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On Friday, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat, ruthlessly attacked Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, a freshman Republican, for the apparent crime of urging his colleagues to put aside their partisanship and show love for their country, its values and its flag.
The stunning confrontation occurred during a House Judiciary Committee meeting that afternoon after Owens spoke briefly about patriotism.
During the hearing, a debate emerged over the American flag and anthem, with Democrats arguing that stamping out the alleged threat of “white supremacy” is more important than showing love to the country.
Owens strongly disagreed with this.
“I was blessed to grow up in the deep south 60’s days of KKK, Jim Crow segregation. I say blessed because I grew up in a community that believed in our nation, believed in God, believed in their kids and they were going to fight to prove they could overcome any obstacle,” Owens said during the hearing.
“It was a great community that taught us the importance of a flag. It taught us to to love God, country, family, respect for women and authority,” he went on.
He added that if his community was able to do it, so can and so should Congress.
“Let’s put aside the partisanship and appreciate the fact we have a body here of every color under the rainbow, every background. Across this country we have black police officers, black mayors. As we have more and more freedom to achieve our dreams, we seem to point more and more at other people for the failures that we have when we make bad decisions,” he said.
“It’s not about words. It is about actions. Seconds, seconds is all it’d take to show our kids that we’re adults, that we can agree to disagree when we love our country enough to at least stand and represent our flag,” he implored.
Listen to his remarks and Jeffries’ nasty reply below:
For some reason, his remarks provoked the rage of Jeffries, a radically far-left Democrat who during former President Donald Trump’s presidency had smeared the then-president as “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
“I was hoping to engage with the new distinguished gentleman from Utah as he sat here lecturing us about patriotism. And I was just going to ask him how he voted after a violent mob attacked the Capitol to hunt down members of Congress, to hang Mike Pence, to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, to stop us from undertaking our constitutional responsibilities as part of the peaceful transfer of power,” he said.
“More than a hundred officers seriously injured, brain injuries, head trauma, one officer lost three fingers, another officer, because of an assault on him, is likely to be blind. Officer Sicknick died, blood was spilled, two other officers are no longer with us,” he continued.
After the riot on the U.S. Capitol last month, Owens joined several other Republicans in legally voting against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results because of legitimate concerns about the validity of those results.
To be clear, Owens’ actions were legal and constitutional — and thus certainly not unpatriotic. Yet Jeffries seemed to feel otherwise.
“And you want to sit here and lecture us about patriotism? When you voted to object to an election that you know Joe Biden won, and perpetrated the big lie?” he continued, echoing the incendiary, extremist rhetoric of media pundits.
Bias in the media is media members calling the election fraud claims (which were false) “The Big Lie” – a term literally invented by the Biden administration and pushed by media stenographers as a way to equate the fraud claims to a term created by Hitler in Mein Kampf. https://t.co/Riz8kedAey
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) January 31, 2021
“But the notion of you coming here lecturing us on your first day before this committee, it’s not about words it’s about actions? You know what? Explain your actions on January 7th, when you supported an insurrection,” he added.
If Jeffries thought that Owens would take his insults lying down, he thought wrong. The former NFL star responded by posing the exact same question to the Democrat lawmaker.
“Was it insurrection when in 2016, seven of your colleagues objected? Was it an insurrection when, for the last three Republican presidential wins, they objected? No, it was not. It was a voice, it was having a people realize you have some concern. Now in terms of integrity ….,” he fired back before Jeffries pulled a “reclaiming my time.”
With the mic back in his hand, the Democrat lawmaker went on to re-describe the Capitol riot again for some reason.
“You asked a question. I would just simply say … a violent insurrection resulted in the spilling of American blood. People died. The Capitol was desecrated. Urine and feces was left behind. The Confederate flag was bandied about,” he said.
“That didn’t even happen in this Capitol during the Civil War. The Trump flag was placed in the stead of the American flag. That’s an insurrection, that’s sedition, that’s undemocratic, that’s problematic, and the American thing to do is to stand up to it,” he ranted. “I yield back.”
It was an unusual answer, given as it didn’t actually answer Owens’ question. All it did was continue conflating legal election challenges to illegal rioting.
Unfortunately, Owens wasn’t given an option to finish replying to Jeffries, as the Judiciary Committee returned to discussing other topics.