A widely respected newspaper chose to send an unthinkable message to a Congressman.
They made an awful reference to the Ku Klux Klan.
A top Republican suffered a horrific racist attack no one ever expected.
Republican Utah Rep. Burgess Owens called on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to “get some backbone” and visit the U.S.-Mexico border amid an illegal immigration crisis and see for themselves the children that have been harmed.
“Whether you’re American or Mexican or Guatemalan, it doesn’t matter,” he said in his speech. “These are our children. And we have an administration that does not have the backbone to come down here and give encouragement to these great men and women who are doing the job and are being overwhelmed right now.” Owens said of Border Patrol agents.
The Salt Lake Tribune responded to these comments by comparing Owens to a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
In the cartoon Owens points at the southern border with the caption, “They are coming to your neighborhoods!” On the other side cartoon, a Ku Klux Klan member holds a torch and points at Owens, stating, “They are coming to your neighborhoods!”
Owens called the paper “tone deaf” and “racist” in a statement to the Daily Caller.
“I was raised in the 1960’s Deep South during a time when the KKK terrorized my neighborhood and the color of my skin literally dictated where I went to school. It was a time when racism was defined by arrogance and demeaning the character of any person of color.” Owens told the Dailey Caller.
“They can try to hide behind a newspaper and fake ‘wokeness,’ but this is it.” he continued. “Don’t let the racist and tone deaf Salt Lake Tribune cast a bad light on our great state of inclusion. It does not represent the people of Utah or my constituents in District 4.”
The Utah Delegation issued a joint statement demanding an apology for their colleague.
“The Salt Lake Tribune recently published a repugnant ‘cartoon’ comparing Congressman Burgess Owens, our esteemed colleague and only black member of the Utah delegation, to a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This racially charged, perverse political statement is beyond the pale. We ask that The Salt Lake Tribune immediately take down this horrific image, issue a formal apology, and hold themselves to a higher standard,” Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Mitt Romney, and Representatives Chris Stewart, John Curtis and Blake Moore said in a joint statement.
However, Bagley defended his cartoon on Twitter, stating:
“If any one of these Utah pols uttered the white supremacist dogwhistle Burgess Owens used he would have been featured in the cartoon. Treating Owens differently because of his race is the definition of racism,” Bagley wrote. “If Owens doesn’t want to be dunked for using white supremacist talking points then he shouldn’t use white supremacist talking points.”
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