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GoFundMe shut down Candace Owens' account for attacking George Floyd's character, saying she spread 'falsehoods against the black community'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/8/2020 acollman@businessinsider.com (Ashley Collman)
a person looking at the camera: Candace Owens at a convention in Paris in September. Michel Euler/AP © Michel Euler/AP Candace Owens at a convention in Paris in September. Michel Euler/AP
  • GoFundMe on Sunday suspended the conservative commentator Candace Owens from its platform.
  • Owens' account was suspended after raising more than $200,000 for an Alabama bar whose co-owner called George Floyd a "thug."
  • In a statement, GoFundMe said Owens "spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community."
  • Last Friday, Owens also told the conservative radio host Glenn Beck: "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me." President Donald Trump later shared that message on Twitter.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

GoFundMe suspended the conservative activist Candace Owens from its platform on Sunday after she raised more than $200,000 for an Alabama business whose co-owner called George Floyd a "thug."

In a statement on Sunday, GoFundMe accused Owens of making "falsehoods against the black community," according to The Daily Beast.

The more than $200,000 that was raised for the Parkside Cafe in Birmingham, Alabama, will still be transferred to the bar, however.

"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," the company said in a statement. "These actions violate our terms of service."

Owens, who is black, responded to the campaign being canceled in a tweet, writing that she was "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," Owens wrote.

The Parkside Cafe became the center of controversy last week when an employee shared a text sent by a co-owner, Michael Dykes, in which he threatened to hike up prices as part of a "protest tax," according to AL.com.

"We should go up one or two dollars on everything until June 10th. Call it a protest tax because all the idiots that went to the protests are responsible for us not being able to open normal hours," Dykes wrote.

"Any employees that went or are going should resign. Mr. Floyd was a thug, didn't deserve to die but honoring a thug is irresponsible."

Dykes later apologized for his comments in an interview with AL.com, saying he "let everybody down" and "never intended any harm."

a car parked in front of a building: The Parkside Cafe in Birmingham, Alabama. Google Street View © Google Street View The Parkside Cafe in Birmingham, Alabama. Google Street View

Dykes said he wrote the text after watching one of Owens' videos, published on Facebook last Wednesday, in which she detailed Floyd's criminal history and argued that black Americans should not be holding him up as a martyr.

In the video, she said: "For whatever reason it has become fashionable over the last five or six years for us to turn criminals into heroes overnight. It is something I find despicable."

"George Floyd was not an amazing person," she added. "George Floyd is being upheld as an amazing human being."

On Friday, Owens repeated her attack on Floyd's character on the conservative radio host Glenn Beck's show, saying: "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me."

President Donald Trump later shared those comments on Twitter.

a woman standing on a stage in front of a curtain: Owens at the Center for the American Experiment Lunch Forum in May 2018. YouTube © YouTube Owens at the Center for the American Experiment Lunch Forum in May 2018. YouTube

Floyd's death on May 25 has prompted almost two weeks of protests against police brutality across the US and in other countries. Floyd was killed following an arrest in which a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he said repeatedly that he couldn't breathe.

GoFundMe is not the first tech company to take a stand against Trump or his allies in recent weeks. Two weeks ago Twitter moderated one of Trump's tweets about the unrest over Floyd's death, saying the tweet was "glorifying violence."

Trump has since tried to change a law that protects social-media companies from being legally responsible for users' posts.

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