There was an interesting clip of video posted on YouTube on 21 September, 2019. It came from a congressional hearing on “confronting violent white supremacy”, but it culminates in a two-and-a-half minute pronouncement of extraordinary power. I think it is worth examining.
Three witnesses speak in this clip. In order of appearance they are Dr Kathleen Belew, Assistant Professor of U.S. History, The University of Chicago, Ms Katrina Mulligan, Managing Director for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress, and Ms Candace Owens.
Dr Belew is the first to speak in this clip, and is clearly in opposition to Ms Owens. Most of the time she is referring to things we have not heard so do not yet interest me, but suddenly she comes out with an extraordinary statement. She refers to numbers that she doesn’t have, and then declares that claiming that they don’t say something “is not supported by the data”. Surely the numbers are the data; and though she is unable to produce them she claims the right to say what they do or do not support. I become suspicious.
Ms Mulligan, joining the gang versus Ms Owens, is even less impressive.
Through all this, the occasional brief sights we have of Candace Owens show very little. This impresses me. I always advise those on panels, where they are being attacked, not to weaken their silence with gestures or facial expressions of contradiction. Much better is to maintain your dignity. Stay impassive till it is your turn to speak. Keep your powder dry!
Eventually Representative Jim Jordan asks Ms Owens a question which is clearly intended to provide her with a helpful springboard. She does not squander the opportunity.
I am a fan of an aphorism by Laurence J. Peter (he of the Peter Principle, which is ironic considering the two previous speakers) –
Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
– but here we have an exception. Candace Owens is angry, but she contains it very well. She proceeds, calmly but mercilessly, to shred her two caucasian adversaries, not just their arguments with their failure to produce those fairytale data, but their motives. I almost feel sorry for them.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the human tongue when wielded as expertly as here demonstrated, can be even more devastating.