Rep. Burgess Owens Slams Left’s ‘Racist Attacks,’ Says Justice Clarence Thomas ‘Should Be Revered, Not Ridiculed’

UNITED STATES - JUNE 16: Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, participates in the news conference in the Capitol to outline the bipartisan agenda for "A Stronger Online Economy on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

The “hard left” encourages “racism, inequality, [and] inequity,” according to Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, who condemned the “racist attacks” and violence unleashed by the left following the overturning of Roe, including the “racially charged firestorm against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas,” who he said should be “revered, not ridiculed.”

Speaking at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on privacy and civil rights in post-Roe America on Thursday, Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) joined the “eloquent defense of life” offered by many of his Republican colleagues, as he called to “recognize the sanctity of all life.”

Describing himself as “having grown up in the Jim Crow South of segregation and KKK,” Owens said he was “familiar with the true racism, intolerance, and hate — all due to the color of my skin.”

“I see the same thing today in 2022 as the hard left, the so-called party of tolerance, who bang the drum of racism, inequality, inequity, do not practice what they preach,” he said.

He noted that the “leaked opinion and reversal of Roe v. Wade unleashed carefully planned attacks on pro-life organizations, violent protests, and an assassination attempt at the home of Supreme Court Justice [Brett Kavanaugh] and his family” as well as a “racially charged firestorm against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.”

However, Owens said the targeting of Thomas was “nothing new,” adding that he “has been the target of the elitist left for 40 years.” 

“Instead of celebrating the second black American in our nation’s history [ascending to the] highest court, they declared open season with vicious and racist attacks,” he stated. 

“This is because he’s an articulate, confident black American who loves the American tenets of God, country and family,” he added. “It’s because he’s a black man who dares to think differently than they would love for him to think.”

He then shared several of the attacks with the committee.

“Samuel L. Jackson called Justice Thomas ‘Uncle Clarence’ and tweeted that a ban on interracial marriage is next,” he said.

He then called attention to Mississippi Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson’s having called Justice Thomas “Uncle Tom” while citing the Supreme Court Justice’s “support for voter ID and opposition to affirmative action.” 

Thompson also stated that “Justice Thomas doesn’t like black people” and “doesn’t like being black,” said Owens.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot “attacked Justice Thomas in a profane rant suggesting the decision would lead to overturning gay marriage,” he stated.

In addition, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “called Justice Thomas an angry person of grievance.”

But according to Owens, “it’s not just Justice Thomas they attacked.”

“CNN suggested that Congresswoman Mayra Flores wasn’t the real deal,” he said. “They believed, and I quote, ‘she holds views outside Latino mainstream.’” 

“Mayra, too, dares to think differently than what the elitist left demands,” he added.

Also, Owens noted, Professor Michael Eric Dyson, appearing as a guest on MSNBC’s The ReidOut with host Joy Reid, called Republican and Marine veteran Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears “a black mouth of white supremacy.” 

In addition, Twitter “allowed ‘Uncle Tim’ to trend for hours after Senator Tim Scott’s State of the Union rebuttal, before taking action.”

Lastly, Owens charged that longtime satirist Pat Bagley, a “white newspaper cartoonist for the Utah State or Salt Lake City Tribune, portrayed me as a white klansman.” 

Calling the move “typical of the condescending racism,” Owens posited that if the same attacks were aimed at former U.S. President Barack Obama, “it would be called out by this committee and the media for exactly what it is: pure racism.”

“This chairman would probably hold a hearing on it,” he said. 

Owens then offered “advice” for members of the left who “attempt to divide us with their hateful rhetoric.” 

“First, I recommend a good book I read a couple decades ago called ‘How to win friends and influence people,’” he said. “The hard left is failing big time in this area.”

“Second,” he added, “I suggest you’ve totally missed the basic 101 of the American spirit: we don’t respond well to intimidation and bullies and cowards.”

Calling the “pattern of intolerance” both “disgusting” and “unjustified,” as well as  “un-American,” Owens claimed it “shows how far we’ve come from MLK’s dream where our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by [the content of their character].”

“Instead of working to delegitimize our institutions, [they] default into fear mongering tactics and basic arguments that the Supreme Court wants to take away our rights,” he said, calling to “be honest with the American people.” 

“Dishonesty is not appreciated by the American people, and you’ll see that in November this year, check it out,” he added.

Calling Roe a “flawed decision” from the start, Owens highlighted its overturning merely gives states the right to decide on the issue.

Roe v. Wade cost us 23 million innocent lives,” he said. “Like the pro-slavery Democrat Dred Scott decision in 1857, it was a flawed decision.”

“Overturning Roe didn’t outlaw abortion or take away the constitutional right of Americans,” he added. “It put the decision in the state’s hands; in the hands of ‘we the people’ where it belongs.”

Turning to the “angry left,” Owens said it was “time to settle down, take off your mask and show your cowardly faces.” 

“Put down your stones and firebombs, and through civil debate, convince us that you’re right,” he said, adding that his prediction is they “have no clue.”

Owens concluded by stating that “a black constitutionalist on the Supreme Court who stands with that decision should be revered, not ridiculed.” 

“Justice Thomas is old school, I promise you he will not be intimidated,” he added.

The remarks comes roughly three weeks after the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, holding in the Dobbs case that the Constitution does not include a right to abortion and returning the issue of abortion laws and regulations to state legislatures.

The landmark decision has since sparked violent public upheaval across the country, as Democrats, the mainstream media, and members of the far-left continue their attacks on the pro-life movement and its supporters.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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