dear sister Candace, I would argue that welfare again now was not socialist, it was an attempt to intervene given the failure of capitalism to provide jobs of a living wage for people.

OWENS: It was socialist. It was a socialist--

WEST: It was not socialistic at all.

OWENS: It was absolutely socialistic, you know that and you know that our community--


WEST: No my dear, that's not socialist.

OWENS: -- hundred years, doctor, doctor. Come on.

WEST: That's not socialist.

OWENS: One (ph) hundred years after slavery, the black community was doing better. We were going up, up, up. Then suddenly, they socialized our community via welfare policies and the black community started going down, down, down. And you're sitting here--


OWENS: --supporting a candidate that is advocating for making that on a larger scale. He's saying we're not just going to do it to the black community, we're going to do it to every community in America. Well, you know his policies do not work; you know that socialism has led to more deaths than anything else in the last 100 years. 100 million deaths and you stand behind this man; you should not. You need to stand behind Trump.

OWENS: My dear sister.

WEST: Because he is getting--


WEST: The very fact--

OWENS: And making poor people richer are two different things.

INGRAHAM: All right. Let's get--


WEST: The very fact that you have been able to aspire and achieve the level that you have, based on the struggle of those who came before from W. E. B. Du Bois, from Ida B. Wells, the Frederick Douglass, they were not concerned with -isms, they were concerned with justice and fairness. Now, Du Bois was a socialist but he didn't -- he wasn't pro-welfare. So, you got to get your history right, my dear sister.

OWENS: Frederick Douglass? We are talking about Bernie Sanders. We don't have to talk about history; we are talking about President. We are talking about Bernie Sanders and what he's offering to the black community, which awful.



WEST: No, no, no. There was a Richard Smalls of South Carolina with Frederick Douglass called for public schools, he was called a socialist.

OWENS: We are talking about Bernie Sanders, doctor.

WEST: He was talking about fairness.

OWENS: Doctor, we are talking about Bernie Sanders.

WEST: Bernie Sanders is part of the legacy, Bernie Sanders is part of that legacy, sister Candace.


WEST: --get you to see. But it is not welfare, it has nothing to do with welfare, that's about fairness, jobs with a living wage, has to with workers control in some instance at the work place.

OWENS: Doctor, this is basic economics. Everything can't be free. You know that; I know that.

WEST: We got to quit spreading these lies. Quit spreading these lies about what socialism is.

OWENS: Yes, we do. I agree. Let's start tonight.

INGRAHAM: Cornel, okay, we are tight on time here. But I still say--


INGRAHAM: I still have to say, Cornel and Candace--

WEST: Yes.

INGRAHAM: --both have to go to the Oval Office and, Cornel, you have to just spend some time with Trump, with Candace, okay?

OWENS: I'll take you.

INGRAHAM: I'll just sit and have popcorn, and watch it. But I'm telling you, you have to spend some time with him, throw away your preconceived ideas. I'm telling you. You should do it.

WEST: No, I'm a jazz -- I'm a jazz man. I believe in improvisation and engaging with dialog with anybody.


WEST: I just want people to get the facts right and the truths right, and make sure we're concerned about poor and working people and not the -ism.

INGRAHAM: I agree, I agree.


WEST: It's not the -ism; it's not the -ism; it's not the -ism at this point.

INGRAHAM: All right. I have a time-- I have a commercialism problem here. I have a commercialism.

WEST: No, but I'm - according to sister Candace, Jesus would be a socialist. Was a Jesus a socialist?


OWENS: Brother West, Brother West, you know that what is going--


INGRAHAM: All right, guys, we got to go, got to go. Great conversation.

WEST: All right, all right. We have to spend more time.

INGRAHAM: We can do an hour together. And Cornell, I didn't mean to say Harvard that way. That's just Dartmouth, that's our inferiority complex. No, it isn't. We didn't even get to other topics. But thank you, both.

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