Rep. Burgess Owens: I ‘Actually Experienced Jim Crow,’ ‘Disgusting and Offensive to Compare’ It to Georgia Election Law

Senate Judiciary Committee

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) said it was “disgusting and offensive” for Democrats — including President Joe Biden — to frame Georgia’s new election law as reminiscent of Jim Crow laws during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing entitled, “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote.”

Owens stated:

As someone who’s actually experienced Jim Crow laws, I’d like to set the record straight on the myth regarding the recently passed Georgia State law, and why any comparison between this law and Jim Crow is absolutely outrageous.

I’ll give you a few examples from my own life of what Jim Crow laws actually looked like. 

At the age of 12, my father allowed me to participate in a demonstration with college students in front of the segregated Florida State Theater, where because of our color, we could not enter. I was the youngest participant there. Only 50 years later did I learn that my father parked across the street to watch and make sure I was safe. 

In the seventh grade my school never received new books. Instead we received books from the all-white school across town.

At service stations, there were white-men-only restrooms, white-women-only restrooms, and a filthy restroom in the back of the station for black Americans designated as colored.

In addition, Jim Crow laws, like poll taxes, property tests, literacy tests, and violence and intimidation at the polls made in nearly impossible for black Americans to vote.

Owens described partisan Democrats and left-wing paternalism towards black Americans as “true racism.”

“What I find extremely offensive is the narrative from the left that black people are not smart enough, not educated enough, not desirous enough of education to do what every other culture and race does this country — get an ID,” he said.

Owens added, “True racism is this: It’s Projection of the Democratic Party on my proud race. … The soft bigotry of low expectations — now projected on black Americans, not Italians, not Asians, not Polish, not Jewish, but only black Americans — is being done by the Democratic Party.”

Weeks ago, Biden told ESPN that Georgia’s latest election law is “Jim Crow on steroids.”

Owens concluded:

President Biden said of the Georgia law, this is “Jim Crow on steroids.” With all due respect, Mr. President, you know better. It is disgusting and offensive to compare the actual voter suppression and violence of that era that we grew up in with a state law that only asks that people show their ID. This is the type of fear-mongering I would expect in the 1960s, not today.


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