‘I’m giving you actual facts’: Candace Owens flips the script on leftist professor debating affirmative action

Popular conservative podcaster Candace Owens used an appearance this Wednesday on “Dr. Phil” to explain to a left-wing professor why affirmative action is in reality a harmful policy for the black community (not to mention other communities), not a positive one.

“The policies are harmful also to the people that they purport to help, and we have all of the evidence there to look at. When you artificially place a black American into a school in which they do not belong based on their knowledge, [that] doesn’t mean that they go on to get A’s,” she told Dr. Phil McGraw’s audience.

As an example, she cited the case of Dr. Thomas Sowell, who used to be an adjunct professor teaching at Cornell University.

“He found that the majority of the black American students that were there were on academic probation. Now, these students were some of the smartest in the nation, but because they were artificially placed amongst their peers at Cornell University, they were failing, on academic probation,” she said.

“These policies have never helped black Americans. It’s just basically policies that are put in place to make people feel good, right. I feel like I’m doing something, when in fact I’m actually creating harm. You either know the answers, or you don’t,” Owens added.


Responding to Owens’ argument, panel member Dr. John Pascarella of the University of Southern California essentially argued that if and when black students perform poorly, it’s probably because of racism from their professors.

“When you say, hey, we have black students at a particular school who aren’t performing at that school as well, the immediate assumption that you’re making is, well, maybe it’s because they’re not smart enough, they’re not good enough, or they don’t belong here, whereas it could be about the experience that they’re having at that institution,” he said.

As an example, he cited “professors who believe that they’re not intelligent enough, that they don’t have the capability to do the work, that they see them as criminals, deviants, dangerous, up to no good.”

Or professors who “talk about them with the ‘they’ statements — they’re lazy, they don’t care, they don’t really belong here.”

It’s at this point that Owens cut him off to point out a fundamental flaw with his very anecdotal, non-scientific rhetoric.

Below is another related clip from Wednesday’s episode:

“You’re saying could be. I’m giving you actual facts. We can fantasize and say ‘maybe they just don’t feel good,’ but that’s not the case,” she said before going on to cite her own college experience.

“I mean, I went to university. I did not feel good, right. I didn’t pull the best grades in high school, probably got into a better university than I should have gotten into based on my performance in high school. It wasn’t because of my feelings. It’s because I wasn’t focused on it,” she said.

In other words, she too experienced problems in college, but they were a result of her own lack of focus, not the result of something someone else was doing.

“It almost seems like you guys refuse to accept that, you know, black students aren’t performing well. You feel like you have to have this burden of responsibility, when in fact if you actually wanted to help, you would look at the facts, re-examine the fact that it’s not helping anybody. It’s not helping black Americans to artificially place them into universities,” she continued.

Pascarella responded by essentially repeating his earlier argument.

“But you’re making this assumption that black students are academically inferior,” he said.

But Owens quickly turned the argument back upon him and noted that HE’S the one assuming black students are academically inferior, ergo why he believes affirmative action is necessary to ostensibly level the playing field.

“I’m talking about the students that are based on the policies that you are defending right now, saying that we should have these policies that let them into these universities not based on their skill set,but based on the color of their skin. So YOU are assuming that they are inferior,” she said.

Below is another related clip from Wednesday’s episode:

Owens’ appearance on “Dr. Phil” comes as the Supreme Court is considering what to do with or about affirmative action. The left, for their part, want affirmative action to remain, whereas conservatives believe it should be abolished.

Affirmative action not only harms its benefactors, namely blacks and Hispanics, but it also harms the white and Asian students who are held to a higher standard than their peers.

Vivek Saxena


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