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The Salt Lake Tribune published a cartoon this week that compared Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, a black Republican who experienced Jim Crow firsthand, to a Ku Klux Klan member.
Drawn by far-leftist Pat Bagley, a white man, the cartoon brought to mind the time two years ago when Antifa extremists smeared Daryl Davis, a renowned black activist known for inspiring Ku Klux Klan members to give up their robes, as a white supremacist.
It’s not clear what drives white liberals to attack black conservatives this way.
When Burgess learned of the smear against him, he posted the cartoon to his Twitter feed and derided it as another “pathetic” example of “#wokeracism.”
The @sltrib and @Patbagley compare me to the KKK, the radical hate group that terrorized me in my youth, because I am one of many sounding the alarm of the trauma being faced by women and children crossing the border. This is pathetic. #wokeracism pic.twitter.com/Tzcj4lPixL
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) April 15, 2021
The cartoon depicts Owens pointing at the southern U.S. border and warning Americans that “they are coming to your neighborhoods.” Depicted next to him is a KKK member saying the exact same words.
The cartoon was written in response to the congressman warning of the consequences of the rampant illegal immigration occurring across the southern U.S. border.
“Believe me, the borders are open right now. We are seeing every single day, people coming here and within hours getting on a train or a plane and going to your neighborhood. So, no Americans, this isn’t a border issue anymore,” Owens said during a visit last week to the southern border.
“They are coming to your neighborhoods, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, and there is a cartel influence along the way. So be aware, don’t think this is a distance from you now, this is coming your way and it is done on purpose by a party who could care less about we the people,” he added.
This infuriated Bagley, who on Facebook accused the black congressman of spouting “straight up fear-mongering that only a white supremacist could love.”
Here is the Burgess quote that inspired the cartoon. This is straight up fear-mongering that only a white supremacist…
Posted by Pat Bagley – The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, 15 April 2021
It’s not clear whether Bagley owns a mirror …
In response to The Salt Lake Tribune’s publication of the smear against Owens, a delegation of his Republican colleagues from Utah published a joint statement Thursday condemning the paper and demanding they retract Bagley’s cartoon and apologize.
“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,” the congressmen wrote.
“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,” they added.
The delegation was comprised of Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, as well as Reps. Chris Stewart, John Curtis and Blake Moore.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) April 15, 2021
In a statement to Salt Lake City station KUTV, Owens expressed gratitude for his colleagues’ support and also pushed back on Bagley’s rhetoric.
“I grew up in the 1960’s segregated deep south and witnessed the ugliness of racially fueled rhetoric first-hand. Calling out the human rights abuses at the border is not comparable to the terrorist hate group responsible for killing, assaulting, and harassing my community. The Tribune’s unacceptable mischaracterization does not represent Utah’s values,” he said.
Bagley has, for his part, doubled down on the basis that, while he “can’t speak to the black experience,” he “can speak to the effect the words @RepBurgessOwens used have on white people.”
I can’t speak to the Black experience (obviously). But I can speak to the effect the words @RepBurgessOwens used have on White people. From time immemorial they have been used to stir up irrational fear and animosity https://t.co/00WQUqxFW3
— Pat Bagley (@Patbagley) April 15, 2021
He appeared to be suggesting in the tweet above that the feelings of white people matter more than Owens’ right to speak the truth …
According to Owens, Bagley’s rhetoric comes off as “whitesplaining.”
We have heard of “mansplaining” now we have “whitesplaining” from a white man comparing a black man, who grew up under Jim Crow laws, to the KKK.
Awful tone deaf @sltrib @Patbagley. Expect an apology but I won’t hold my breathe. pic.twitter.com/NESEchhFEf
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) April 15, 2021
To be fair, Bagley has a history of smearing virtually everybody to the right of Karl Marx as white supremacists.
In another widely panned cartoon drawn last year, he depicted a doctor and law enforcement agent looking at an x-ray of the officer. The x-ray depicted the cop’s pelvic area as a KKK member silhouette.
The Utah Sheriffs Association responded at the time by condemning the carton and — like Owens and his supporters — demanding a retraction and apology.
Today @sltrib’s @Patbagley published an editorial cartoon depicting law enforcement as members of or inspired by the Ku Klux Klan. The Utah Sheriff’s Association has issued a rebuke of Bagley and his KKK cartoon. https://t.co/MxIx6kSmiI pic.twitter.com/VkUxdCz6SR
— Utah County Sheriff (@UCSO) September 2, 2020
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