Candace Owens’ fight to help a business owner who supported her opinion was stopped when GoFundMe officials pulled the plug.
Why? They disagreed with her opinion.
The popular conservative black female commentator and political activist came to the defense of a bar and restaurant owner in Birmingham, Alabama, who backed her opinion about people protesting the death of George Floyd.
Owens raised more than $200,000 in 24 hours to help the businessman through a GoFundMe account, but the campaign was suspended by the fundraising company after it ruled that the cause was “intolerant.”
After raising $205,000 in a few hours @gofundme decided to halt my campaign for the Parkside Cafe in Alabama. At their discretion, they deemed that funds raised for a conservative business constitutes “intolerance”
They WILL however give the funds raised thus far to the cafe… pic.twitter.com/Mfw88iDKRi
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 7, 2020
The owner of Parkside Cafe, Michael Dykes, said he was inspired after Owens posted a Facebook Live video in which she shared her views of the protesters and Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis after since-fired police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Chauvin and his fellow officers face charges in connection with Floyd’s death.
Since video of the incident went viral on social media, peaceful protests have broken out across the nation and world. However, there have also been riots in which businesses were looted, cities set ablaze and citizens killed.
Owens said in her post that Floyd did not deserve to die but she does not consider him to be a martyr because of his criminal history.
“I am not going to play a part of the broken black culture that always wants to martyr criminals, to pretend that they were upstanding human beings that just wanted to help society,” she said.
Motivated by Owens’ post, Dykes referred to Floyd as a “thug” and called the protesters “idiots,” Al.com reported.
He sent a text message to co-owner Robert Bagwell and an employee Friday saying they should consider raising prices at the bar as a protest tax and encouraging employees who took part in the Birmingham protest to resign.
Dykes added in the text that “Mr. Floyd was a thug, didn’t deserve to die but honoring a thug is irresponsible.”
The message was circulated to other Parkside employees and shared on social media.
He apologized for the comments, but fuel was thrown on the fire when Owens opened the GoFundMe account to raise money for the business.
Business owner in Birmingham, Alabama is under attack because in a *private* text leaked by his employee— he agreed with the sentiments of a Candace Owens video. Left is calling for boycotts of his struggling business, so I created a fundraiser for him. https://t.co/Gchcu7PKm2
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 6, 2020
After Dykes posted on Twitter and tagged Owens, the backlash grew. He was called a racist, and John Carvalho, a journalism professor at Auburn University, tweeted that Dykes’ apology was overshadowed by his support for Owens.
The part where Michael Dykes describes himself as “inspired” by the “amazing” @RealCandaceO basically undercuts the entire apology. He didn’t insert his foot in his mouth; he spoke what was and remains on his heart.
— John Carvalho (@John_P_Carvalho) June 6, 2020
Owens responded by calling the professor “trash” for siccing a “leftist mob” on Dykes, and she informed him she had established a GoFundMe account to help the restaurant owner.
Thank you for being a trash enough human being to let me know about the leftist mob attacking this business owner. I have now created a fundraiser for Michael Dykes. https://t.co/Gchcu7PKm2 https://t.co/rvoCxTtAJV
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 6, 2020
Within a day, however, the account was shut down, and Owens was informed that the inspiration behind the account violated the terms of the agreement.
The Hill reported a response from officials with the fundraising company: “GoFundMe has suspended the account associated with Candace Owens, and the GoFundMe campaign has been removed because of a repeated pattern of inflammatory statements that spread hate, discrimination, intolerance, and falsehoods against the black community at a time of profound national crisis. These actions violate our terms of service.”
What apparently doesn’t violate its terms of service? Helping rioters and looters get out of jail.
GoFundMe has provided a venue for multiple accounts raising money to pay the bail of people arrested in the violent protests over Floyd’s death.
In fact, it promotes those funds on a page labeled “We Stand Together: Supporting Justice + Equality.”
In response to the current outpouring of support for causes focused on racial justice & equality, we’ve compiled a list of campaigns from across the US that you can share or support right now to make a difference: https://t.co/pUobhcG67O
— GoFundMe (@gofundme) June 5, 2020
“Join us to support organizations focused on bail reform, racial justice, and law enforcement reform,” the company says.
The fundraising platform has no use for a black conservative woman who wanted to help a business owner through tough times, but it welcomes those who want to get criminals back on the street as soon as possible.
That’s something to remember the next time you’re looking for a venue to raise money for a cause you hold dear.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.