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WATCH: Candace Owens calmly debunks campus clown protesters grilling her on past controversies

PITTSBURGH — A contingent of protestors dressed as clowns, complete with face make-up, attended a speech by Candace Owens on Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh and confronted her with pointed questions about her past controversies.

The clown protesters during the Q&A asked her about the fact that the gunman behind the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand in 2019 had cited her commentary. They also asked her about 5-year-old allegations that she once claimed “Hilter was OK.”

In response to being asked about the Christchurch shooting, Owens said she has no idea why that happened.

“People are crazy, and we shouldn’t give credence to homicidal maniacs when they’re putting together cartoons and people who fought against apartheid plus a random American in their thought process,” Owens said.

Another clown protestor accused the conservative commentator of being antisemitic, while also mentioning how the city of Pittsburgh has a large Jewish population. She then questioned Owens regarding claims that she once said Hitler was OK.

Owens clarified that claim was taken entirely out of context of a much larger discussion, that she was speaking about patriotic nationalism in general and why that is acceptable, and had even denounced Hitler in the very same talk.

Prior to the talk, roughly 25 demonstrators — including the four clowns — marched in protest to her appearance, chanting “We’re here, we’re queer, get these fascists out of here.”

They followed up with, “What do we want? Trans rights! When do we want them? Now! If we don’t get it, shut it down.”

The group also held signs with slogans such as “TPUSA you’re all pigs,” referencing the conservative student group that hosted Owens. Other signs stated “protect trans rights” and “Pitt is officially a trans sanctuary city.”

The majority of protestors were turned away from entering the venue, as their signs, bags, and noisemakers were not allowed. Four clowns, however, were granted entry. The venue held only about 500 seats, and hundreds of people who had lined up to see Owens were also turned away at the door because of lack of room.

When Owens first took the stage, she quipped: “What’s up with the clown uniforms?”

“We have a spot for you in our car, we can all fit,” the protestors responded.

“Oh my gosh, that’s so amazing,” Owens replied.

Owens went on to speak for about an hour about her experiences as a liberal student who went on to become one of the most popular conservative voices in the nation.

“I just want to get back to a place in the world where we weren’t all being gaslit, right? When crazy things are happening in front of us, and it’s like, oh, if you notice the crazy, then it’s because you’re crazy,” Owens said, according to Pitt News. “To walk up to a bathroom and to have a sign [that says], ‘This is an alternative restroom [and] any person can go here.’ Yeah, we already have this. We used to just call it, ‘bathroom.’”

“I would say it’s an awful time to be a college student,” Owens also said. “College campuses have completely shifted, especially with [what is] coming from professors. [When you] are being encouraged to say that you are a ‘they,’ and to use that as a sentence describing subjects that are not plural, it’s wild. I don’t even see how learning can happen in that society.”

At the end of her speech, members of the audience were given the opportunity to ask her questions, with those in disagreement being moved to the front of the line, including the clown protesters.

Despite minimal pushback, the majority of attendees appeared to be there in support of Owens.

“I was completely blown away by the turnout and support from both students and community members,” Lili Orozco, president of TPUSA at Pitt, told The College Fix in an interview.

“I’m happy that the clowns made it into the event and were given the opportunity to converse with Candace during our Q&A session,” Orozco said. “It allowed them to have their voices heard. The circus always comes to town when we host events on campus. I look forward to seeing them in the future.”

MORE: At CPAC, Candace Owens calls education reform top priority for America

VIDEOS AND IMAGES: Logan Dubil / For The College Fix

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Logan Dubil is a student at Point Park University studying marketing and sales. He also writes and reports for Campus Reform.