At a speaking engagement, right-wing pundit Candace Owens went on a racist and anti-trans rant against Native Americans in response to an audience member’s question about Two-Spirit people.
The audience member asked Owens how she could believe trans identities are somehow a new trend fueled by the media when Two-Spirit Native Americans have existed for thousands of years.
Two-Spirit is an umbrella term used in Native American communities to describe those who do not conform to their sex assigned at birth and who are said to possess both a male and female spirit. Two-Spirit people were once considered healers and shamans, but colonization led to their marginalization. Many communities, however, are working to revive their sacred roles.
Owens had never heard of Two-Spirit people, and she responded to the question with a series of derogatory comments about Native Americans.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about with Two-Spirit people,” she said. “Is this like a Native American tribe, like high smoking and talking about your spirit? I’m asking you seriously, because when I think of Native American tribes talking about their spirits, I know that they used to smoke a lot, they used to do drugs, they also were cannibals who used to eat people, so I don’t know if we should be taking our cues from cannibals.”
Owens then denied the audience member’s claim that it is basic historical knowledge that there were trans native Americans.
“I don’t think that there were trans native Americans,” she said, before the audience member told her to educate herself.