GoFundMe has suspended conservative political commentator Candace Owens' fundraiser collecting money for an Alabama cafe which has been the subject of a boycott after the co-owner's comments about the Black Lives Matter movement were made public. Owens has also been criticized for her comments about George Floyd following the Minnesota man's death in police custody after now-fired officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost 9 minutes.
Before the campaign was suspended, Owens had raised more than $200,000 for Birmingham’s Parkside Cafe, whose co-owner Michael Dykes called Floyd a "thug" and protesters "idiots" in a text posted online by a co-worker, according to AL.com. In the aftermath of the photo's circulation, three employees reportedly quit, and people online began to call for a boycott of the business.
Sunday, Owens complained that just hours after she started a GoFundMe campaign to support Dykes' business, the company suspended her effort, saying it found it "to be in support of hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind."
Owens shared the suspension notice on Twitter, complaining that the company was showing a "blatant form of discrimination" shutting down the fundraiser. "Once again, conservatives and Trump supporters need to adapt to a world that tells us that our very existence is unacceptable," she continued. "That our ideas, thoughts, and now even our charitable efforts are unacceptable. That threatening, boycotting, and cancelling us is okay."
While I am glad they will give the funds raised this far to the cafe to the owner, I am angry that such a blatant form of discrimination is acceptable by @gofundme. There was NOTHING intolerant or violent about raising funds to help a conservative business owner.— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 7, 2020
Owens has been criticized for her own comments about Floyd after the man's death: "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me. George Floyd was not a good person, I don’t care who wants to spin that. I don’t care how CNN wants to make you think he changed his life around," she said in an interview with Glenn Beck. "He was just after his sixth or fifth stint in prison."
She added on Twitter soon after, "Guess my message to little kids would be for them not to idolize men that: Get high on fentanyl, get high on meth, use counterfeit bills, shove guns into the stomaches (sic) of pregnant women while robbing them, go to prison 5 times. What a truly horrible message I carry."